Structure of SBIR & STTR

The current SBIR and STTR Policy Directives (October 2012) can be found here: SBIR  STTR

The SBIR/STTR Programs are structured in three phases:

Phase I

The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit and feasibility and potential for commercialization of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. Support under Phase I normally may not exceed $100,000 for total costs (direct costs, F&A costs, and negotiated fee) for a period normally not to exceed six months for SBIR and one year for STTR.

Phase II

The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. Support for SBIR and STTR Phase II awards normally may not exceed $750,000 total costs (direct costs, F&A costs, and negotiated fee) for a period normally not to exceed two years.

Deviations from the indicated Phase I/Phase II statutory award amount and project period guidelines are acceptable but must be well justified and should be discussed with appropriate NIH staff prior to submission of the application prior to submission of the application.

Phase III

The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business concern to pursue with non-SBIR/STTR funds the commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. In some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Application Process

The official SBIR/STTR page at is a good source of centralized information about the program.

The NIAID has also produced several slide shows with useful information, tools and tips to understand the process.

NIH SBIR/STTR Contact Info

Questions of a general nature about SBIR and STTR should be sent to:

Matthew E. Portnoy, PhD.
NIH SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator 
6705 Rockledge Drive 
Rockledge I, Room 3540 
Bethesda , MD   20892 
Phone: 301-435-2688, Fax: 301-480-0146 
Email: or