Get To Know NIAID Small Business Programs

Funding News Edition: July 07, 2021
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Centrifugal Filter Units

NIH small business programs are structured in three Phases: I) feasibility, II) research and development, and III) commercialization.

Credit: NIAID

If you have a small business or could partner with one, use this overview to learn about NIAID Small Business Programs. Our small business grant and contract funding opportunities help bridge the gap between basic science and commercialization of new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies.

Start by checking whether you meet the NIH Small Business Eligibility Criteria, then compare the programs and funding mechanisms we use to support small businesses.

SBIR and STTR Program Structure

NIAID Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs both seek to stimulate technological innovation and increase private-sector commercialization of technologies developed through federal research and development (R&D) funding and other support initiatives.

The major difference is that STTR requires the small business to formally collaborate with a non-profit research institution during the first two Phases of the program. SBIR does not have this requirement, though it does allow collaboration.

SBIR and STTR programs are structured in three Phases: I) feasibility, II) R&D, and III) commercialization. Find details at Three-Phase Program. NIH funds Phases I and II and provides other types of support for Phase III.

Funding Mechanisms

We use several mechanisms to award SBIR and STTR funds:

  • Approximately 80 percent of NIH SBIR awards are made through grants, whose topics and research are driven by the awardee.
  • Additional awards are established through contracts, which are procured based on the sponsor’s (NIAID's) needs.
  • cooperative agreement is another form of funding award that is similar to a grant but includes a high level of involvement from the sponsor.

Learn more about specific award types below and in the SBIR Grants and Contracts Comparison Table.

Small Business Award Types

Here’s a brief overview of each award type and search links for NIAID funding opportunities:

R43/R44, SBIR. Government-wide program that promotes R&D with the potential for commercialization at small business concerns. Find NIAID R43/R44 Grant Opportunities.

R41/R42, STTR. Government-wide program that promotes R&D with the potential for commercialization at small business concerns. STTR requires a formal collaborative relationship with a university or other non-profit research institution. Find NIAID R41/R42 Grant Opportunities.

SB1, Commercialization Readiness Pilot (CRP) Program. Follow-on grants after SBIR or STTR Phase II for technology development, testing, evaluation, and commercialization assistance. Find NIAID SB1 Grant Opportunities.

U44, SBIR Cooperative Agreement. NIAID program to support clinical testing of products whose feasibility has been established in Phase I and that are likely to result in commercial products or services. Cooperative agreements are similar to grants but require substantial involvement from NIH program or scientific staff. Find NIAID U44 SBIR Opportunities.

R&D Contracts, SBIR. NIAID participates and lists topic areas in the annual HHS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contract Solicitation. For other contract opportunities, go to NIAID Contract Solicitations.

More Information and Customized Advice

This article summarizes the Compare NIAID Small Business Programs page, so go there for more details.

Explore other sections of the NIAID Small Business Programs portal. We offer guidance on the Small Business Grant Application Process and share examples of excellent Small Business Sample Applications.

If you plan to seek small business support from NIAID, we recommend that you email Dr. Natalia Kruchinin or her team at for expert advice. They can help you choose a program type and funding opportunity that would be a good match for your unique situation

Contact Us

Email us at for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

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