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SBIR/STTR: Requirements to Submit Successfully


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are federal programs for small businesses to engage in research with the potential for commercialization of inventions and intellectual property created under the project. While the SBIR program encourages partnerships with other institutions, the STTR program requires a collaboration through a subaward with a non-profit research institution. 

University of Miami faculty frequently participate in these programs and it is not uncommon for the faculty member to be a co-founder or owner of the small business. Additionally, UM intellectual property may be involved in the project. For these reasons, these applications and awards require careful review prior to submission and award setup.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest exists when the UM faculty member has an interest in the small business and will also participate on the subaward to UM. While Disclosures and Scholarly Activities Management (DSAM) and the Conflict of Interest Committee will complete a full review at time of award, faculty should reach out to DSAM prior to proposal submission to proactively address any significant concerns.

Intellectual Property

The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) reviews all SBIR/STTR applications to proactively address any intellectual property concerns prior to proposal submission. Additionally, the small business must contact OTT prior to submitting the application if UM intellectual property (IP) will be involved in the project to discuss the availability of the IP and whether or not an option or license is needed.

Reminders and Best Practices

  • Applications must be routed to Research Administration a minimum of 5 business days prior to the deadline. This additional time is required as OTT reviews all applications prior to submission. Applications not submitted timely will not be submitted. The next NIH SBIR/STTR deadline is April 5th, so applications must be routed to Research Administration no later than Wednesday, March 29th.
  • If a faculty member will serve as the PI at the small business with an SBIR award, they must either take a sabbatical, reduce their appointment or resign from UM.
  • The PI at the small business and at UM (as PI of the subaward) cannot be the same person.
  • All financial interests must be disclosed and managed prior to the initiation of the project.
  • Intellectual concerns, terms and agreements must be resolved prior to initiation of the project.



Application Deadline Policy


Conflict of Interest, Conflict of Commitment, Foreign Influence, and Institutional Conflict of Interest Policy

Please join me on Thursday, March 16th at 12:00 p.m. to discuss this topic further, I would love to hear from you!

Register in advance for the Zoom session here. You may also submit your question(s) and/or comment(s) in advance of the session.  


Letter from Laura

Laura Kozma
Associate Vice President, Research Administration
Lunch with Laura Overview 

Lunch with Laura is a monthly newsletter and discussion session with me (Laura Kozma, Associate Vice President for Research Administration) on a specific topic. There will be new focus each month which will include hot topics in research administration, new and significant policies, and changes in the Office of Research Administration (ORA).


The newsletter will be distributed to the University of Miami (UM) communicated and will also be available online. Each newsletter will briefly discuss key points about the monthly focus including available resources.

Lunch with Laura

The discussion session (or Lunch with Laura) will be held shortly after the newsletter is sent out. All are welcome to come and discuss the monthly focus and ask questions. I look forward to having an opportunity to discuss your concerns and questions in depth. My goal is to make this an opportunity for you and one for me as well so I can better understand your struggles and challenges. You may submit your questions or comments in advance of the session.