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Small Business Grants

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are structured in three phases, as described below. Note that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) SEED (Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development) website is the best resource for guidance, FAQs, and pointers to current funding opportunities. A brief outline of this unique grant program is provided below.

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. Typically, only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss project plans with the NIH program staff listed in a funding opportunity before submitting an application.

Phase IIb Competing Continuation Awards

NIDCD does not accept competing continuation Phase IIb SBIR/STTR grant applications.

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 SEED website.

Examples of areas in which small businesses can contribute to the mission of NIDCD include:

  • 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.
  • Taste and smell, e.g., drug delivery systems, new diagnostic tools, improved techniques for research.

Staff Contacts

For additional information on the relevance of research topics to NIDCD mission areas, contact:
Roger L. Miller, Ph.D.

For administrative and business management questions, contact:
Samantha Tempchin, M.L.S.
Grants Management Officer

For more information, visit NIH’s SEED website.

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