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National Institutes of Health

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Small Business Grants

NIH has transitioned from the PHS398 application to the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) application, and now requires e-submission of grant applications via

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are structured in three phases:

Phase I

The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit and feasibility 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.

Phase II

The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss proposed deviations from the budget and project duration listed in an FOA with NIDCD staff before submitting an application.

Phase II Competing Continuation Awards

The NIDCD will accept competing continuation Phase II SBIR/STTR grant applications from Phase II awardees to continue developing products that require approval from a federal regulatory agency (e.g., the FDA or FCC). Such products include but are not limited to medical implants, drugs, vaccines, and new treatment or diagnostic tools that require FDA approval.

This continuation grant should help small businesses reach a stage where interest and investment by third parties is more likely.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to (a) contact NIH staff prior to submitting a type 2 competing continuation application, and (b) submit a letter of intent to the program contact that includes:

  • A descriptive title of the proposed research
  • The name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
  • The names of other key personnel
  • A list of participating institutions
  • The PA, RFA, or Solicitation Number (e.g., PHS 2004-2)

A letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application. However, it allows NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. It is expected that only a portion of NIDCD SBIR/STTR Phase II awards will be eligible for a competing continuation grant.

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.

The SBIR/STTR solicitations and the grant application package are available on the NIH's Small Business Funding Opportunities page.

Examples of areas in which small businesses can contribute to the mission of the NIDCD include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Hearing, e.g., new hearing aid and auditory implant technologies, research tools and models for studying the auditory system, viral vectors for gene transfer to the inner ear
  • Balance, e.g., drug delivery systems, new assessment and rehabilitative technologies
  • Voice, speech, and language, e.g., new assessment and rehabilitative strategies, animal models
  • Smell and taste, e.g., drug delivery systems, new diagnostic tools, improved techniques for research

Contact Information

For additional information on research topics, contact:

Roger L. Miller, Ph.D.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Fax: 301-402-6251

For administrative and business management questions, contact:

Mr. Christopher P. Myers
Grants Management Officer
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Fax: 301-402-1758
For more information, visit NIH’s Small Business Research Funding Opportunities Web site: