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Module 5.b: How Write an SBIR or STTR Proposal with GPT

Module 5.b: How Write an SBIR or STTR Proposal with GPT

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You may remember that we did this a bit back in Module 4.b. Why are we here again?

Progressive learning.

We showed you some of the prompts to use in Module 4.b and we used an SBIR proposal as a concrete project to learn on, but we didn’t really go all the way through writing an entire proposal. So, today we are going to go all the way through, including detailed technical approaches, resumes, the whole thing.

I. Set Up Your Build Space

For this task lets use a chat bot that is specifically tuned for writing proposal content; go ahead and sign up for Rogue Chat, it’s free and it saves a lot of time in cramming the context window.

To get started, we highly recommend that you complete your company profile. This will not only help you to automatically input the persona context and company background data, but it will also assist in streamlining the overall writing process and avoid having to repeatedly input this information into the initial prompts or custom prompt field in ChatGPT+. With a detailed company profile, you can provide a better understanding of your company's past performance, customers, capabilities, vision, mission, and values, which can ultimately help in creating a more personalized and engaging conversation with your audience.

II. Build an Outline

Now we need an outline with which to write your proposal. With most agencies the required formats are listed in the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).

The Small Business Administration has a listing of all the current open topics, it’s a little overwhelming at first blush but you gives you a one-stop shop for all of the open topics across the government. For this example we’ll dive into the DoD SBIR BAA.

❗Keep in mind: to submit a SBIR proposal you will have to sign up for the respective agency SBIR portal, there’s basically one for each agency, we’re not going to walk you through that here, that is not really a process that AI can help you with.


The table of contents typically has a reference to the format for the response, otherwise you can ctrl+f “response format”.

Once you find that format, just select-all, copy/paste into UseRogue Chat and have the AI convert it into the outline you need for writing your response.

III. Generate Your First Draft

Now, pick a topic, copy/paste the desired capability for the topic your want to respond to, and follow this prompt closely. Notice a couple of things here:

  1. Telling it to write one section at a time, this is so that you get more total content for each section, you can also have Rogue Chat rewrite a section prior to moving forward, that way you can clean up, reword, or expand on any section before moving on to the next.
  2. Reference specifically what context you want it to write about, that way it will focus on the SBIR topic you provide.

The other nice thing is that if all goes well, you can basically sit back and tell the AI to write section after section by simply writing “next”.

But pay attention, at 5:33 on the video below, I tell the AI to rewrite a section, it does a good second draft, and then I go right back to the next one.


IV. Build Out Your Draft

Ok, let’s make this thing sing. I’m going to go back to the initial objectives and leverage the power of AI to make our approach much more detailed.

Giving the AI a persona and being very specific about how you want it to write, such as including specific names of components and features.

You can also take a resume and have the AI rewrite it in the context of the opportunity to which you are responding.


Practical Exercise

  1. Try it for yourself, see if you can write a 10-page proposal in an hour.
  2. Give some feedback in the group on whether the video format in this post was better/worse than text-based.
  3. Give feedback below

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