Fall 2019 SBIR Workshop at UCSF Mission Bay

Where & When

All classes are on Thursdays, 1:00-4:00 pm in Room 215, Byers Hall, UCSF Mission Bay.
Class dates: Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 14, Nov. 21, Dec. 5, Dec. 19

This workshop will take you through all the steps necessary to successfully file a well-written NIH SBIR/STTR grant application for the Jan. 2020 deadline. Taking the workshop you will learn how to craft an appropriate research plan, obtain persuasive letters of support, develop an efficient budget, and anticipate reviewers’ comments. We will help you speed through the application instructions, saving you hours of time. Results from past attendees indicate that taking this course triples your chances of success. The workshop culminates in a submission clinic that will ensure your application is correctly filed.

One or more team members (up to 3) from the company should be prepared to attend every session. Remember to bring your laptop; these will be working sessions.

The course includes six working sessions and a pre-submission review of your Specific Aims page by our course instructors.

(The Oct. 24 class will have a guest speaker on the topic of IP and confidentiality.

The Nov. 14 class is a guest talk and interactive workshop on the Specific Aims page.)


  • Understanding the eligibility requirements of an SBIR grant

  • Preparing to apply for an SBIR (company formation, registration at all required websites, identifying the best PI)

  • Assembling all the necessary parts of the application (letters of support, sub-contract quotes and letters, facilities description, research plan, etc.)

  • Strategies for designing your specific aims

  • Budget strategies and restrictions

  • Complete and convincing budget justifications

  • Documentation required to use human samples, human subjects and vertebrate animals

  • What makes a competitive proposal

  • Common mistakes that applicants make

  • Filing in forms and submission process

  • Re-submission if your grant is not funded

  • Phase II SBIR applications

  • Searching for program announcements and finding non-dilutive funding opportunities


  1. Registration, eligibility, NIH/NSF program overview

  2. IP confidentiality, overview of all the sections of a NIH proposal, Phase 2 proposals

  3. Specific Aims Workshop with Kaspar, NSF workshop (Pt 1)

  4. Details on all the sections of a NIH proposal, NSF workshop (Pt 2)

  5. Details on budget and forms, resubmission (NIH)

  6. Questions, forms and submission (NIH)


Shauna Farr-Jones, PhD, UCSF/QB3 grant writer
Ioana Aanei, PhD, Entrepreneurship Program Manager, QB3
Kaspar Mossman, PhD, Director of Marketing & Communications, QB3

Fee Structure for New and Returning Participants

General Admission: $750
Startup in a Box members: $150

Note: Startup in a Box fee for UC founder: $250, non-UC founder: $350. More information on the program is available here.

Email Ioana Aanei with any questions.

About the Instructor

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Shauna Farr-Jones, Ph.D., has a record of writing successful government grant and contract proposals on diverse life science topics, providing strategic input on both research and business plans. She has helped companies secure over $200 million in grant and contract funding from numerous government and philanthropic organizations, including BARDA, NIH, DTRA, USDA, DARPA and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For 17 years, she has consulted for life science companies and universities, identifying funding opportunities, preparing research plans, marketing plans, technical reports INDs, NDAs, white papers and proposals. She is also the Project Manager of the Antibody Technology Research Center at UCSF. Previously, she was Senior Writer at BioCentury Publications, where she analyzed and wrote about the biotechnology industry. She was a post-doctoral fellow at UCSF and has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Tufts University.