Program Eligibility

Innovative small businesses that work in support of the research and development needs of the federal government are critical to national security and U.S. global competitiveness. The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant programs support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy. The I-PERF program supports these research-oriented small businesses.

Company Eligibility

Only companies who meet the following eligibility requirements may apply and participate in the I-PERF program.

An Eligible Host Company must:

  • +  Be an active, NSF approved, SBIR Phase II / IIB / TECP grantee in good standing with the NSF.
  • +  At the time of the their CMP submission, have at least 9 months remaining on their Phase II award.*

* Under this requirement, the minimum Phase II project effort required at the start of the appointment of a Fellow on a 1 year appointment at the company will be 9 months.

Company Non-Eligibility

In addition, a company may not participate in the I-PERF program if it:

  • –  Does not have an active NSF SBIR Phase II award.
  • –  Hosted a postdoc through an NSF funded industrial postdoc program in the last 24 months.
  • –  Has less than 9 months left on their NSF SBIR Phase II program at the time of the submission of their CMP.
  • –  At any time, does not meet one or more I-PERF or NSF program requirements.
  • –  Selects current or former owners, employees, contractors, consultants, board members, investors, or stockholders of the host company as a potential fellow;
  • –  Selects relatives of owners, employees, board members, investors, or stockholders of host company of the host company as potential fellow;
  • –  Is not approved to participate in the program by ASEE or the NSF.
  • –  Does not meet all the aforementioned program eligibility requirements.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • +  Hold an earned doctoral degree in an NSF-supported STEM discipline from a recognized Ph.D. granting institution,
  • +  Earned their relevant doctoral degree within 7 years of their application to the I-PERF research opportunity, and
  • +  Be a United States Citizen, National, or Permanent Resident of the United States at the time of application to the I-PERF program.

Emphasis will be placed on the participation of persons who are:

  • +  Members of socio-economic disadvantaged groups,**
  • +  Members of underrepresented groups in science and engineering,
  • +  Persons with disabilities,
  • +  Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and
  • +  First generation college graduates.**

**Socio-economic disadvantage and first generation college status will be validated through documented proof of participation in federally funded programs for students with such status during their college education.

Applicant Non-Eligibility

Applicants who meet any of the following criteria are not eligible to participate in the I-PERF program, including persons who:

  • –  Are not citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States;
  • –  Previously completed another industrial postdoctoral fellowship within the last six months;
  • –  Did not complete an NSF fellowship or postdoctoral program in good standing in the last 5 years;
  • –  Completed their most recent STEM PhD more than 7 years from their application date to the host company;
  • –  Are current or former owners, employees, contractors, consultants, board members, investors, or stock holders of the host company;
  • –  Are relatives of owners, employees, board members, investors, or stock holders of host company;
  • –  Has been or is currently funded by an award or sub-award of an SBIR grant involving the Host Company;
  • –  Will be funded by any other federal government grant or contract during their postdoctoral appointment.
  • –  Current NSF or ASEE employees.

Sign in to the I-PERF program portal for the latest information regarding Program Eligibilty.

Please click here to review the program’s Terms & Conditions.