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Researchers invited to NSF proposal preparation seminar

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas researchers who wish to learn how to prepare proposals for the National Science Foundation are invited to attend a seminar Feb. 3 at the Bioscience & Technology Business Center in Lawrence.

The daylong seminar will present information for crafting a competitive proposal to meet the mission, standards and requirements of the NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The goal is to help KU faculty entrepreneurs leverage the NSF programs to fund startup companies.

Training will include information on:

  • how to get registered to submit a proposal
  • how to address each section of the proposal and target proposals to reviewers’ expectations
  • defining technological innovation and commercial merit
  • preparing a credible commercialization plan 
  • navigating the submission process
  • what to do once you learn a proposal is funded – or not funded

The seminar will be presented by Michael Kurek, partner with BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting. Over his 30-year career, Kurek has held senior management positions in marketing, sales and business development for a number of life science companies. He has a doctorate genetics from Florida State University and an MBA from Boston University.

To register, or for more information, visit KU Innovation & Collaboration’s registration page. Registration closes at 5 p.m. Jan. 29.

The seminar is the first in a three-part series designed to help faculty entrepreneurs. A second seminar focused on National Institutes of Health proposals will take place in the spring, and a third session on Department of Defense proposals will take place in the fall. The sessions are sponsored by KUIC and the BTBC, which will supplement the sessions with followup assistance for faculty and students.

The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research/research and development that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive, awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

The STTR is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.