Can ChatGPT write your SBIR/STTR proposal?

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The advent of AI in document preparation will likely greatly impact how SBIR/STTR grants are prepared and written. Platforms like ChatGPT have already been controversial if used for writing papers in all areas of academia and I’m often asked if use of such platforms is effective for preparing grant proposal text.

Even though it may appear using such platforms is ‘cheating’ or takes over part of my job, I encourage my clients to try it out. As a language model trained on a diverse set of texts, including scientific literature, ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for writing SBIR/STTR grant proposals.

One of the key advantages of using ChatGPT for writing SBIR grants is its ability to generate natural language responses to prompts and questions. This can be especially helpful for crafting clear and concise project descriptions, which are a critical component of successful grant proposals. Additionally, ChatGPT can be used to generate literature reviews and other supporting documents, which can save time and effort for researchers and entrepreneurs.

Another advantage of using ChatGPT for writing SBIR grants is its ability to provide suggestions and feedback on draft proposals. This can be especially helpful for identifying areas that need improvement and for refining key aspects of the proposal, such as the project’s objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes.

I’ve tried the platform a couple of times and am impressed with the results……to a point. While ChatGPT can be an effective tool for writing SBIR grants, it is important to note that it is not a substitute for human expertise and judgement. Successful grant proposals require a deep understanding of the project’s technical and commercial feasibility, as well as a strong grasp of the relevant literature and market trends. I find that the platform is often relatively generic, and most certainly will not have an understanding about your technology or the specific research and goals you need to do. As such, it is important to use ChatGPT as a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, human effort and insight. If you suffer from writer’s block or are looking for a good starting place, these AI platforms can most certainly help. But I’ve found that I have to go back and rewrite or add the technical details specific to the particular project I’m working on.

Partially written by ChatGPT, and edited by real humans.