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Rejection of Applications

Common Causes for Administrative Rejection of NIST SBIR Applications

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) provides instructions for submitting a complete NIST SBIR Phase I application. Please take special note of Section 4.02, Phase I Screening Criteria, and Section 8.01, Required Forms and Documents. Applications not meeting requirements will be rejected without evaluation. Listed below are some causes for rejection of applications. Avoiding these errors will allow your application to be evaluated and considered for award.

  • Non-responsive to Subtopics
    The Technical Content portion of an application must respond to one of the subtopics in Section 9 of the NOFO. 
  • Missing Cover Sheet
    A completed Cover Sheet (Section 3.02.01, Appendix A) must be included.
  • Over Budget
    NIST’s maximum Phase I award amount is $100,000.
  • Missing Budget Narrative
    In addition to the applicant’s budget provided on the SF-424A, the budget must be fully described in a Budget Narrative (Section 8.01.7).
  • Missing SBC Registration
    A copy of the Company Registration confirmation from must be included (Section 8.01.9).
  • Missing Data Management Plan
    The Data Management Plan (Section 8.01.10) is required.
  • Missing Proposal
    In addition to all forms and registrations, the Technical Content (Section 3.02.02) portion of the application must be included. See our SBIR FAQ page for how to verify attachments in
Created May 2, 2017, Updated August 23, 2023