Prepare Your Application
Ready to apply to an SBIR or STTR funding opportunity? Find guidance, resources for first-time applicants, and all the necessary forms in one convenient location.
Once you’ve identified an opportunity of interest, you can access the application forms and begin preparing your application using ASSIST - NIH’s online application preparation and submission system. eRA Commons credentials are required to use ASSIST.
ASSIST is our recommended submission system and is used by most HHS small business applicants (~75%). We also accept applications submitted using Grants.gov Workspace or a system-to-system solution (see Submission Options). Application forms are only accessible through an online submission system (i.e., no option to download the forms, prepare them offline and send them to NIH).
Prepare your application using the following guidance
- How to Apply – Application Guide page (including SBIR/STTR Instructions)
- Funding opportunity instructions
- Section IV. Application and Submission Information contains opportunity-specific guidance not contained in the application guide
- Funding opportunity instructions win over application guide instructions
- Related notices in the NIH Guide for Grants & Contracts
- Notice instructions win over instructions in both the application guide and funding opportunity
- The Agency Contact section of each funding opportunity includes support desk, scientific, grants management, and peer review contacts.
- Annotated Form Sets – explore system-enforced business rules (referred to as validations) and gain tips for avoiding common errors
- Write Application - get general advice and tips from NIH
- Planning & Writing - get advice from the Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
- Preparing Your Application Using ASSIST – ASSIST resources, including video tutorials, Quick Start Guides, presentations, online help, and more
- Dealing with System Issues – know what to do if problems with a federal system threaten your ability to submit on-time
- STTR Model Agreement for the Allocation of Rights - This agreement is required to receive support under the STTR program but is NOT submitted with the application. A copy of the Agreement must be furnished upon request of the NIH awarding component.
Applicant Assistance Programs
Are you a first-time applicant? Learn about the Applicant Assistance Program, a 10-week coaching and customized program designed to help first-time applicants. The program is free to participants.
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities has a free Health Disparities Pre Application (HDPreApp) Program that aims to improve an application's scientific merit and commercialization plan.