Limited Submissions

A Limited Submission is a funding opportunity in which the sponsor sets an institutional limit for the number of proposals it will accept. To participate, the University must organize to submit our most competitive proposal(s). This requires an internal competition. The process is critical; extra submissions can result in all proposals being rejected by the sponsor. The following procedure applies when the limited submission requires institutional nomination or letters of recommendation. Limited submissions that are specific to certain colleges and do not require broad institutional approval should typically be managed internally by the relevant college's process (deans or peer committee selection); OSP is available to assist, as necessary.


Seattle University requires an internal review and selection process for any funding opportunity that limits the number of applications, nominations, or proposals that an institution is eligible to submit to a sponsor. Before applying for an opportunity with limited submission requirements, applicants must follow the below process to receive approval from the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) to submit on behalf of Seattle University.


  • OSP advertises and posts limited submission opportunities on website
  • Interested faculty notifies OSP of intent to apply by notification deadline noted on the limited submission opportunity table
  • OSP will notify applicants within two business days if the level of interest warrants an internal review
  • If an internal review is needed, OSP will request the internal application materials 
  • Applicants submit internal application materials by deadline (typically 7-10 days)
  • The OSP will develop an appropriate review committee based on funding opportunity and related disciplines to review materials and select nominees for Associate Provost approval
  • OSP will notify applicants in a timely manner (typically within two weeks) of selected applicants for submission to sponsor
  • Selected applicants complete proposal and submit to OSP with Proposal Transmittal Form for standard internal approval process at least 5 business days prior to sponsor deadline

Full details of this process are below:


The OSP announces known opportunities with limited submission requirements and coordinates the campus selection process. Identified opportunities will be shared via the quarterly OSP newsletter, emails to relevant deans and/or chairs, and posted to the Limited Submission Opportunities page on the OSP website.  If you become aware of a funding opportunity with limited submission requirements that is not listed, please notify OSP immediately.


Internal deadlines are chosen to allow adequate time for the internal review and selection of applications and to allow sufficient time for the selected applicant(s) to meet the agency deadline. Limited submission internal applications require:

  • a two-page letter of intent with a description of project scope including proposed aims and approach, personnel, names of collaborators, and estimated cost summary including institutional support (course releases, student support, equipment needs, etc.)
  • a Biosketch or CV of the PI
  • For programmatic opportunities (i.e. department, college or institutional level changes; not research based), a letter of support from the Dean or Chair will be required. This letter of support signifies that the Dean or Chair have ensured that the nominee and application are likely to be of sufficient quality to be competitive nationally.

All notices of intent or pre-proposals are due to by 5 p.m. on the internal deadline date unless otherwise specified.


The OSP will determine if a campus competition is warranted based on the number of applications received by the internal limited submission deadline and the sponsor guidelines. Participants will be notified if the number of submissions exceeds the sponsor's limit and an internal review is required no later than two business days following the internal deadline.

If the number of participants does not exceed the number of allowable submissions no internal limited submission review will be necessary. However, our standard Proposal Transmittal Form and proposal internal review and approval process is required for all proposals submitted on behalf of the university to the external sponsor.

If the OSP receives more potential submissions than the university is authorized to submit, an internal review and selection process will occur. The Director of OSP will convene a internal review panel as an ad hoc committee (of 3-4 faculty) from relevant field(s) necessary to conduct a fair and thorough review. The review panel should be representative of the applicant disciplines and be composed of individuals each capable of evaluating the research merits of at least one application, although all review members will weigh in on presentation, clarity, adherence to proposal preparation instructions, and alignment with sponsor guidelines.

The limited submission applications  will be ranked by the internal review panel on their likelihood for success for the specific funding opportunity, as well as with the funding sponsor more broadly. The internal review panel will ensure that selected pre-proposals meet all eligibility requirements, are scientifically sound and technically strong, and promote the greater University research mission.

The internal review panel will recommend an applicant(s) to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs who will select an applicant(s) to move forward to the sponsor. In the case of a tie, the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs will make the decision of which applicant to move forward based on the feedback from the review committee and competitiveness of the applicants for the specific proposal. All applicants will be notified of the results and provided with a summary of the review comments, if available.

In special cases where the sponsor program guidelines require a large institutional commitment or coordination, the selection process will incorporate a second layer of review by senior administrators.


Once selected, the applicant has the responsibility to submit a timely application following our standard internal review and approval process via the Proposal Transmittal Form and associated policies. Should a candidate wish to decline a nomination, the Director of OSP must be notified within three business days of selection notification. Should a selected candidate decide to not apply but does not inform the Director of OSP within three business days, that person will be ineligible to apply to a limited submission for up to one year.


Some programs may still be open for sponsor submissions if fewer than the eligible number of internal proposals were received and the sponsor's deadline has not passed. Approval to apply to the sponsor may be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact if you are interested in submitting to a competition with available slots.