Looking For Good NIH Funding News? Check Out FY12 SBIR/STTR Funding Levels

With all the despondency over the NIH budget situation, I feel the need to broadcast some good news. Last year I blogged on the plummeting funding levels for SBIR and STTR grant applications. I am happy to report that FY12 numbers are out and they may be a lone bright spot on an otherwise bleak NIH funding landscape. What do you think? Good news or too little, too late? Does it make you want to run out and write a Phase II SBIR?:


YEAR Phase I Phase II Fast Track
2008 27.1% 47.7% 31.4%
2009 21.9% 40.5% 23.1%
2010 13.7% 33.5% 15.6%
2011 11.5% 29.8% 10.3%
2012 15.6% 39.9% 15.9%
YEAR Total # SBIR/STTR Applications Reviewed Total # SBIR/STTRApplications Awarded Total Funding SBIR/STTR
2008 4356 1242 $341,059,957
2009 4529 1108 $339,594,601
2010 6338 1079 $334,370,963
2011 6415 902 $311,127,665
2012 5847 1095 $366,812,604

0 thoughts on “Looking For Good NIH Funding News? Check Out FY12 SBIR/STTR Funding Levels

  • following the rejection of our SBIR resubmission, again without discussion, we have reread the writing on the wall and are already getting nibbles from Asian researchers. We have not control over Washington, but we do control where we invest our energy

    • It is certainly not the first time I have heard an applicant say such a thing. For my clients who do plug away at multiple attempts at SBIR/STTRs, they do so because they feel that landing one is prestigious and would help them attract more venture capital. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to build a relationship with NIH (usually more than two attempts on a grant application.) Grantwriting is iterative, with each set of pink sheets you get better at approximating how the agency and study sections view your work and how you might better mold your ideas to fit their funding priorities. Even those who go on to have great funding success general fail at their initial attempts. And the reward to a company of landing an SBIR or STTR goes beyond the actual monies awarded through the grant. That said, many companies decide that the huge effort is not worth it, and that is a legitimate and understandable decision. I myself have turned down most SBIR and STTR applications in the past few years. I only just accepted a Phase II SBIR project a few weeks ago, given the attractive funding lines on that mechanism.

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