“Strategies for Winning NIH SBIR Grants”
A Workshop Presented by Tom Hollon, PhD
The better you understand what NIH wants, the greater your chances to win
This workshop is designed for technology incubators and conferences interested in helping biotech companies win NIH SBIR grants. It will help attendees understand what NIH wants in SBIR grant applications. Understanding what NIH wants is where NIH SBIR grantsmanship begins.
With this knowledge, it’s far easier to emphasize what a research project offers that NIH wants to fund and remove causes for reviewers to doubt its success.You’ll have a tremendous advantage in the fight for funding.
Who should take this workshop?
This workshop will help biotech companies new to NIH SBIR grants, those reapplying for a grant after being rejected, and those interested in increasing their chances to win multiple NIH SBIR grants.
Why this workshop can help you
The workshop is designed to help biotech companies improve how they present their research plans to grant reviewers. It deals with practical problems every researcher faces in deciding to apply for a NIH SBIR grant:
- Are these grants right for you?
- Deciding how much money to ask for
- What to do before starting to write
- Is disclosing proprietary information necessary?
- What to know about SBIR grant review that can improve your chance to win
- What counts in making each part of a research plan persuasive
- What competitive advantages are available to companies with limited resources
As a result of the workshop, attendees will have a better chance to write research plans free of common errors that prevent SBIR grant applications from being funded. In particular, attendees will better understand how to:
- show early and convincingly why a SBIR research project is important and novel in context with developing a commercial product aligned with NIH’s healthcare mission
- show that forseeable risks that could cause failure have been reduced to a minimum
Workshop Outline: Strategies for Winning NIH SBIR Grants
1. Intro—Are NIH SBIR Grants Right for You?
- How SBIR grants are different from pure research grants
- Why winning a SBIR grant is harder than it used to be
- You need a great idea that’s aligned with NIH’s mission
- Your project must present the kind of risk NIH will accept
2. How Much do NIH SBIR Grants Really Pay?
- Answer: More than you think. A lot more.
- Examples of companies winning multiple SBIR grants
- How to decide how much money to ask for
3. Preparing Your NIH SBIR Phase I Grant Application—What to do first
- Decide on Phase I and II as a single project
- Decide on doable Phase I success criteria
- Talk to your institute’s SBIR Program Officer
- Find your Study Section
- Register at eRA Commons and Grants.gov
- Download the SF424 SBIR grant application form
4. NIH’s SBIR Grant Review Process
- How reviewers score NIH SBIR grants for technical merit
- Technical merit isn’t the only thing that counts
5. Parts of a Phase I NIH SBIR Research Plan—The Moon Rocket Model
First Stage Liftoff: Getting Reviewers Excited
- Specific Aims
Second Stage Booster: Convincing Reviewers Success is Likely
- Three kinds of Figures and Tables
- How to write about Preliminary Data
- Writing the Approach Section
- How NIH’s page limit reduction in 2010 has changed writing this section
- How to write about proprietary information
- Avoid the Justification Problem
- Anticipate what can go wrong
- Measures of success
Third Stage into Orbit: Sealing the Deal
- Human Subjects Protections
- Letters of Support
Payload and Payoff—A Winning Score for Overall Impact
6. How to Avoid Problems Submitting Your Application
7. Writing Your Phase II Research Plan
- Progress Report from Phase I
- Commercialization Plan
8. Grant Repair—What to Do if Your Grant is Rejected
- Summary Statement Analysis
- Writing the Introduction to a revised application
9. Competitive Advantages in the Struggle for Money
- Avoid the First Rule of Grantsmanshipwreck
- Decide wisely how much money to ask for
- Do a presubmission review
- Use successful SBIR grant applications as models
- Concise English can give you more room to tell your story
- How to write to get to the point
- Using the NIH Reporter database and FOIA
- Letters of Support that make a difference
- Using a grant consultant
10. Wrap Up—Using What You’ve Learned
About the instructor
Tom Hollon, PhD, has been helping scientists and tech companies who need grants and contracts since 2003 and has helped clients win nearly $17 million. He has served as a federal grant reviewer and his experience includes grant and RFP contract propopsals for NIH, NSF, CDC, NIST, and other agencies. He knows firsthand what it is to depend entirely on grants for money, having supported a family on four postdoc fellowships while at the Pasteur Institute. Following a second fellowship at NIH, he became editor of Modern Drug Discovery magazine for the American Chemical Society, an experience that eventually led to grant consulting. His first attempt at grantwriting for a client won $2 million.
What makes this workshop unique
This workshop focuses less on basic background information about SBIR grants and more on advanced SBIR grantsmanship to help companies win.
Most companies already know if they’re qualified to compete for NIH SBIR grants and know the difference between Phase I and Phase II.
Far fewer know how to make it easier for reviewers to understand what makes a proposal special and remove things that give reviewers doubts. This is the workshop’s focus, because this is where it can make the greatest difference in helping people win.
Price and Guarantee
Guarantee: If you aren’t convinced this workshop can help you win a NIH SBIR grant, then you can get your money back just for asking — plus I’ll write you a $100 check for wasting your time.
What clients say
“Thank you for your edits to highlight and emphasize the strengths of my grant proposal. I found many of your edits to be thoughtful and constructive, and have incorporated them into my grant.” — Tiffany Horng, Harvard University
“Without your expertise in contract proposal and medical writing, we would not have produced a proposal that we were proud to send to the NIH.” — Michael McKeehen, Pharm-Olam International
As a grant writer “Mr. Hollon showed a particular ability … to present a clear, logical and coherent case. It is without reservation that we provide a recommendation for Mr. Hollon. We are looking forward to using his services again.” — Nora B. Doherty, BioCrossroads