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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's 2016 Program Solicitations closed on January 21, 2016. To access the now closed Phase I solicitation click here. It is anticipated that the ED/IES SBIR Program will release its FY2017 solicitation in late 2016, with a due date in early 2017. Please check this page in the summer for any updates on this timeline..

  4. What is a Phase I project for? 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 that win a Phase I award will be eligible to apply for a Phase II award at the conclusion of Phase I.

  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 the list of 2014 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, ED/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 solicitation.

  7. What is the rate of funding in recent years? IES SBIR is a highly competitive program. Last year, the program received 174 Phase I proposals and made 13 Phase I awards.

  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. Program Contact: Edward Metz ( Please note during the period of time in which the solicitation is open, Edward Metz is not permitted to address questions on potential proposals.