NIH Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) for Small Businesses



A free, guided 10-week program designed to help first time applicants.

Did you know that there is support available for small business that have not previously received funding? The NIH SBIR and STTR programs strive to bring diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and skillsets to solve complex problems. However, the NIH recognizes that new applicants may need help navigating the grant application process.

The Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) provides support and guidance to first time small business applicants.

One of the main goals of the AAP is to increase participation in the SBIR and STTR programs by businesses that are owned or controlled by individuals who are traditionally underrepresented in biomedical sciences. Therefore, NIH is particularly interested in applications from socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses (SDB), women-owned small business (WOSB), and small businesses located in under-represented states.

The AAP provides 10 weeks of coaching and customized assistance at no cost to participants. Selected small businesses can receive:  

  • Needs assessment/small business mentoring
  • Assistance with required registrations
  • Phase I application preparation support
  • Application review

Just like you, NIH wants applications to be of high quality and error-free.


If your small business has not previously received NIH SBIR or STTR funding and is looking to submit a Phase I proposal to NIH, the AAP may be able to help you through the process. Direct-to-Phase II and Fast-Track applicants are not eligible. The AAP is open to entrepreneurs developing innovative technology ideas in the healthcare space that fall within the mission of one of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers:  SEE Dropdown on NIH AAP Website

How to Apply

Apply for the Applicant Assistance Program during the open cycle.

Learn More

Key Dates

The program is offered once per funding period, roughly 3 months before standard due dates. The application portal for the next application cycle opens in spring 2022:

  • Application portal opens: April 25, 2022
  • Application deadline: May 23, 2022, 5 p.m. ET

This training is conducted by Eva Garland Consulting on of the IPart’s Preferred Providers