Submission of Application – Applicants submit SBIR/STTR grant applications to NIH electronically through grants.gov by the submission deadline in the program announcement.
Institute and Review Assignments within NIH – The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) assigns the application to at least one of the Institutes at NIH and to a scientific review group within 2 weeks of the submission deadline.
Scientific Review - The first level of review for NIMH small business applications takes place during the scientific review group meeting, which occurs approximately 3 months after submission. Each scored grant application is assigned a single, global score that reflects the overall impact that the project could have on the field (including commercial potential) and consideration of the five review criteria (significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, environment). The score should appear in the Commons account within 3 business days after the review. The summary statement of the review should be available within 30 days.
Council Review – After scientific review, the second level of review is performed by The National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), also referred to as "Council", composed of both scientific and public representatives who are chosen for their expertise, interest, or activity in matters related to mental health and illness. Council recommendations are based not only on considerations of scientific merit as judged by a scientific review group, but also on the relevance of a proposed project to the Institute's programs and priorities. Research and many other types of grant applications cannot be paid until Council approves their payment. In most cases, Council concurs with the SRG recommendations. Usually, an application must be recommended by both an SRG and Council to be funded. Policy issues, including but not limited to those regarding peer review, are also discussed in Council meetings.
Award – Once NIMH program approves an application for funding, the applicant (or applicant institution) is contacted to discuss start date and funding level. NIMH will most likely request information from the applicant, including "Just in Time" information. Issuing the award is contingent on receipt of this information. When all the requirements have been completed, NIMH will send a Notice of Grant Award, detailing the funding information and the terms and conditions of the award. Grantees should read the conditions of the award carefully. The absolute earliest award date is 2-3 months after council. Efforts are underway to reduce this timeline.
Duration of the process from grant submission to award
It takes at least 9 months after submission for a successful application to receive an award. Some applications will take longer than others to go through the process.