sbir grant instructorScienceDocs is teaching an intensive, advanced SBIR grant course at the Oregon Bioscience Incubator Friday, April 12 2019 from 9am to 1pm.  Seating is Limited, so Apply ASAP :

All About the SBIR Grant Process: An Inside Perspective


Instructor: Jim O’Halloran, Ph.D. , ScienceDocs Writer

This SBIR Grant Course provides a comprehensive overview of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant process, with an emphasis on how to get funded.

  • Understanding the Omnibus Solicitation and Application Process
  • What the Solicitation does and does not cover
  • Strategic planning
  • Understanding the element of “Innovation”
  • Writing a competitive grant application
  • Opportunity to meet one-on-one with an SBIR expert

About the SBIR Grant Course Instructor

Dr. O’Halloran has more than 25 years of experience with the SBIR program and has received awards from the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Institute on Neurological Diseases and Stroke, serving as the principle investigator on grants totaling more than $10M.  He has also served as a Study Section reviewer for these same agencies for over a decade and is intimately familiar with the 5-axis proposal scoring processes and review process dynamics, upon which funding depends. His approval rate for both Phase I and II applications is among the highest in the history of the NIH SBIR program. He is accomplished in all facets of technology translation, taking projects through the complete cycle of concept-design-SBIR funding-implementation.

PDF Flier: 

SBIR Grant Course: All About the SBIR Grant Process: An Inside Perspective

SBIR Grant Course Prospective Syllabus:

Before Writing a Grant Application

  1. The most important factors in deciding to pursue federal funding
  2. The central “Value Proposition”
  3. Necessary resources and commitment
  4. SBIR vs. STTR (vs. Fast Track)

Writing a Competitive SBIR Grant Application

  1. Review of proposal main sections
  2. Difference between Phase I and Phase II applications
  3. Understanding who the target audience is
  4. Product development vs. scientific hypothesis testing
  5. Applicant and project team experience and qualifications (“key personnel”)
  6. The value of “Advisory Committees” to bolster team experience and credibility
  7. Qualifications and experience of Principal Investigator – how important
    1. What about “first-time applicants?”
  8. The value of independent critique/review before submitting

Understanding the Review Process

  1. Overview of the review process
  2. Referral and Assignment to a Study Section
  3. The “First Cut”
  4. What happens during a formal review session?
    1. What do reviewers look for?
  5. Understanding the “Impact” score
  6. What are “Scientific Merit” and “Scientific Rigor” and how do they affect scores?

How to Interpret Your Summary Statement and Score

  1. Summary Statement Overview
  2. What is a “payline” and a “fundable score?”
  3. What is a “ND” score?
  4. Understanding disparity of scores and dynamics of study section discussions “Score Clustering”

Writing a Revised Proposal

  1. Responding to a Low Score
  2. What if reviewers disagree with each
  3. Crafting an “Introduction to Revised Application”
    1. Responding gratefully (and gracefully) to feedback, addressing reviewer concerns


Definitions page: Acronyms, role-player definitions

Excerpts from Oral Presentation

Group interactive activity: 

  1. Discuss questions from the verbal presentation.
  2. Discussion of ancillary topic areas in the context of real world grant application issues.
  3. Discuss partitioning of Phase I and Phase II aims.
  4. Discuss “Criteria for Success” or “Expected Outcomes”
  5. Discuss the balance between “innovative-and-reasonable” versus confirmatory development.
  6. Discuss the balance between product-technology development and “science.”
  7. Discuss team building to broaden available expertise.
  8. Discuss the Impact score in depth.
  9. Discuss common pitfalls in strategic planning.
  10. Discuss fine points of responding to a review Summary Statement.

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