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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's 2016 Program Solicitations will likely be released in late 2015, with a submission deadline of early 2016.
    Note: For informational purposes only, the now closed Fiscal Year 2015 Phase I solicitation and the and the now closed 2015 Fast-Track solicitation are provided.
    PDF File View, download, and print 2015 Phase I solicitation as a PDF file (1.1 MB)
    PDF File View, download, and print 2015 Fast-Track solicitation as a PDF file (1.5 MB)

  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 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, 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. Last year, the program received 252 Phase I proposals and made 12 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.