New Program Certifications Required for SBIR and STTR Awards

Notice Number: NOT-OD-13-116

Key Dates
Release Date: September 17, 2013

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The purpose of this Guide Notice is to announce that NIH is implementing certain SBIR/STTR program-specific certifications based on the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) SBIR and STTR Policy Directives. The Policy Directives revised the certifications required prior to award and added a requirement that small businesses certify they are meeting the program's requirements during the life cycle of the funding agreement. NIH will replace the pre-award small business concern “Verification Statement” form with a revised “Funding Agreement Certification” and will introduce a post-award “Life Cycle Certification” form consistent with the SBIR and STTR Policy Directives.


Revised Certification: Effective October 1, 2013, NIH will require completion of a SBIR Funding Agreement Certification by all SBIR applicants for new or renewal grants prior to award of a new award (grant or contract) or a competing renewal award (grant or contract). Likewise, a STTR Funding Agreement Certification will be required of applicants for all new and competing renewal STTR grants. Submission of these Funding Agreement Certifications for grants will be implemented using NIH’s Just-in-Time pre-award procedures for SBIR/STTR grants. The SBIR and STTR Funding Agreement Certifications are revised and re-named versions of the Verification Statements formerly used at the pre-award stage. They are being implemented to mirror the content and format contained in the current SBIR and STTR Policy Directives. These certifications are necessary to assure that the applicant meets the SBA size criteria, and that the organization will comply with other program-specific requirements such as all work must be conducted in the United States and that a minimum amount of work be performed by its own employees within its own facilities, before NIH to can issue an award.

As done previously, if the funding agreement officer (for grants this is the Grants Management Officer) believes that the business may not meet certain eligibility requirements at the time of award, they may request a size determination from the SBA, who will determine eligibility. At that time, SBA will request further clarification and supporting documentation from the applicant small business concern in order to assist in the verification of any of the information provided as part of the determination request.

New Certification: Effective October 1, 2013, NIH also will require that all recipients of new or continuing SBIR and STTR awards complete a “Life Cycle Certification” once certain milestones are reached during the project period. Grant awardees are not required to submit this certification directly to NIH, but must instead complete a certification and maintain it on file in accordance with the records retention policy in Section 8.4.2 of the NIH Grants Policy Statement. A certification is required at the following times:

  • For SBIR and STTR Phase II Awardees: prior to receiving more than 50% of the total award amount and prior to final payment or disbursement from the Payment Management System (PMS).
  • For SBIR and STTR Phase I Awardees: At the time of receiving final payment or disbursement from the Payment Management System

In addition, SBIR and STTR awardees indicate compliance with these certification requirements by drawing or requesting funds from PMS. The “Life Cycle Certification” is intended to ensure the ongoing compliance of the awardee with the assurances it provided in the Funding Agreement Certification prior to award.

If the Grants Management Officer believes, after award, that the business is not meeting certain funding agreement requirements, the agency may request further clarification and supporting documentation in order to assist in the verification of any of the information provided.

The Funding Agreement Certification and Life Cycle Certification forms are now available for SBIR and STTR applicants and awardees in fillable format at: Applicants and awardees are encouraged to carefully review each form prior to apply for or accepting an award.


Please direct all inquiries to:

NIH SBIR/STTR Program Office
Telephone: 301-435-2688
Fax: 301-480-0146