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Institute of Education Sciences

IES Centers
Small Business Innovation Research

Are you new to the program? Here are some Q&A's to get you started.

  1. What is IES SBIR? The IES SBIR program provides funding to for-profit small business firms with fewer than 500 employees for the research and development, and evaluation of commercially viable education technology products. The products must support relevant student or teacher outcomes in education or special education.

  2. How many competitions does IES SBIR do each year? The IES SBIR program holds one competition per year.

  3. When is the next competition open? The Institute anticipates that the 2015 Program Solicitations will be released in late 2014, with a submission deadline in early 2015. Click here for the access to the now closed 2014 program solicitations.

  4. What are the Phase I and Fast-Track RFPs? Firms may submit a proposal for a Phase I award for up to $150,000 for 6 months to develop a prototype or early version of an education technology product. Firms who submit a Phase I proposal may also submit a Fast-Track proposal for up to $1,050,000 for 2.5 years for the full scale development and evaluation of the product.
    Please note: Fast-Track proposals will only be reviewed if the Phase I proposal scores within the range for funding. Fast-Track proposals submitted without a Phase I proposal will be returned without review.

  5. What types of projects have been funded by IES in the past? To learn more about the types of projects IES SBIR has funded in the past:
    • Click here for the list of 2013 awardees.
    • Click here for a list of projects that are posted on the IES SBIR Success Story page.
    • Click here for 4-minute Video Demonstrations of more than 30 IES SBIR projects.
    • Click here for Abstracts to projects in education.
    • Click here for Abstracts to projects in special education.

  6. What is the proposal review process? As is described in the solicitations, IES SBIR uses an internal process whereby proposals are reviewed and scored by a panel of Federal staff with expertise across areas of education technology, education research, and within each particular content area. For more information on the review process and the evaluation criteria, see the Phase I and Fast-Track solicitations.

  7. What is the rate of funding in recent years? IES SBIR is a highly competitive program. Over the past several years, the program has typically received about 200-250 proposals each year and has typically made about 10 to 15 Phase I or Fast-Track awards. For a list of Fiscal Year 2013 awards, click here.

  8. About IES: The Institute of Education Sciences is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about IES, click here.

  9. Please Note: The IES SBIR program contact, Edward Metz (, will be available to answer questions and provide feedback on FY 2015 proposal ideas beginning in July, 2014.