Dear Colleague Letter: Request for SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposals Addressing COVID-19

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

March 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Innovation and Industrial Partnerships (IIP) of the Engineering Directorate invites US-based small businesses to submit Phase I proposals focused on the development and deployment of new technologies, products, processes, and services with the potential to positively impact the nation’s and world’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Areas of research that might be considered include, but are not limited to: artificial intelligence, digital health, diagnostics, distributed ledger, environmental technologies, medical devices, pharmaceutical technologies, disinfection and sterilization, and filtration and separations. Interested proposers are invited to submit to the NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I Program.

Proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I Program in response to this DCL will be reviewed according to the NSF and NSF SBIR/STTR merit review criteria as outlined in the solicitations (Intellectual Merit, Broader Impacts, and Commercial Impact). NSF is committed to expediting review, with the hope of awards within six weeks of proposal receipt.

There are four submission windows for Phase I proposals in 2020:
December 18, 2019 - March 5, 2020
March 6, 2020 - June 4, 2020
June 5, 2020 - September 3, 2020
September 4, 2020 - December 3, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

All active NSF SBIR/STTR awardees, and other interested US-based small businesses are eligible to submit a Phase I proposal. Please reference the NSF SBIR and STTR Phase I solicitations for more details regarding eligibility.



Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

December 3, 2020