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.
- Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). All registrations require an EUI before beginning the remaining registrations. This number can be obtained through the SAM.gov system.
- Current awardees who are already registered in SAM.gov will have a UEI automatically generated. It will be visitable in both SAM.gov and Grants.gov.
- 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.
- System for Award Management (SAM.gov). This government website consolidates all business registrations in a government vendor database so that payments can be made more efficiently.
- Grants.gov. 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
- Talk to your program officer about your project idea before you submit. They can help you determine if your idea is a good fit for NIAAA and the best track to pursue.
- Browse NIH RePORTER to see what other projects have already been funded.
- Use the SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide (Version H) and Annotated SF424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Form Set (FORMS-H) for step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application. Beginning January 25, use the (Version H), and the (FORMS- H). You can also use NIH ASSIST, a program that will walk you through the entire application.
- Check out examples of successful applications from NIA, NIAID, and NCI.
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.
AAP is offered three times a year, roughly 3 months before each standard due date.