National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR/STTR
“From the Sources’ Mouth” with NSF
Don’t miss your chance to hear directly from National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Program Director and Policy Liaison, Ben Schrag. Known as America’s Seed Fund, NSF has helped startups and small businesses transform their ideas into marketable products and services....
Visit our live training calendar for NSF-specific training events. We also offer a library of pre-recorded webinars specific to the National Science Foundation’s SBIR/STTR programs which you can access at any time.
- 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.