National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR
For companies seeking to apply to the NSF SBIR/STTR program, the upcoming November 1 window is the last opportunity in 2023 to submit a proposal. Typically NSF opens a new submission window the day after a window closes. For example, the previous submission window in...
- NSF is a “granting” agency
- Investigator-initiated projects
- Peer reviewers evaluate proposals
- Both SBIR and STTR programs
- Fund ~400 companies/year
- Rolling submission with three submission windows
- Phase I: 6-12 months $275,000 Phase II: 24 months $1,000,000
- Typical success rates: Phase I: ~10-15% Phase II: ~40-50%
- All proposals are now submitted through the Research.gov portal. Fastlane is no longer supported.
Step 1: Project Pitch
NSF requires that you submit a Project Pitch. You may submit your Project Pitch at any time, and you will hear back within one month. If your Pitch is accepted, then you will receive an official invitation from the Program Director to submit a full proposal. Only one Project Pitch or Full Proposal is allowed in the NSF pipeline at a time.
Step 2: Full Proposal
You must submit your Full Proposal within one year of your official Project Pitch acceptance. Proposals are then reviewed three times per year at the close of each submission window: March 1, July 5, and November 1. Only one Project Pitch or Full Proposal is allowed in the NSF pipeline at a time.
Step 3: Proposal Review & Decision
Proposals are reviewed by a panel for intellectual and technical merit, broader impacts, and commercial impact. You will be notified 5-7 months after your respective submission window closes whether your proposal is accepted or declined. You must wait for a determination from NSF on the pending proposal before submitting a new proposal in the next window.