Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will you fund my project? Does my project fit within the NICHD mission?

Please visit the NICHD Priorities page to review current SBIR/STTR priorities for the institute. You can email the NICHD SBIR Program Coordinator for assistance in determining if your application is appropriate for the NICHD, questions regarding the application process, or clarification on SBIR/STTR policy.

Can you provide advice on my project?

Please visit the NICHD Priorities page to review current SBIR/STTR priorities for the institute. If you want advice on a proposed project and whether or not it fits into the NICHD mission, please submit a ONE-PAGE summary of your project via email. Generally, the abstract and specific aims are sufficient for making a determination about the appropriateness of a project for the NICHD portfolio.

How do I apply to the NIH Small Business Program?

To learn more about applying for NIH funding, including what forms are necessary, important deadlines, a general timeline, and guidelines for tracking your application through the process, visit

What do I need to submit an application?

The SF424 SBIR/STTR (R&R) Application Guide (PDF 8.59 MB) contains registration and application instructions. We strongly recommend that you use the SBIR/STTR Annotated Form Set (PDF 4.25 MB) to guide you step-by-step through the submission process.

What should I do if I have problems submitting my application electronically?

If you have questions about submitting your grant electronically, please contact at 1-800-518-4726 or at Be sure to document your issues with case/incident numbers. Please note: they are closed on federal holidays.

Please contact the eRA Commons helpdesk if you have problems with any of the registration steps. Once again, please document your issues with case/ incident numbers.
Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552; Phone: 301-402-7469

What happens if my application is submitted after the deadline?

Please note: Beginning on January 25, 2011, all applications submitted after 5 p.m. local time of the applicant organization on the due date will be subject to the NIH late policy and may not be accepted for review (NOT-OD-10-123). In addition, any post-submission application materials will be subject to the new policy detailed in NOT-OD-10-115.

What if I have questions about SBIR/STTR Grants Policies?

There are many resources related to the SBIR/STTR program policies at

Where can I find more information about policy, eligibility, and application submission for the NIH Small Business Program?

NIH has a comprehensive FAQ with answers to SBIR/STTR policy, eligibility, and application questions. It includes answers to common questions about eligibility, budgets, foreign involvement, application scoring, and human and animal research, among other topics.

What constitutes primary employment under the SBIR rules?

Under the SBIR Program, the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) must have his/her primary employment with the small business concern at the time of award and for the duration of the project. This means that more than one-half of the PD/PI’s time or hours worked is spent in the employ of the SBC. Typically, this is more than 20 hours per week.

For multi-PD/PI applications only the Contact PD/PI must be from the SBC and meet the primary employment requirement. 

My small business is not doing the human subject work for the project; it is being done elsewhere. Why, then, does my company need to obtain a human subjects Federal Wide Assurance (FWA)?

An institution is automatically considered to be engaged in human subjects research if it receives a direct award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for human subjects research, regardless of whether the activity is being conducted elsewhere.

An FWA is required for all entities on that award. The awardee institution is ultimately responsible for protecting human subjects under an HHS award.

To obtain an FWA, visit the HHS Office of Human Research Protections website:

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