Tips for Applying for Small Business Funding

Small business representatives may benefit from additional guidance when they embark on the application process for SBIR and STTR programs. Here are some tips that can help streamline the process:

  • Understand SBIR/STTR programs: Familiarize yourself with the NCATS SBIR and STTR program eligibility criteria, find valuable information about the funding application process, and download recent webinars to learn more about the selection process and review criteria.
  • Clear all administrative requirements: Register your small business with DUNS,,, SBA Company Registry and NIH eRA Commons as soon as possible. Principal investigators also must individually register with NIH eRA Commons. If you are eligible to certify as a women-owned small business, consider getting certified. Certification information is used for federal tracking purposes only to help NCATS and other NIH Institutes and Centers gain a better understanding of applicant demographics.
  • Identify SBIR/STTR funding opportunities: Review NCATS’ open SBIR and STTR grant and contract funding opportunities and topics of interest. Companies that focus on multiple priority areas or on topics not listed are strongly encouraged to contact to ensure the technology is relevant and of priority to NCATS.
  • Submit on time: Applications can take up to three months to complete and submit. Reduce last-minute stress by planning ahead.

For more information, review the NIH SBIR Application Process Infographic and Top eRA Commons Errors.