Limited Submission Opportunities


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a limited submission selection process because government agencies, private foundations, and corporate sponsors often accept only a limited number of proposals, applications, or nominations from a single institution (thus the term "Limited Submissions").

View Current Limited Submission Opportunities

Limited Submission Selection Process

The OVCRI oversees the limited submission selection process and selects one or more proposals that will be submitted to the sponsor informed by the review process. The typical process for selection is outlined below, although exceptions are made in certain situations: for example, when the deadline is short, when the program is highly focused, or when a proposal involves a strategic interest of the University.

The OVCRI normally delegates responsibility for programs related to graduate student education and research to the Graduate College and may delegate responsibility for other specialized funding opportunities to other relevant campus units. The delegated unit is responsible for the application process, reviews, and campus approval and may follow procedures different from those outlined below.

Faculty and other researchers wishing to pursue a limited submission opportunity must work with the OVCR or the delegated unit. A researcher responding to a limited submission opportunity must follow the process outlined below and obtain campus approval prior to sending a proposal to the Sponsored Program Administration (SPA).

How Do I Find Out About Limited Submission Opportunities?

The OVCRI notifies the research community of limited submission funding opportunities in a biweekly email announcement and will perform a "downselect" when we receive significant interest from a number of researchers for a particular opportunity. If another unit will make the selection, this will be indicated in the notification to the research community.

The OVCRI sometimes does not announce new or narrowly targeted opportunities, but instead relies on relevant administrative units to identify the opportunities and notify their researchers. Researchers intending to compete for such an opportunity are expected to email the OVCRI at as soon as possible to submit a notice-of-intent to the OVCRI as soon as possible to make OVCRI aware of the opportunity and their interest. This will allow the OVCRI to determine the need for an internal downselect.

What is the Downselect Process?

The normal selection process is straightforward: 

  1. The OVCRI announces opportunities.
  2. Researchers express interest with a notice of intent (NOI)
  3. Then proposals are selected. See specific details below. 

Campus Announcement

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation announces opportunities via a biweekly e-mail announcement. Join our mailing list. 

Notice of Intent: First Step to Apply for a Limited Submission

A notice of intent (NOI) should be submitted to the OVCRI by researchers who are interested in limited submission funding opportunities that are not announced by the OVCRI. The lead PI should submit a NOI via email to with the following information: 

  • PI Name
  • PI Title 
  • University Email Address
  • Proposal Title 
  • Funding Agency
  • Link to Funding Opportunity Announcement

NOIs should be submitted as soon as possible.

Pre-Proposal Application

The researcher must submit an electronic pre-proposal by the date specified in the limited submissions announcement. Researchers who do not submit a pre-proposal by the posted date are not guaranteed consideration in an internal downselect.

Pre-proposal guidelines vary according to the funding opportunity.  Please contact for pre-proposal instructions for the limited submissions opportunity of interest.

Selection Advisory Panel

For research proposals, limited submission review panels usually comprise of associate deans for research (ADRs), institute directors representative of appropriate disciplines, and faculty identified by the ADRs or the OVCRI. In cooperation with colleges/institutes, additional faculty may be recruited to serve on the panels. When the funding opportunity is from a private foundation, the panel usually includes a representative of the Office of Foundation Relations.

Selection Process

Selection advisory panel members review and rank the pre-proposals, taking into account additional factors such as which pre-proposal teams that will have the best chance of success in external competition and the alignment of the which pre-proposals are best aligned with the University's strategic goals. They Panels may meet to discuss the combined rankings. The The panel’s recommendations are forwarded to the VCRI for approval. Panel members are encouraged to provide written feedback to be shared with applicants, along with any informal feedback that may be helpful in formulating a final decision. To ensure that PIs have adequate time to prepare final proposals, the reviewers and the OVCRI work to provide PIs with a rapid response.

Selection Notification

The OVCRI electronically notifies the colleges/institutes, ADRs, department heads, and SPA. The OVCRI also sends applicants written feedback from the review panel if applicable.

Faculty Responsibility

Researchers/Teams who are selected to apply for limited submission opportunities are expected to work with the appropriate administrative units to prepare strong proposals and to submit those proposals by the designated deadline. Researchers/Teams that decline the selection must notify the OVCRI as soon as possible so that another researchers/teams may compete. Notificiatons must be sent to


For questions regarding limited submission please contact the OVCRI via