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Small Business Transition Grant

Notice Number: RFA-CA-24-023

Letter of Intent Due Date: Sunday, July 21, 2024

Application Deadline Date: Thursday, August 22, 2024

Q&A Webinar: Thursday, June 20, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. ET [Register Here]

View a recording of the informational webinar.


The Small Business Transition Grant aims to support early-career academic scientists interested in transitioning to entrepreneurship while also supporting the transfer of technology from academic laboratories into small businesses.

The scope of application must pertain to NCI’s mission and propose the development of a technology that fits into at least one of the following categories:

  • Therapeutics and preventive agents
  • Imaging technologies, interventional devices, and in vivo diagnostics
  • In vitro and ex vivo diagnostics and prognostics


The NCI SBIR transition grant proposes a new and unique Fast Track-only award structure made up of a Phase I STTR that transitions to a Phase II SBIR. Awards made under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) will begin as a Phase I STTR to allow the candidate to complete proof of concept studies at the academic site and prepare the technology to move into the small business. After completion of the STTR Phase I activities, the transition to a Phase II SBIR award will occur only after meeting stringent criteria, including a demonstration of ongoing mentoring as well as having achieved technical milestones, including completion of the NIH I-Corps program. Note that small pivots in the project plan are allowed under Phase II SBIR funding. See Section V of the solicitation for more information. As of this year’s Notice (RFA-CA-24-023), the Small Business Transition Grant has also expanded to include a Phase I STTR-only option.


Mentoring Requirement

A key component of the small business transition grant is mentoring. Mentoring is not traditionally a factor in SBIR/STTR funding decisions; however, for this grant, mentoring is critical to facilitate the transition from junior academic scientist to entrepreneur. Therefore, the mentoring team who supports the candidate will be a critical factor in peer review. The ideal candidate for this small business transition grant is a postdoctoral researcher who participated in technology discovery during their academic work and is now ready to move to a small business with the help of some key mentors and advisors.

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