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SBIR/STTR funding is administered through the UNC Office of Sponsored Research. Please review the procedural guidelines and forms prior to submitting a proposal. Refer to the different scenarios below to find important details about how SBIR and STTR grants work for UNC-Chapel Hill employees. Click on a scenario to expand.

  • Student participation at UNC discouraged or limited (rules per school), no dissertation work
  • Postdoc or staff participation at UNC allowed as budgeted personnel in the UNC subaward
  • IP of all UNC employees is assigned to UNC with an option for the company to license IP arising from subaward
  • Example budget justification:
    UNC PI leads design and execution of the subaward scientific work, coordinates with subaward collaborators and consultants, engages with company overall PI on subaward administrative and budgetary matters, submits scientific reports to the company PI

  • UNC employee
    • Must have activities at the company pre-approved as an EPAP3
    • Must have COI management plan in place regarding company relationship4
    • Cannot be the company administrative official or company contact person for the SBIR/STTR funding agency5
  • Student
    • Participation at UNC discouraged or limited (rules per school), no dissertation work
    • Participation at company prohibited if the UNC employee with company relationship is student’s advisor
  • Postdoc or staff
    • Participation at UNC allowed as budgeted personnel in the UNC subaward
    • Participation at company requires COI review and EPAP/HR approval (for postdocs OPA approval)
  • Management plan specific to SBIR/STTR proposal required
    • Independent data review may be required
    • Human studies not permitted if UNC subaward PI has relationship with company
    • Funding agencies (NSF) may prohibit someone with equity or paid position with company from being UNC subaward PI
    • Not all proposals can be managed with UNC subaward PI having the relationship; UNC employee may need to move to co-PI or co-investigator role
  • IP of all UNC employees is assigned to UNC with option for Company to license IP arising from subaward
  • Example budget justification:
    UNC PI leads design and execution of the subaward scientific work, coordinates with subaward collaborators and consultants, engages with company PI on subaward administrative and budgetary matters, submits scientific reports to the company PI

  • UNC employee
    • Must have activities at the company pre-approved as an EPAP3
    • Must have COI management plan in place regarding company relationship4
    • Cannot be the company administrative official or company contact person for the SBIR/STTR funding agency5
    • UNC employee must have effort and activity in UNC subaward budget/SOW dedicated and detailed specifically to overall scientific management of the grant, cannot pay for this work from company side of budget
  • Student
    • Participation at UNC discouraged or limited (rules per school), no dissertation work
    • Participation at company prohibited if the UNC employee with company relationship is student’s advisor
  • Postdoc or staff
    • Participation at UNC allowed as budgeted personnel in the UNC subaward
    • Participation at company requires COI review and EPAP/HR approval (for postdocs OPA approval).
  • Management plan specific to SBIR/STTR proposal required
    • Independent data review will likely be required
    • Human studies not permitted
    • Funding agencies (NSF) may prohibit person with equity or paid position with company to be the UNC PI
    • Not all proposals can be managed; UNC employee may need to move to co-PI or co-investigator role
  • IP of all UNC employees is assigned to UNC with an option for the company to license IP arising from subaward
  • Example budget justification:
    UNC PI leads design and execution of the overall scientific work, coordinates with overall collaborators and consultants with respect to scientific matters for the overall grant.
    As the UNC PI, engages with company administrator on subaward administrative and budgetary matters, submits scientific reports to the company administrator.
    Company administrator is contact person and signing official for communications with funding agency for all administrative matters, responsible for submitting all reports to the funding agency, coordinates with collaborators and consultants with respect to administrative and budgetary matters

  • UNC employee with reduced FTE
    • Must have activities at the company pre-approved as an EPAP3
    • Must have this proposed reduction in effort under discussion with department chair prior to proposal submission
    • Must have COI management plan in place regarding company relationship4
    • Cannot engage at UNC on UNC subaward
  • PI of UNC subaward cannot be a subordinate to, or have any affiliation with the company
  • IP of all UNC employees is assigned to UNC (regardless of % FTE) with option for company to license IP arising from subaward
  • All other parameters as listed above for students, postdocs, etc. will also apply. Additional consideration and COI review may occur for faculty who are maintaining their advising relationships and potential synthesis with company work

  1. Not also a UNC employee
  2. Equity holder, family relationship, inventor on IP licensed to company, management position, consulting
  3. Serving as corporate management, board of directors, consulting, grant writing, fund raising, etc, owning or receiving equity is considered compensation (payment) regardless of whether the work itself is salaried
  4. Initiated upon incorporation of company and/or execution of license agreement with company and updated as needed when related projects arise or are modified
  5. Signing agreements, communicating with funding agency on administrative and budgetary matters, submitting reports to funding agency
  6. Except NSF which does not permit an investigator to be the PI of a subaward if they have any equity or a paid position in the Sponsoring company