Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Phase 1 SBIR Proposal Writing

The CTC Team attended the 2016 NIH SBIR/STTR Conference in Orlando this November.  We will be highlighting some of the interesting facts learned and sessions that we attended during the conference.  First up, Top 10 Do’s and Dont’s.  This was a FUN yet informative session given by Lisa Kurek, BBCetc.  She was full of energy, as always, and had anecdote after anecdote exemplifying the “duh” moments in SBIR proposal writing.  See below for her Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Phase I Proposal writing.

Notes from the 2016 NIH SBIR/STTR Conference. Session Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts, Presented by Lisa Kurek of BBCetc.

1. DON’T write a RO1.

    DO plan for and tell the whole story. Include a commercialization plan, amount of other funding you’ve received, information about product development and your research team. Tell the WHOLE STORY.

2. DON’T write a Phase 1 as a stand-alone.

    DO highlight Phase 1 in context of your project timeline. Your Phase 1 is a component of a larger project. Use your Phase 1 as your “Feasibility Test”.

3. DON’T be vague about what you hope to get out of your Phase 1.

    DO write milestone specific aims with clear success criteria. Make it clear to the reviewers that you will KNOW when you achieve your aims. Specific Aims = Objective, Tasks = Activities.

4. DON’T be uninformed about relevant literature/research going on in the field you study.

    DO analyze literature and market to demonstrate your knowledge of “state of art” and “state of market”.

5. DON’T write a science fair project.

    DO write a credible commercialization strategy in your Phase 1.

6. DON’T focus only on your PI.

    DO build a good team, include bio-sketches of the team with personal statements.

7. DON’T look like or BE a virtual company.

    DO have company controlled R&D facilities.

8. DON’T over-promise and under deliver on budget.

    DO stay within budget and a propose a plan that will make you likely to do so.

9. DON’T say “trust me”.

    DO validate, support all of your claims that you made in the proposal.

10. DON’T Ignore lessons learned.

      DO Follow every cliché you’ve heard.

BBCetc is an approved Service Provider for CTC.  For more information on BBCetc and their SBIR expertise, visit their website