Courtesy of SBIR Insider

First a disclaimer:  I like many of the people involved with the NSF SBIR/STTR programs, and I know they work hard and want to do a good job.  On the other hand, the agency itself has some rules of its own that seem to fly in the face of what the programs are supposed to, and how they are supposed to help.  Let’s investigate.

Oddity 1: Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1


NSF only allows a small business to submit 1 proposal per solicitation, even though their solicitations are moderately large and contain very open topics.  Don’t take my word for it, here is the actual verbiage from their current solicitation:


An organization may submit no more than ONE Phase I proposal to this SBIR/STTR cycle (where SBIR/STTR cycle is defined to include the SBIR Phase I solicitation and the STTR Phase I solicitation with a December 5, 2016 deadline). This eligibility constraint will be strictly enforced. In the event that an organization exceeds this limit, the first proposal received will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal, and the remainder will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.


On the other hand, NSF in their Q&A page at https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15125/nsf15125.jsp#q11 their guidance (as of 10-19-16) is:

  1. May a small business submit two different Phase I proposals during the same submission cycle?
  2. While a small business may submit two Phase I proposals to the same deadline, applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate NSF SBIR/STTR Program Director(s) before doing so. In general, it is preferred that proposing small businesses, especially those with limited resources, focus on submitting one strong proposal that best aligns with the commercial goals of their business and the NSF SBIR/STTR program goals.


Here’s where I will respectfully disagree (bordering on disrespectfully).  Why did NSF put a limit of TWO proposals per company (considered ridiculous by most of the SBIR community) THEN compound that with reducing it to ONE?  That’s unprecedented in SBIR/STTR, and congress is being told by some agencies that SBIR/STTR allocations should actually be reduced due to falling numbers of submissions!  Duh!!!!


Oddity 2:  Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1


NSF again is the only SBIR/STTR program that restricts a person functioning as a Principal Investigator (PI) to only ONE proposal per solicitation.  Let me know if you think I’m mistaken here, but this is an outrage!


For your consideration I present evidence in NSF’s own verbiage from their solicitation (see https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16599/nsf16599.htm ):  “No person may be listed as the principal investigator for more than one proposal submitted to this solicitation.


Now let’s look at what NSF considers task loading for the PI: “A PI must devote a minimum of one calendar month per six months of performance to an SBIR or STTR Phase I project.”  Even if we double that, it still leaves plenty of time for the PI to do other projects (such as other SBIR/STTRs), which happens frequently in other agency SBIR/STTR programs.  Is the small business being forced to keep the PI on overhead, because the PI must be primarily employed by the small business (meaning at least 51%)?


Oddity 3: In STTR the PI Must be Primarily Employed by the Small Business


In STTR, four out of the five agencies allow (but not require) the PI to be from the Research Institution (RI).  In fact, the RI must have a minimum of 40% to a maximum of 60% of the research effort, but unlike the other agencies, NSF does not allow the PI to be primarily employed by the RI, they must be primarily employed by the small business.


This seems to be without merit, and further restricts flexibility for the small business to partner with the RI.  SBA had to amend their STTR Policy Directive to accommodate this NSF oddity.


In light of these and other NSF oddities, I’ve heard multiple third party assistance organizations advise their clients to bypass the NSF SBIR/STTR programs for other SBIR opportunities.  This is a shame because the NSF has some excellent people and resources to run a fine program.


Submissions are due by Dec 6, 2016.

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Edward Weston Family Research Fellowship Center for Creative Photography

52725 16-Jan-2017 5,000.00
Sponsor Website http://www.creativephotography.org/study-research/fellowships-internships
Program URL http://www.creativephotography.org/study-research/fellowships-internships/edward-weston-family-research-fellowship
Deadline Dates (ALL) 16-Jan-2017
Synopsis The sponsor invites proposals for the Edward Weston Family Research Fellowship. The program provides funding to support research on the art, career, and influence of Edward Weston, his family, models, and friends.
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Uncertainty in American Politics Lead to Uncertainty in SBIR/STTR

Courtesy of SBIR Insider  October 2016 Update

I’m sure it is no surprise to you that with politics being at its lowest level in recent memory, the near future of government programs and budgets are in disarray.  Under our current Continuing Resolution (CR), our government is only funded through Dec 9, 2016, and it will be up to our returning Congressionals to address another CR (albeit short or long term) in this lame duck session of our 114th Congress.  I do fear the term “lame duck” will be an insult to our fine feathered friends.


The likelihood of an SBIR/STTR reauthorization in the 114th, is virtually non-existent.  In reality, after the election we will have only about 8 working months to try and pass SBIR reauthorization, and considering the last time we fought for reauthorization, it “only” took from Oct of 2008 to December of 2011.  Keep in mind, our community started to fight for the 2008 reauthorization back in 2006!


Although many incumbents are likely to get re-elected, there will be a significant number of new people elected (both House and Senate).  Staying away from party politics (i.e. who will control House & Senate), one thing is common to both parties, newbies are often put on committees of lesser standing, which include “Small Business” (in both House and Senate, and “Science, Space & Technology” in the House.  This is not so much the case for the Armed Services Committees, who will play a role in SBIR reauthorization.


Over the years the newbie factor has been a major reason why “educating” our new members of congress, (as well as refreshing incumbents) about the SBIR program, is so important!  You know the “University Elites” (UEs pronounced YOU-EEs) are, and will be spending tens of millions to get every nickel of grant funding available for themselves (and that includes funds that would be used for SBIR).  Note: this does not include all university people, there are many in the universities who see SBIR as being a useful tool in their programs, BUT the majority of the UEs in S&T see SBIR as taking their research money away.


Okay, I’m just going to come out and say this, and if I lose you, I’m sorry, feel free to unsubscribe, but the following is indisputable:  We always knew the opposition party (the one you’re not with) was dirty, but now you know your party is also dirty.  It’s immaterial who is dirtier, but what is germane is knowing how to “legally” work with the elected officials who can support your program.  To do that, you have to show “what’s in it for them.”  If SBIR creates jobs in their constituency, you give them credit and publicly thank them (not to mention a contribution to their fund raising efforts if appropriate).


Congressional education, or (L)education, as former Dept of Education’s SBIR PM Lee Eiden described it, should be done at local and national (DC) levels, and by individual as well as collective efforts.  Collective efforts are done by advocacy groups, the largest SBIR group is Small Business Technology Council (SBTC), but there are others as well, and we’ll discuss in the next issue (unless you fire me).

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Healthy Campus 2020 Award American College Health Foundatio

44492 n 03-Feb-2017 3,000.00
Sponsor Website http://www.acha.org
Program URL http://www.acha.org/ACHA/Foundation/Healthy_Campus_Award.aspx
Deadline Dates (ALL) 03-Feb-2017
Synopsis ACHF is offering two $3,000 award opportunities for ACHA members. The purpose of the award is to support a campus initiative that fosters positive Healthy Campus 2020 outcomes for the campus community. Priority consideration will be given to proposals that result in sustained mobilization and engagement of campus partners to achieve the goals of Healthy Campus 2020.
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Gerd Muehsam Award Art Libraries Society of North America

15590 15-Nov-2016 500.00
Sponsor Website http://www.arlisna.org/
Program URL http://www.arlisna.org/about/awards-honors/69-gerd-muehsam-award
Deadline Dates (ALL) 15-Nov-2016
Synopsis The Gerd Muehsam Award is given annually to recognize excellence in a graduate student paper or project on a topic relevant to art librarianship.
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Library Research Grants Princeton University Library

11416 15-Jan-2017 4,000.00
Sponsor Website http://rbsc.princeton.edu
Program URL http://rbsc.princeton.edu/friends-princeton-university-library-research-grants
Deadline Dates (ALL) 15-Jan-2017
Synopsis Each year, the Friends of the Princeton University Library offer short-term Library Research Grants to promote scholarly use of the research collections. The Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Fund also supports a limited number of library fellowships in Hellenic studies, and the Cotsen Children’s Library supports research in its collection on aspects of children’s books. The Maxwell Fund supports research on materials dealing with Portuguese-speaking cultures. In addition, awards will be made from the Sid Lapidus ’59 Research Fund for Studies of the Age of Revolution and the Enlightenment in the Atlantic World. This award covers work using materials pertinent to this topic donated by Mr. Lapidus as well as other also relevant materials in the collections.
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Women Techmakers Scholars Program–North America


— Sponsor:                                        Google Inc.

— Sponsor Number:

— Deadline Date:                             01-Dec-2016

— Funding Amount:                        0.00


** Contact Email :                          wtmscholars@google.com

** Sponsor Website :                     https://www.womentechmakers.com/scholars

** Deadline Dates (ALL) :                             01-Dec-2016

** Synopsis :                     <p>Through the Women Techmakers Scholars Program – formerly the Google

Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program – Google is furthering Dr. Anita

Borg&rsquo;s vision of creating gender equality in the field of computer

science by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology and

become active leaders and role models in the field.</p>

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