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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Tips for Success

Start Early and Submit before the Deadline

Completing required registrations and crafting a strong application can take a few months, and you’ll want to leave some time at the end in case of last-minute challenges.

Mandatory Registrations

  • System for Award Management ( This government website consolidates all business registrations in a government vendor database so that payments can be made more efficiently.
  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). All registrations require an EUI before beginning the remaining registrations. This number can be obtained through the system.
    • Current awardees who are already registered in will have a UEI automatically generated. It will be visitable in both and
    • All entities currently registered in eRA Commons will see their UEI automatically populated int their Institutional Profile File (IPF) and on Page One of the Notice of Award. No entity action is required.
    • See additional information on transitioning from DUNS to the UEI.
  • This portal lists all available federal grants and is used by all 26 federal grant-making agencies, including NIH.
  • Electronic Research Administration (eRA Commons). This NIH system allows applicants, grantees, and NIH staff to access, share and transmit their application and grant information. 
  • SBA Company Registry. You must attach proof of your SBA Company Registry to your SBIR/STTR application.

Refine Your Idea

Successful applications demonstrate the clinical need and commercial potential of the technology or product. It’s a good idea to have a trusted colleague or mentor review your Specific Aims and provide feedback. While refining your idea, think about how you would answer these questions:

  • What problem am I trying to solve and why is it a problem?
  • How would I describe my technology or solution for this problem?
  • Who needs and will use this solution?
  • What is my research plan?
  • What is the competition?
  • What expertise does my team require and how will I ensure we meet those needs?
  • Are my project and proposed budget feasible?

Take Advantage of Guidance and Resources

Special Designations

Certify as a woman-owned small business (WOSB) or socially and economically disadvantaged small business (SDB) if your company qualifies. This information will not be included in your application evaluation but can be used to guide development of additional resources for support these businesses.

Apply for the Applicant Assistance Program

If you’re a first-time applicant, you may be eligible for a free, 10-week coaching program designed to help applicants prepare a Phase I submission for the SBIR and STTR programs.


  • Individual coaching and needs assessment
  • Assistance with required registrations
  • Application preparation support and review

AAP is designed to help increase the number of successful applications, especially from underrepresented small businesses such as women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged companies.


AAP is open to current and future small businesses and entrepreneurs with innovative technologies and products for the health care market. Eligible applicants have never received an SBIR/STTR award from NIH and must be planning to apply for an SBIR (R43) or STTR (R41) Phase I grant. Applicants for Direct-to-Phase II and Fast-Track programs are not eligible.

Important Dates

AAP is offered three times a year, roughly 3 months before each standard due date.

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