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Small Business Innovation Research

Are you new to the ED/IES SBIR program? Here are 10 quick Q&A's to get started.

  1. What is ED/IES SBIR? The ED/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, teacher, or school administrator outcomes in education or special education.

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

  3. When is the next competition open? The Institute's 2018 Program Solicitations is NOW OPEN. To access to the Phase I solicitation on the website, click here. The submission deadline for all Phase I proposals is January 25, 2018, at 2 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

  4. What is a Phase I project for? Firms may submit a proposal for a Phase I award for up to $200,000 for 8 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 for $900,000 at the conclusion of Phase I.

  5. What types of projects have been funded by ED/IES in the past? To learn more about the types of projects ED/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 the list of 2015 awardees.
    • Click here for the list of 2016 awardees.
    • Click here for the list of 2017 awardees.
    • Click here for a list of projects that are posted on the ED/IES SBIR Success Story page.
    • Click here for 4-minute Video Demonstrations of more than 40 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 under Section V. Technical Evaluation.

  7. What is the rate of funding in recent years? IES SBIR is a highly competitive program. Last year, the program received 247 Phase I proposals and made 9 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 ( Prior to the release of the annual solicitation, Edward Metz is available for phone calls to discuss questions about proposal ideas and about the program in general. Please note during the period of time in which the solicitation is open, Edward Metz is no longer permitted to provide assistance.

  10. What else is important to know about ED/IES SBIR? Along with providing awards with non-dilutive funds to for-profit small businesses to develop and commercialize transformative education technology products –ED/IES SBIR focuses on rigorous and relevant research throughout a project. This includes iterative research with the intended users (e.g., students, teachers) to inform the design and development process throughout a project, and pilot research to examine the promise of the product to lead to the intended outcomes when implemented in an education setting.