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SBIR/STTR Implementation


Participation by faculty in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs can create a conflict of interest on the part of the faculty member, particularly if that faculty member, spouse, or dependent children is a co-founder and/or has an equity interest with the small business (SBC). 

The following procedure may assist faculty, as well as Deans & Chairs (or their designees), in their consideration of entering into such relationships in order to ensure compliance with all federal regulations and University policies concerning conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment.  


Principal Investigators (PIs) participating in SBIR/STTR awards and units reviewing  and approving proposals for SBIR/STTR .


When the University is anticipating serving as a subrecipient to a small business receiving SBIR or STTR funding, the PI or the department should provide OSP with:

  1. The complete proposal and budget for the University scope of work
  2. The full proposal submitted by the small business to the prime sponsor
  3. Documentation from the small business that it has a primary operating space outside of the University of Utah,
  4. A completed SBIR/STTR Intake Form.

All of these documents should be uploaded into eProposal for review when approving the Document Summary Sheeet (DSS).

If any documentation is not available at time of proposal, OSP will require a copy of these documents prior to finalizing any contract with the SBC. 

Please also start your short title in eProposal with "SBIR:" or "STTR:"

Conflict of Interest

  • Personal COI - If anyone on the proposal for the University (faculty, student, fellow, staff, contractor, consultant, etc.) has a financial interest in the SBC (e.g., equity, options, compensation, rights to IP that the SBC acquired, etc.), the PI and/or the potentially conflicted individual(s) must consult with the COI office to determine if any perceived, potential, or action COI exists.
  • Institutional COI - The PI and/or the potentially conflicted individual(s) also must consult the COI office if the University has its own financial interest in the SBC (e.g., equity, options, rights to royalties or other payments through a license).

Intellectual Property

A  request for proposals for a SBIR/STTR sometimes requires that the SBC and University agree to terms on ownership and licensing of intellectual property before the agency issues its award to the SBC. If so, contact Douglas Wawrzynski as soon as possible to begin that process, as the negotiation may take time and requires input from PIVOT. View the University's current model IP Agreement

Unit Review for SBIR/STTR

Proposals to conduct research at the University for SBIR/STTR funding should be reviewed by the Department Chair or Institute/Center Director (or designee) to ensure the proposal is in accord with the University's policies and procedures for sponsored research:

  • Uses research facilities and resources only for the U's portion of the project
  • Has approval for use of U's research facilities and any use of U's facilities is solely for U's portion of the project
  • Reflects full cost recovery of direct and indirect costs


Once the SBC's proposal is awarded, the SBC and OSP must finalize and execute a subcontract.  All SBIR/STTR proposals and subcontracts are reviewed and negotiated by OSP's Industry Contracts Team. To find your contact, please review OSP's industry contract assignments in the staff directory.

Related Policies and Procedures

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Last Updated: 4/29/24