You may already have a title for your SBIR/STTR project, but I’d like to suggest that you take another look at what you have, and make sure that it really tells the full story of your project. The title of your project is important and when your project is funded you will be living with it forever!

Your project title should describe the whole SBIR/STTR project all the way through Phases I, II and III, not just your Phase I, so it should not just describe the proof-of-concept stage of the project. Since the goal of an SBIR or STTR is always to develop a product that solves a problem, a good title will include both of those pieces of information: both the product (the innovation) and the problem it will solve (the significance).

Your title should be clear and concise, using language that is easy to understand for both experts and non-experts in your field. In other words, avoid technical jargon. While it’s important to use scientific language, avoid anything that may be confusing to those outside your field. Also your title should be unique. Make sure it differs from any other applications or awards – you can search other projects in your area on NIH’s REPORTER database.

Your project title (and Abstract) will also be used by the Center for Scientific Review to assign your application to the most appropriate Study Section for review and NIH Institute for funding. Make sure it has the best keywords to make this process more accurate.

Some other rules to remember:

  • An SBIR/STTR Phase II application should have the same title as the previously awarded Phase I grant.
  • A resubmission should keep the same title as the previous submission.
  • Whereas in the ‘old days’ you could only have project names up to 80 characters, you can now use up to 200. Use them wisely.