Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Dear Colleague Letter

Supplemental Opportunity for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Community College Research Teams (Phase II-CC)

Invites supplemental funding requests from active SBIR/STTR Phase II awardees to support research partnerships with faculty and students at community colleges.

Date: May 14, 2012

To: NSF Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Grantees
From: Grace Wang,
Division Director Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)

Katherine Jean Denniston, Acting Division Director
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), in collaboration with the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) invite all active SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees to participate in a supplemental funding opportunity. The supplements for research teams are intended to foster partnerships between Community Colleges (CCs), which educate large numbers of underrepresented students, and the small business community. NSF is seeking to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in both academic and small business research by encouraging careers in science and engineering.

Through this supplemental program, small businesses will gain access to faculty and students capable of contributing to the scientific research conducted by the small business, while faculty and students will gain experience by working on research projects that lead to commercial products and processes. It is anticipated that this research collaboration will lead to continued partnership between the academic institutions and small business firms, which represent the largest employer of scientists and engineers.


The Small Business Community College Research Teams Supplement (henceforth referred to as SBIR/STTR Phase II-CC) will award research supplements to existing SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees that are able to host a research team from a Community College. This supplement opportunity is intended to further SBIR/STTR Phase II research and facilitate progress toward their grant goals while providing a substantial scientific research experience for the community college research team.

Community Colleges (CC): Are non-profit post-secondary institutions which offer associate degrees.
Community College Research Teams: Must consist of at least one community college faculty member and at least one community college student. (Teams with additional students or faculty are highly encouraged if supported within the standard award amount.)

Faculty at community colleges interested in identifying SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees should consult the NSF interactive award search system ( In the text box labeled Search Award for enter "SBIR Phase II" or "STTR Phase II" and check the box for Active Awards Only.


Organization Limit: Only companies with an active NSF SBIR/STTR Phase II award are eligible to submit requests for supplemental funding under this initiative. SBIR/STTR Phase II awards under a No-Cost Extension are not eligible for this supplement.

PI Eligibility Limit: The Principal Investigator must be the PI of an active SBIR/STTR Phase II award.

Limit on Number of Requests for Supplemental Funding: One per active Phase II award per year.

Communication with the Program Director: Prior to submission of a supplemental funding request; the Phase II grantee must communicate with their program director.


  • Awards will be made as supplements to active SBIR/STTR Phase II awards;
  • The maximum supplemental award amount is $40,000;
  • A minimum of 75% of the supplement is required to be used as a sub-award to the community college;
  • A maximum of 25% of the supplement is available to the SBIR/STTR firm (including overhead);
  • Thirty (30) awards are anticipated per year;
  • Awards are subject to the availability of funds; and
  • This supplemental opportunity will not extend the current Phase II award.


  • There are no deadlines for the submission of a Phase II-CC supplemental request, but it is recommended that it be submitted as early in the fiscal year as possible to ensure the availability of funds.


Supplemental Request Preparation Instructions: Requests must be submitted according to the instructions for submitting supplemental funding requests:

The Project Description is limited to 5-10 pages; single spaced, and must include the following components:

  1. Clear description of the project activity including a section describing the connection of the research with the community college team;
  2. Justification of the funds requested, with a supporting budget; and
  3. Identification of key personnel who will lead the effort at the small business and at the community college.

Budgetary Information: Budgets for SBIR/STTR Phase II-CC supplemental funding request may not exceed $40,000. At least 75% of this supplemental funding is required to be budgeted as a sub-award to the community college. No more than 25% of this supplemental finding can be budgeted for the SBIR/STTR firm including overhead. The hourly rate of salary/wage for each budgeted employee, the rate of fringe benefits, the rate of indirect costs and the rate of fee cannot exceed those in the final budget of the current Phase II award.


Requests for supplemental funding submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter will be jointly reviewed by National Science Foundation program officers in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, Directorate for Engineering and the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

The supplemental funding request will be reviewed for:

  • the technical objectives and how they fit with the technical objectives of the Phase II award;
  • how this supplemental effort will help the commercialization of the product identified in the Phase II award; and
  • how the proposed research takes advantage of the capabilities of the community colleges


Questions about this letter should be directed to the cognizant SBIR/STTR program officer in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, Directorate for Engineering, or Dr.Gerhard L. Salinger,; (703)292-5116, Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL).

The list of IIP SBIR/STTR Program Officers can be found on the NSF website at


All active SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees are invited to participate in other supplement opportunities available at

Grace Wang, Division Director
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)

Katherine Jean Denniston, Acting Division Director
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)