Limited Submissions


What is a Limited Submission?

A limited submission is a funding opportunity for which the sponsoring agency has limited the number of proposals an institution may submit. If an institution exceeds the limit, the result can be disqualification of all of the institution’s proposals from the competition.

Sponsors utilize limited submission policies for the following reasons:

  • Reduce the number of proposals received
  • Increase the quality of proposals received
  • Promote collaboration within the submitting institution
  • Reduction in time and costs to the sponsor

If the interest at ISU in a particular limited submission is greater than the institutional limit, an internal competition must take place to determine which proposals move forward to submission to the agency.

Limited Submission Procedures

Announcement of the Program and Internal Competition
The Office of the Vice President for Research maintains a list that features announcements of all active open limited submission opportunities. In addition, a weekly email is sent to the associate deans for research who will distribute it to all appropriate departments. The email will contain brief summaries of the opportunities and links to the websites of the corresponding agencies.

PIs interested in an open limited submission competition will be asked to respond in one of two ways:

  • Either send an email indicating their interest to; if more PIs declare their interest than the number of slots allowed in the limited submission announcement, the PIs will be asked to participate in an internal competition;
  • Or submit a pre-proposal for an internal competition. A link to guidelines for the internal competition will be provided, indicating the content the PI should provide, a deadline, and instructions for submission.
    • Typically the researcher provides a 3-page summary of the project which includes sections specific to the agency announcement and highlighted in the internal competition guidelines. Other documents may include a C.V., list of other ISU participants, or a brief budget to determine the feasibility of the project.
    •  All required documents have to be combined into one PDF file that is named using the PI’s last name

Internal Review

  • All submissions to internal competitions will be reviewed by a faculty peer review committee that may include associate deans for research. Pre-proposals will be evaluated on how well each meets the selection criteria and the guidelines given in the foundation or agency program announcement.
  • Internal reviews will be completed as quickly as possible to allow the PIs moving forward the maximum time to prepare their submission to the sponsoring agency.
  • PIs and their associate deans for research will be notified at the conclusion of the review process indicating if their proposal can go forward for submission to the sponsor.