MARCH 2016top
Which CSR Study Section Should I Request to Review My NIH SBIR/STTR Proposal?
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is the portal for NIH grant applications and their initial review for scientific merit. CSR organizes the peer review groups that evaluate the majority of these applications.  Recurring Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs) review SBIR/STTR applications, and the reviewers generally make a three-year commitment to be available for a Study Section. Accordingly, a panel in one cycle generally contains quite a few members from the previous cycle. A listing of the Study Sections for the previous three SBIR review cycles is available on CSR's website

So how do you determine which Study Section is the best for you?   Get started by looking at the Study Section(s) roster and finding the one that seems most appropriate for your technology. Although the make-up of your panel will not be identical, there will be some overlap.

You will want to research the backgrounds and publications of the previous members and their affiliate organizations to provide some perspective on their expertise and how they might view your proposal. Read on 

Fraud, Waste and Abuse - Small Problem, Big Consequences
Over the past few years, there has been heightened attention on the topic of Fraud, Waste and Abuse in the SBIR and STTR programs. We last wrote about it in 2012 and thought a review might be helpful. Although the incidence of this type of activity is low - estimated to occur in less than 0.1% of SBIR awards - agencies are nonetheless required to have a strong focus in the area and provide the means for reporting such activity through telephone hotlines and web-based methods.

What constitutes waste, fraud and abuse? The Dept. of Energy's website has a concise description of the typical types of fraud in the SBIR/STTR program, both during the application process within the proposal itself and following award. Here are some of the key points:

Fraud during the application process:
  • Submitting a plagiarized proposal
  • Providing false information regarding the company, the Principal Investigator or the work to be performed
  • Seeking funding for work that has already been completed
Fraud during the award:
  • Using award funds for any use other than the proposed activities
  • Submitting plagiarized reports or reports falsely claiming work has been completed
  • Claiming results for an award that were funded by a different source
Here are some ways to avoid potential issues related to fraud:
  • Disclose duplicate/overlapping proposals.
  • If submitting multiple proposals, clearly state what is different. 
  • Makes sure you understand, meet and remain compliant with the SBIR eligibility requirements for small businesses 
  • Follow the project budget as awarded. Notify the agency, and request approval where appropriate, if changes are needed.
Per the SBA policy directive: failure to comply with federal cost principles governing an award is considered Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
  • "But for the certifications you would not have gotten the award" (translation: be sure you understand and comply with all of the rules!)
Best advice: Do as your mother told you, read and follow instructions and always tell the truth.

who we are
BBCetc is nationally recognized for its expertise in helping technology-based entrepreneurs win federal funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and use it strategically to propel growth.  BBCetc capabilities include:
  • Commercialization planning
  • Research grant assistance
  • SBIR/STTR training and proposal development assistance
  • Grants/contracts management
  • Tech-based economic development programs
Contact us:  / 734.930.9741

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  training on tap
Apr 4 - Troy, MI
Jun 27 - New York, NY

Proposal Prep for DoD
Apr 5 - Livonia, MI

RO1 vs SBIR: Not All Grants are Created Equal
Apr 6 - Kalamazoo, MI

How to Manage Your SBIR/STTR Grant or Contract
May 1 - Ann Arbor, MI

Proposal Prep for NIH
May 23-24 - St. Louis, MO
Jun 28-29 - New York, NY

SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Workshop
June 14-15 - Chicago, IL

May 4 - How to Prepare a Budget for Your SBIR/STTR Proposal
May 11 - What You Should Know About Gov't Audits
May 18 - QuickBooks and Compliance for SBIR/STTR Recipients

HHS/NIH 2016 Omnibus
Released June 5, 2016
Expires April 5

Dept. of Commerce- Natl Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) 
Closes March 30

Dept. of Defense
Pre-releases April 5; opens May 9; closes June 7

  nat'l. conference
The National SBIR/STTR Conference is set for May 15-17 at the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, D.C. The conference offers excellent opportunities to learn how to participate and compete for funding in these two programs and to interact with program managers and staff, industry leaders and SBIR/STTR awardees.

BBCetc's, Becky Aistrup, will present a workshop on "Phase II Proposal Prep" on the 15th and moderate a panel discussion called "Submitting to a Granting Agency-From Finding the Right Topic to Winning a Phase II" on the 16th. Be sure to check it out!

  navy forum  
The Department of the Navy Forum for SBIR/STTR Transition (FST) is set for April 3-5 in National Harbor, MD. This year's theme is DELIVERING INNOVATION! The FST is once again collocated with the Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Gaylord Convention Center. Information and registration