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Start Now to Be “Just in Time”

July 15th, 2015 | by Kris Bergman

There is always a flurry of questions from our clients who submit SBIR/STTR proposals and then receive “Just-in-Time” (JIT) requests. Just-in-time refers to information an agency asksjust in time 2 you to send after your application goes through the initial review process and is being considered for possible funding. This procedure reduces the time to award while ensuring the accuracy and timeliness of information needed to award.

While it is a “hopeful” sign to receive a JIT notification, it is definitely not a guarantee of award. Just as a VC or angel investor does due diligence when considering investing in a company, JIT is a continuation of the federal government’s due diligence prior to making a grant or contract “award” decision.

“Just-in-Time” is actually an umbrella term for information requested post-submission. Agencies refer to JIT with various terms, but it generally refers to the same thing. Here are some common JIT requests:

  1. SBIR/STTR Verification – This certifies the Principal Investigator’s (PI) primary employment, company ownership and research space, and that all work will performed in the US.
  2. Current & Pending Support – For this, all named key persons provide details of their supported R&D to include level of effort.
  3. Human Subjects – IRB (Institutional Review Boards) approval for the use of human subject and assurance of education for staff members working with human subjects
  4. Animal studies – Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversight approval
  5. Financial System Review -This certifies that the company’s accounting system meets the established requirements for receiving federal dollars.

Additional requests might be for:

  • Indirect Costs or F&A (Finance & Administrative) rate analysis
  • Policies & Procedures
  • Revised budget

Our tips:

  • When a request is received, respond as quickly as reasonable. An agency will not award funds until their requests for information have been satisfied. If you are not responding someone else might be and a potential award can be lost.
  • Communicate with the requesting office to confirm receipt of the request, ask for any clarification if necessary and estimate your anticipated response date. Communicate with your key persons and sub-awardees on the need for an updated current and pending support document, or updated biosketches.
  • Educate yourself on the IRB procedures, when it meets, how to initiate the process and how to develop a protocol.


Kris Bergman is BBCetc’s Grants and Contracts Management Consultant

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Be sure to have a vision for your project

June 18th, 2015 | by Michael Kurek

Over the next few months, many of our readers will be considering and/or busily preparing SBIR/STTR proposals for various agency solicitations that are or will be opening. In preparation for its upcoming SBIR solicitation, the USDA presented a webinar on program basics that included some good advice for those pursuing Phase I SBIR/STTR grants across all the

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If You Build it, will They REALLY Come?

May 29th, 2015 | by Michael Kurek

The review criteria for successful SBIR/STTR proposals typically emphasize an innovative technology solving a significant problem in the market. What this means is that, to be successful, companies must present: A sound technical approach, in tandem with, A credible commercialization strategy Too often, entrepreneurs and scientists involved with early-stage companies focus their proposal development energies

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April 27th, 2015 | by Becky Aistrup

(Re-running this timely post that bears repeating…) The Dept. of Defense issued its 2015.2 SBIR pre-solicitation on April 24, opening a 30-window during which you can talk directly to its Technical Points of Contact (TPOCs), before proposals may be submitted beginning on May 26. Why bother talking to a TPOC? Here’s why: The TPOC is

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Tips for Resubmission of Unfunded NSF Phase I Proposals

April 9th, 2015 | by Michael Kurek

Unlike Phase II proposals, NSF allows resubmission of unfunded Phase I SBIR and STTR proposals…but only if “substantial revisions” have been made in response to the reviewer comments. The current solicitations (SBIR closes June 16; STTR closes June 18, 2015) instruct applicants who are preparing a resubmission to include a one-page Supplementary Document entitled “Resubmission

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Sub-award or Fee for Service: Know the Difference for Your SBIR/STTR Proposal

March 2nd, 2015 | by Andrea Johanson

Whether they’re preparing an SBIR/STTR proposal for the April 5 NIH deadline or for another agency, one of the most confusing issues that companies face in preparing their project budgets is whether a relationship with an external organization should be a sub-award or a fee-for-service. It’s common in an SBIR, and required for an STTR,

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Start Your SBIR/STTR Budget by Knowing the Basics

February 9th, 2015 | by Kris Bergman

What’s your opinion? Does your SBIR/STTR project drive the budget or does the budget drive the project? Yes, this is a trick question. Actually, an appropriate budget is one that is in harmony with the proposed work, serving as an important guidepost in assessing a project’s feasibility in light of company resources. So the answer

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January 16th, 2015 | by Jayne Berkaw

We prepared our top 10 tips to have at our display table at the National SBIR/STTR Conference in Austin, TX, last November. We received lots of nice comments on it and with 2015 just getting underway, we thought it a good time to share them on our blog. 1. TEND TO THE BASICS EARLY Take care

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Policies & Procedures are a Must, So Buckle Down and Get it Done

October 24th, 2014 | by Kris Bergman

Most Policies & Procedures (P&P) manuals sit in a corner collecting dust and are pulled out only as a reference of last resort. But take note, SBIR/STTR applicants and awardees, agencies expect you to have P&Ps in place to serve as your bible for managing your funds and activities. And practically speaking, if you ever

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Market Research is Key to Commercialization Success

September 26th, 2014 | by Michael Kurek

Articulating a compelling commercialization strategy in your SBIR/STTR proposal is more important than ever for funding success. A credible commercialization plan must be built on a foundation of current and relevant information about the commercial opportunity you’re pursuing. The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting that information is called Market Research. Market research is used

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