Limited Submission Programs

Limited Submission programs are those programs wherein sponsors restrict the number of applications or proposals that each university can submit for consideration. The guidelines for these programs require institutions to prescreen proposals to determine which applicants will be nominated by the university and submitted for competition.

The University of Akron Office of Research Administration (ORA) assists faculty by identifying limited submission programs and directing the submission process. In the event that multiple PI’s express interest in the same limited submission opportunity the ORA coordinates the campus review and nomination process to determine the proposal(s) the university will support for submission.

It is imperative that applicants understand and follow the correct submission process when applying for limited submission programs; failure to adhere to proper procedure may result in disqualification of applicants and/or the university as a whole.

Applicants should be able to commit the time and necessary resources to develop a proposal and meet all limited submission requirements. Failure to submit a proposal after being selected via the internal competitive review process may result in a loss in eligibility for future limited submission opportunities.


The nature of the Limited Submission process requires applicants to adhere to two deadlines: internal notice of interest deadline and agency deadline. 

Internal deadlines are the dates by which applicants must submit their Notification of Interest to the ORA. Internal dates are 45 days prior to the agency deadlines. Submission must be completed via email no later than 5pm on the deadline date; this internal deadline also applies to agencies requiring a Letter of Intent prior to an application. 

Agency deadlines are the dates specific agencies require applicants to adhere to for submission. The university does not determine these dates. See specific agency websites to learn about the details of their proposal process.

Limited Submission Process

Step 1: Notification of Interest

  • Individuals interested in applying to a limited submission program must submit a Notification of Interest no later than 5pm on the internal deadline. To submit this notification applicants must email with the subject line  of the email formatted as follows: “Last name, First name; Limited Submission Notification of Interest”. Notifications will be emailed, and applicants will either be approved to apply or will be prompted to provide a white paper.

Step 2: White Papers

  • In the event that Notifications of Interest exceed the allowable number of institutional proposals, an internal white paper competition occurs. An internal review is conducted to determine which proposals hold the highest likelihood for success and/or alignment with the university’s strategic plan. Each individual or group who has sent a Notification of Interest will be contacted via email and is required to submit a white paper document within one week of notification.

Step 3: White Paper Proposal

  • All materials must be emailed, as a single pdf, to, by 5pm on the due date (one week from notification) with the email subject line format “Last name, First name; White Paper Proposal.”
  • White paper must include:
  1. Summary of the proposed project briefly describing the proposal’s goals, strengths and potential for success (Limit: 3 pages)
  2. Brief bio sketch of each investigator (Limit: 2 pages each)
  3. Current and pending support document for each investigator
  4. Budget and justification (Limit: 1 page)
  5. Other special documentation references in the limited submission opportunity notice specific to the funding program 

Step 4: White Paper Review and Selection Process

  • White papers will be reviewed by a University committee originating with the assistant vice president for research. Review of proposals will be completed approximately one week from the white paper submission deadline, and all competitors will be notified of the committee’s decision.
  • Limited submission white papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
  1. PI and Co-PI’s bio sketch/qualifications in the area of research
  2. Project description quality, technical merit and intellectual merit
  3. Relevance between the proposed project and the program requirements
  4. Importance (broader impact) of the proposed project
  5. PI’s funding history with the specific agency
  6. PI’s previous submissions (if any) to the same program and the outcome
  7. Project team’s composition and expertise
  8. Any key partners or sub-awards and justification for the need of each
  9. Feasibility of proposed work and fit with UA’s mission and research objectives
  10. Program specific requirements for larger or highly competitive programs (ex: NSF MRI, IGERT, I/UCRC, etc.)
  • Faculty may request their white paper review comments. Comments will be available approximately two weeks after the review deadline.
  • Internal review and selection is based on the criteria employed by the sponsor and is specific to each program.

Reminder: ORA deadlines are 45 days prior to agency deadlines for limited submissions.


Contact: Office of Research Administration 

Phone: 330-972-7666