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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Grant (STTR) SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Some links will work for NIAID staff only.

This standard operating procedure (SOP) includes the following sections: Purpose, Procedure, Contacts, and Links.


To fund small business grants with set-aside funds to support research and development of products or services that improve public health in areas relevant to NIAID.


NIAID awards Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants with set-aside funds mandated by Congress.

Recipients of small business awards must meet the Small Business Eligibility Criteria. Only for-profit Small Business Concerns (SBCs) that have a majority ownership by U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens can apply for small business awards.

Applicants must submit SBIR and STTR applications electronically. Use either downloadable forms (be sure to use the latest application forms) or NIH's Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST). See the Electronic Submission Process. Read the SF 424 Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for detailed instructions. Also see How to Apply.

Budget: Guidelines, Hard Caps, Waiver, and NIAID Budget Request Limitations:

According to SBIR/STTR statutory guidelines, total funding support (direct costs, indirect costs, fees) for grants in Phase I is $150,000 and $1 million for Phase II.

Hard Cap:
With appropriate justification from the applicant, Congress (Reauthorization Act of 2011) will allow awards to exceed these amounts by up to 50 percent ($225,000 for Phase I and $1.5 million for Phase II, a hard cap). These are for the total cost of the award.

NIH has received a waiver from the Small Business Administration (SBA), as authorized by the statute, to exceed the hard cap for specific topics. Applicants can find the list of approved topics in Appendix A at the end of PHS 2015-2 SBIR/STTR Program Descriptions and Research Topics for NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF.

NIAID Budget Request Limitations:
Unless the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) states otherwise, NIAID will allow Phase I applications with budgets of up to $300,000 total costs per year for up to two years; and Phase II or Phase IIB applications with budgets of up to $1 million total costs per year for up to three years. Requests for these budget levels must be very well justified.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH program officials before submitting any application in excess of the guidelines. In all cases, applicants should propose a budget that is reasonable and appropriate for completing the research project.

That does not mean that NIAID will automatically award the higher budget. Applicants must provide an appropriate budget and justification for a budget that exceeds the SBIR/STTR hard caps. The budgets of SBIR and STTR applications will be evaluated to assess the appropriateness of the budget to the timeliness of the research goals and may be reduced on a case-by-case basis as recommended by peer reviewers, Institute/Center Advisory Board/Council, or program staff. When making awards, NIH reserves the right to withhold or reduce grant funding on applications at any ranking based on program priority. NIH’s list eliminates the need for NIH staff to request waivers from SBA to pay awards that are greater than the hard cap for topics on the list.

As referenced above under "Waiver," NIH has received approval from SBA for specific topics for budgets that exceed the hard caps. The following are key references regarding such topics:

The applicant is not limited to topics on the NIAID research topics list approved by SBA. All topics on the NIH list can be funded at a higher budget without a separate waiver request.

Note that NIAID does not support clinical trials through the SBIR or STTR programs, with the exception of the NIAID SBIR Phase II Clinical Trial Implementation Cooperative Agreement (U44). For details, read Can my small business obtain funding for a clinical trial? In our Frequently Asked Questions.

Applicants, Grantees and PIs

Program Officers

Grants Management Specialists

Office of Research Training and Special Programs

  • Advise potential small business applicants.
  • Coordinate small business awards with the NIAID Small Business Coordinator and divisional small business representatives.
    • Create an Excel spreadsheet listing all NIAID competitive SBIR and STTR applications for the fiscal year with overall impact scores and notes on intent to pay. Send the spreadsheet to divisional small business representatives.
    • Track the funding of competitive small business awards and share data with divisional small business representatives and DEA management.


NIAID Small Business Program Coordinator—Natalia Kruchinin

Divisional Small Business Representatives

Grants Management Program—Vandhana Khurana; Jason Lundgren

NIH Small Business Coordinator—Matthew Portnoy

If you have knowledge to share or want more information on this topic, email with this link and your message. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.


Small Business Awards Questions and Answers

Small Business Awards portal on the NIAID Funding Web site

SBIR and STTR Comparison Chart

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIAID Planning and Reporting System (NPARS)

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.NIAID Planning and Reporting System (NPARS) SOP

NIH Small Business Research Funding Opportunities

Opportunities and Guidelines to Facilitate Scientific Collaborations portal on the NIAID Funding Web site

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Release of Funds for Solicited, Opportunity Pool, and Career Awards SOP

Lock icon: This link will not work for public visitors.Repooling and Reprogramming SOP

Grants Timeline for Fiscal Year

Last Updated April 07, 2016

Last Reviewed September 28, 2015