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.
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 weekly email using a specialized email list. On rare occasions based on time to sponsor deadline, more than one limited submission announcement may be sent in a week.
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.
NOTE: Please be aware that the list used to disseminate the opportunities may not be comprehensive; faculty and staff are encouraged to notify colleagues of internal FOAs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Limited Submission (PROGRAM NAME FROM ANNOUNCEMENT). The deadline for the email of intent is included in the OVPR announcement for each limited submission opportunity and is typically one week after the date of the announcement.
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.
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
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. Members of internal review committees are recruited on a per-competition basis, coordinated by the Office of Research Development in collaboration with the OVPR and the office of Corporate & Foundation Relations. For each competition, at least three reviewers are selected based on relevant expertise in terms of content and/or funding mechanism, and only those without conflicts of interest with the applicants are chosen. Reviewers are asked to rank proposals based on the review criteria and priorities of the funding agency.
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 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.