Which CSR Study Section Should I Request to Review My NIH SBIR/STTR Proposal?
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is the portal for NIH grant applications and their initial review for scientific merit. CSR organizes the peer review groups that evaluate the majority of these applications. Recurring Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs) review SBIR/STTR applications, and the reviewers generally make a three-year commitment to be available for a Study Section. Accordingly, a panel in one cycle generally contains quite a few members from the previous cycle. A listing of the Study Sections for the previous three SBIR review cycles is available on CSR’s website.
So how do you determine which Study Section is the best for you? Get started by looking at the Study Section(s) roster and finding the one that seems most appropriate for your technology. Although the make-up of your panel will not be identical, there will be some overlap.
Fraud, Waste and Abuse – Small Problem, Big Consequences
Over the past few years, there has been heightened attention on the topic of Fraud, Waste and Abuse in the SBIR and STTR programs. We last wrote about it in 2012 and thought a review might be helpful. Although the incidence of this type of activity is low – estimated to occur in less than 0.1% of SBIR awards – agencies are nonetheless required to have a strong focus in the area and provide the means for reporting such activity through telephone hotlines and web-based methods.
What constitutes waste, fraud and abuse? The Dept. of Energy’s website has a concise description of the typical types of fraud in the SBIR/STTR program, both during the application process within the proposal itself and following award. Here are some of the key points:
Fraud during the application process:
Fraud during the award:
Here are some ways to avoid potential issues related to fraud:
Per the SBA policy directive: failure to comply with federal cost principles governing an award is considered Waste, Fraud and Abuse.
Best advice: Do as your mother told you, read and follow instructions and always tell the truth.
The Department of the Navy Forum for SBIR/STTR Transition (FST) is set for April 3-5 in National Harbor, MD. This year’s theme is DELIVERING INNOVATION! The FST is once again collocated with the Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Gaylord Convention Center. Information and registration