More On Preliminary Data


As you all know, preliminary data is not required for SBIR/STTRs. However it sure can help...or hurt. Whether or not you will benefit from including preliminary data will usually depend on how you write your application and the risk to reward ratio of the application.

If you can provide preliminary data to reduce risk in the minds of the reviewers, then by all means do so. Collect only enough data to be convincing. You want to make sure that you still have a Phase I for proof of concept.

Use the correct statistics and do not try to pull one over on the reviewers. The reviewers have all tried to pull one over on people in their own applications, so they, like you, are experts at recognizing the disingenuous.

From a practical standpoint of obtaining funding, there are times when you absolutely must provide preliminary data, times when you are better off if you do, times when you can if you want to, and times when you should not.

There are key pieces of information in your application that you want the reviewer to focus on and remember. Any unnecessary information, especially in the form of preliminary data, will take the reviewers eye off these key pieces of information. Never put in unnecessary information that can distract a reviewer from your main story.

For a Phase I application you have 15 pages, but most applications can be more effective with fewer pages. Keep your application as short as you can. This keeps the reviewers focused. Avoid the temptation to put in preliminary data that is not essential. More is not better.

For additional information on this topic, click on this link: High Level SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Techniques.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or go to

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