Yesterday a fellow medical writer queried our listserv asking for advice about whether to take on her first SBIR grant application. Many other medical writers encouraged her to take the project, citing their success with this funding mechanism in recent years. I was the lone voice of dissent. I am loathe to work with clients on this funding mechanism due to its poor funding rate at the moment. According to the NIH Reporter website, funding rates over the past four years have dropped precipitously:
|YEAR||Phase I||Phase II||Fast Track|
It is widely believed that the 2012 numbers have continued to plummet, with funding lines for the Phase I and Fast Track SBIRs dipping into the singe digits for the first time. One can see that over the past four years, the number of applicants to the combined SBIR/STTR program has increased sharply, while the total funding and the number of awards has gone down:
|YEAR||Total # SBIR/STTR Applications Reviewed||Total # SBIR/STTRApplications Awarded||Total Funding SBIR/STTR|
One must exercise caution when investing a large amount of time and energy into applying for this funding mechanism.