The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently released a new funding opportunity for biotech companies and university researchers! The new Small Business Transition Grant funds the translation of technology from university to small business, as well as the transition of early career researchers from academia to industry. This award uses the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding mechanisms, so you must be a small business concern at the time of application. If you are not familiar with the mechanisms, please refer to the attached overview factsheet for information on the two mechanisms.

If you are interested in applying for this Fast-track opportunity with a budget of up to $2.4 million, sign up for an informational webinar on July 21, 2022.



Funding opportunity title Small Business Transition Grant For Early Career Scientists


Small businesses developing cancer technology with an early career scientist at a university. To be considered, the early career academic scientist must be the principal investigator of the project.


The ideal candidate for this small business transition grant is a postdoctoral researcher who participated in technology discovery during their academic work and is now ready to move to a small business with the help of some key mentors and advisors.


NCI encourages proposals that fall into several technology areas, including; (1) Cancer Therapeutics and Preventative Agents; (2) Cancer Imaging Technologies, Interventional Devices, and In Vivo Diagnostics; (3) In Vitro and Ex Vivo Cancer Diagnostics and Prognostics; or (4) Technologies for Cancer Prevention and Control, Supportive Care, and Survivorship.

Mechanism and Budget

This is a Fast-Track opportunity, combining 2 funding phases.

Phase I (up to $400,000; 6-12 months)

  • The project will begin as a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award, as it allows close collaboration with a research institution. During this period, the PI can maintain employment at a university

Phase II (up to $2 million; 2 years)

  • Once Phase I is completed, the Phase II will be awarded as a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding, which requires the PI’s employment to be more than 50% at the small business. The PI is required to transition into the small business at the end of Phase I.

Key Requirements

A key component of the small business transition grant is mentoring. Mentoring is not traditionally a factor in SBIR/STTR funding decisions, however here mentoring is critical to facilitate the transition from junior academic scientist to entrepreneur.  Therefore, the mentoring team that supports the candidate will be a critical factor in peer review.

Due Date

Monday, August 22, 2022, 5 p.m. local time

Additional Information


Monique Pond, Program Director, National Cancer Institute ([email protected])