Limited Submissions

Limited submissions are external sponsored funding opportunities that require an internal selection process because the sponsor limits the number of proposals and/or imposes specific restrictions on applications submitted by Tufts.

To members of the Tufts Research Community:

Please see the limited submission opportunities summarized below. For more information on these opportunities, please visit the links to the funding opportunities.

Unless otherwise indicated below, those interested should send an email of intent to the Limited Submissions Team at  informing us of an intention to apply.  EOI’s received after the deadline indicated below will not be consideredThe email of intent must include:

  1. The name of the solicitation,
  2. The name of the Principal Investigator, and any co-PI's,
  3. A 2-3 sentence description of the proposed project.

Should the number of interested applicants exceed the number allowed by the funder, an internal selection process will be conducted by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, and candidates will be notified to submit internal application materials. All candidates will be notified of results. NB: Successful applications must include official notification from the Limited Submissions Team in order to submit. For more information, please see        

Email of Intent Deadline: Wednesday, April 21 by noon. Please see underlined and italicized text below for any special EOI instructions.

This week’s limited submission opportunities are:

  • Please include with your Email of Intent a statement confirming that all school approvals for reduced indirect costs will be secured prior to submission.
  • Number allowed: 1
  • Sponsor Deadlines: Letter of Intent: June 1 | Full proposal due: September 1
  • Purpose: To develop equitable pathways to STEM graduate education for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Students 
  • Requirements: Support institutional pathways from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to master’s and doctoral degree programs in astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, data science, Earth sciences, economics, engineering, marine science, mathematics, physics, and statistics (not funded are health sciences, biomedical sciences, or medical research). Projects should describe how they will dismantle systemic barriers and create sustainable pathways to graduate education in these disciplines for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students. Proposed projects must identify at least one MSI partner and must show how they are sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships. Please see the link below for examples of activities.
  • Eligibility: All projects must have at least one MSI partner. When two or more institutions are the proposed grantees, it is preferred that the primary PI be housed at the MSI. Please follow Tufts PI eligibility policies.
  • Award Information: Planning grants to support two or more institutions to conduct internal reviews of existing barriers to student success and for analysis and planning for future systemic change partnerships/collaborations ($75,000 for 1 year);  Seed grants to support work at two or more institutions that seek to formalize existing systemic change partnerships/collaborations and launch a small set of pilot initiatives ($250,000 over 1-2 years); and Implementation grants to support work at two or more institutions that allow for the creation, augmentation or scaling of significant formal systemic change partnerships/collaborations ($500,000 over 2-3 years). Indirect costs are capped at 20% of direct costs.
  • Further Information:
  • Number allowed: 1
  • Sponsor Deadlines: Application due date: May 14
  • Purpose: To assist institutions and organizations working in the humanities that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, through new humanities projects or through a focus on sustaining core humanities programs and activities 
  • Requirements: Projects can focus on any area of humanities. Proposals must demonstrate the impact of the pandemic on the organization and the degree to which the project will create new programs or sustain existing programs threatened by the pandemic. In particular, NEH is interested in the following topic:
    • NEH’s A More Perfect Union initiative encourages projects that explore, reflect on, and tell the stories of our quest for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society throughout our history. NEH especially welcomes projects that bring the perspective of the humanities to questions of racial justice, gender equality, the evolution of the American landscape, as well as America’s place in the world.
      • Projects that strengthen Americans’ knowledge of our principles of constitutional governance and democracy are strongly encouraged, as are projects that address the experiences of Native Americans and other under-represented communities.
      • NEH welcomes projects that develop innovative approaches to sustaining the nation’s humanities infrastructure and preserving its historical record.
  • Eligibility: No agency restrictions; please follow Tufts PI eligibility policies.
  • Award Information: Up to $500,000 for a one year project. Allowable costs include, but are not limited to: personnel costs (salaries and fringe benefits) for individuals employed by the applicant and dedicated to the proposed activities; fees for consultants and contractors; supplies and materials necessary to carry out the proposed activities; equipment necessary to carry out the proposed activities (not to exceed 20 percent of the total funds requested); general operating support (typically recovered through indirect costs.
  • Further Information:

See Archived Competitions

About Limited Submissions

Limited submissions are external sponsored funding opportunities that require an internal selection process because the sponsor limits the number of proposals and/or imposes specific restrictions on applications submitted by Tufts.  This information is typically located in the “Eligibility” sections of funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).

The Limited Submissions Team in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) identifies limited submission opportunities and coordinates the university-wide review and nomination of applications for these opportunities to ensure such submission restrictions are met. For those limited submission opportunities from foundations, the OVPR collaborates closely with the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) to facilitate the process. Proposals cannot be submitted outside of the limited submissions process described below.

The process is designed to provide principal investigators and their teams with as much time as possible to prepare submissions to the sponsor while allowing for a fair management of internal competitions. If the time to sponsor deadline is too short for the full process, every effort will be made to ensure a quick nomination.

Tufts Process


The OVPR and CFR identify limited submission funding opportunities through Internet searches, mailings, newsletters, invitations, and previous opportunities.

If a faculty or staff member identifies a limited submission prior to an OVPR announcement, that individual will notify the Limited Submissions Team immediately to ensure that the team is aware of the opportunity and that no more than the specified numbers of applications are submitted.


When a limited opportunity is identified, the OVPR will notify the research community by posting to the limited submissions page on a weekly basis, and by alerting location research administrators to new opportunities.

Some limited opportunities are focused on a specific scientific area or are open only to a specific group. In these cases, the Limited Submissions Team will target the opportunity to those who match the sponsor’s eligibility requirements.

Email of Intent

Anyone wishing to submit a proposal in response to a limited submissions announcement should send an e-mail of intent to the Limited Submission Team at with the subject line: Limited Submission (PROGRAM NAME FROM ANNOUNCEMENT) by noon on the Friday after the announcement, unless otherwise noted. 

The email of intent should include only the following:

  • Indication of desire to submit to the limited FOA
  • Name and title of principal investigator and any identified team members
  • A brief (1-3 sentences) description of the proposed project

If no more than the maximum number of applications are submitted, the Limited Submissions Team will notify the applicant(s) by the close of business on Friday that their submissions may move forward.

Internal Competition

If the number of emails of intent exceed the maximum number allowed by the sponsor, potential applicants will be notified and asked to prepare an internal application that includes all material explicitly requested in the internal announcement, due by noon on the Wednesday after the email of intent is due unless otherwise noted. These materials will include:

  • The name of the program to which you intend to apply
  • The name of the Principal Investigator and any additional team members
  • The subject or title of the proposed project
  • The biosketch of the PI
  • A detailed description of no more than 500 words outlining the PI’s qualifications and a description of the proposed project
  • For large equipment grants, include a statement in the project description demonstrating adherence to the Tufts Policy on Purchase or Development of Equipment with Additional Infrastructure Needs
  • If cost share, matching, or similar is required by the sponsor, a statement acknowledging responsibility for securing appropriate approvals by the sponsor deadline. Templates will be provided in such cases.

Review, Selection, and Notification

If the number of internal proposals exceeds the institutional limit, a review committee will review all internal proposals according to the review criteria listed below.

The OVPR will select the candidate(s) based on the committee’s recommendations. Review feedback will be provided upon request. Information about the faculty review committee and selected candidate(s) is confidential.

All candidates will be notified of the final decisions of the committee via email. The department/school’s Lead Research Administrator and the Director of Pre-Award Research Administration will be cc’d on the official nomination letter.

If a proposal cannot be completed, please contact the Limited Submission Team immediately so another PI may have the opportunity to submit an application.

Submission to the Sponsor

All proposals must be accompanied by an official letter of nomination from the Limited Submissions Team to be processed.

All nominees should work with their assigned research administrator in their department or school to prepare submission to the sponsor.

In addition, for foundation proposals the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) will work with the nominee(s) to review the foundations’ latest requirements, goals, previously funded proposals, and the university’s history and internal connections with the particular foundation. The appropriate CFR representative will be cc’d on the official nomination letter. 

Review Criteria  

Review criteria are determined based on the criteria employed by the sponsor for each funding program.  In general, limited submission internal proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit: How important is the proposed research to advancing knowledge within its field or across fields? How well qualified is the proposer? To what extent does the project suggest and explore original concepts? How well conceived is the proposed project? What is the likelihood of success?
  • Match to Sponsor’s Program and Tufts Goals: How well does the proposed project address the sponsor’s programmatic requirements and goals? Given Tufts’ research goals and strengths, what are the benefits to the relevant campus(es)?
  • Other Relevant Factors: Includes such factors relevant to the specific FOA as cultural competency; public outreach efforts; quality of the evaluation design; if applicable, comments from previous submissions to the same program and the current proposal’s responsiveness to those comments.

We encourage researchers to collaborate with other groups at Tufts when possible. This team-based approach adds breadth to the proposal, while supporting the interdisciplinary focus that is increasingly promoted by federal and nonfederal agencies.


The Limited Submissions process is designed to offer applicants as much time as possible to develop their submissions to external sponsors. Limited Submission Opportunities will be announced a minimum of 3 months prior to sponsor deadline, or as soon as the Limited Submissions Team is alerted to the FOA. The typical timeline for limited submissions is as follows.

Timeline for the limited submission process

Please contact the Limited Submissions Team at for any questions about the limited submissions process.