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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contracts

While most awards are in the form of grants, roughly 5-10% of NIH and CDC SBIR awards are made through contract procurement. There are three key things to remember when applying to a contract solicitation: 
  • The NIH STTR program does not utilize the contract mechanism  
  • Contract proposals must respond to a specific topic 
  • Only select Institutes and Centers participate in the contract mechanism  

How do I apply  

NIH SBIR contract funding opportunities are offered once a year and reflect specific need areas (referred to as Contract Topics). These topics are identified by NIH Institute or Center (IC) staff. To submit a contract proposal, your small business must respond to one of these topics.  

The contract application process differs from the grants process because: 

  • A proposal in response to the Contract Topic requires its own separate proposal to the IC that created it; Grants Announcement allow for a response to multiple IC-identified priorities (or even one not specifically named) in one application 
  • Contract proposals must be submitted through the electronic Contract Proposal Submission (eCPS), a component of NIH’s integrated, secure system for the electronic submission, capture, tracking and review of contract proposals.  
    *Note: Grant applications are submitted through the applicant’s account on the eraCommons portal. 

As in the case of grants, contracts allow for a Phase I or a Fast Track proposal (if a topic allows it). When Fast Track proposals are accepted, a Phase I proposal and a Phase II proposal may be submitted simultaneously.  

View past solicitation

Closing Date: October 28, 2021 at 5:00pm ET
Active Contract Topics Submission Portal Forms & Guidance Amendment
PHS-2022-1 Electronic Contract Proposal Submission Additional Required Forms Amendment 1- PHS-2022-1