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HHS welcomes the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to the SBIR Program


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is happy to announce that the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) will be transferring from the Department of Education to the HHS Administration for Community Living (ACL) as a result of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014. NIDRR’s name was changed to the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

NIDILRR’s mission is to generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of people with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community, and also to expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities. Toward this end, NIDILRR sponsors comprehensive and coordinated programs of research and related activities to maximize the full inclusion, social integration, employment and independent living of individuals of all ages with disabilities. NIDILRR’s focus includes research in areas such as employment, health and function, technology for access and function, independent living and community integration, and other associated disability research areas.

What does this mean for the HHS SBIR Program?

There are now 5 HHS SBIR awarding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). On average, NIDILRR annually makes around 10 SBIR Phase I awards (up to $75,000 for six months) and 5 SBIR Phase II awards (approximately $200,000-$300,000 per year for two years).

Now Accepting Applications! During the transition period, NIDILRR will have separate funding solicitations and will not be included on the current HHS SBIR (PA-14-071) and STTR (PA-14-072) Omnibus solicitation.

ACL and NIDILRR have just published a Notice Inviting Applications for its Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) Program for FY15 funding. NIDILRR is planning to make 10 Phase I awards for up to $75,000 each with a six-month performance period. Read the full text of the Phase I announcement exit disclaimer icon. The application deadline is May 12, 2015.

For FY 2015, all NIDILRR priority notices will be published as ACL notices, and ACL will make all NIDILRR awards. During this transition period, however, NIDILRR will continue to review grant applications using Department of Education tools. NIDILRR will post previously-approved application kits to, and NIDILRR applications submitted to will be forwarded to the Department of Education’s G-5 system for peer review. NIDILRR is using Department of Education application kits and peer review systems during this transition year in order to provide for a smooth and orderly process for our applicants. Please contact Brian Bard at or 202-245-7345 if you have any questions or if you would like to be a peer reviewer.

FY 2016 will be a transition period as NIDILRR integrates into HHS, so stay tuned for details and additional SBIR funding opportunity announcements!