Updated Policy on SBIR/STTR Organization Eligibility in Cases of Legal Action that Changes Small Business Status
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 13, 2022

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This Notice updates the NIH policy on SBIR/STTR organizational eligibility in cases of legal action, such as merger, acquisition, or successor-in-interest, that changes the small business concern (SBC) organizational status so that the organization is no longer eligible for the SBIR/STTR program. This update aligns with the Code of Federal Regulations (13 CRF § 121.704(b)(1)).  


Previously, NIH allowed SBIR/STTR organizations that became ineligible for the SBIR/STTR program in the middle of a project period to continue existing awards throughout the remainder of the non-competing project period. NIH is updating its policy to align with the requirements outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations 13 CFR 121.704(b)(1), which requires small business concerns to re-certify organizational small business size status, and therefore SBIR/STTR eligibility, in line with NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 18.5.2 Eligibility.  


Effective with the issuance of this Guide Notice, if a legal action occurs, such as a merger, acquisition, or successor-in-interest, that changes the organizational status of a SBC so that they are no longer eligible for the SBIR/STTR programs, existing SBIR/STTR awardsto this organization cannot be awarded additional funds, including noncompeting continuation awards and supplements to award. Additionally, the organization would no longer be eligible for any new SBIR/STTR grants. Recipients must contact the NIH awarding office in advance of legal actions that may affect organizational eligibility in line with GPS Section Change in Recipient Organizational Status. Upon being contacted, NIH will negotiate bi-lateral terminations with recipients that are ineligible to continue to receive SBIR/STTR funding. The termination decisions related to this Notice are not considered enforcement actions and, therefore, will not be reported to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). This Notice will go into effect on the date of issuance and will not be applied retroactively.


Please direct all inquiries to:

NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Division of Grants Policy