Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does the proposal need to be and what does it need to include?

The Project Description is limited to 5-10 single-spaced pages and must include the following components:

  • Clear description of the project activity including a section describing the connection of the research with the community college team;
  • Justification of the funds requested, with a supporting budget; and
  • Identification of key personnel who will lead the effort at the small business and at the community college.

Visit the following link for detailed instructions:

2. When does the proposal need to be submitted?

Proposals can be submitted at any time during the year but the SBIR/STTR Phase II funding end date cannot be less than 6 months away unless the business plans to obtain a no cost extension through NSF.

3. When will we learn if the proposal was approved?

The review process may take up to a couple of months. The NSF Program Officer plays an essential role in the evaluation and qualification of the proposal, and it is required for the Principal Investigator of the Phase II grant to contact their Program Officer prior to submitting the Phase II-CC supplement request.

4. How much funding is available?

Budgets for SBIR/STTR Phase II-CC supplemental funding request may not exceed $40,000. At least 75% of this supplemental funding is required to be budgeted as a sub-award to the community college. No more than 25% of this supplemental funding can be budgeted for the SBIR/STTR firm including the recovery of indirect costs (overhead). The hourly rate of salary/wage for each budgeted employee, the rate of fringe benefits, the rate of indirect costs and the rate of fee cannot exceed those in the final budget of the current Phase II award.

5. Do the students need to meet any requirements to participate?

The selection process is up to the college faculty but as long as the student is enrolled and has the skillset and commitment to complete the project, there are no other official requirements.

6. Do faculty need to meet any requirements to participate?

As long as the faculty members have the required background, expertise, institutional support and commitment to oversee the project, there are no other official requirements.

7. Does the business need to be close to the college?

Proximity is not a determining factor. Colleges and businesses can partner remotely as long as they are able to fulfill the goals of the project.

Project Experts

David R. Brown, Ph.D
Project Expert

Foundation Contacts

Joshua Modlin
Senior Specialist
T: 916.325.1852

Iris Aguilar
Director of Environmental Programs and Special Projects
T: 916.325.1858