Limited Submission Programs

Sponsors frequently restrict the number of applications an institution can submit in response to a given funding opportunity. Information on institutional limitations can commonly be found in the Eligibility, Submission Instructions, or Summary sections of solicitations, but may appear elsewhere as well.

The Office of Research has established guidelines for selecting the proposal (or proposals) that will be submitted in response to a limited submission program, and internal coordination procedures are posted as early as possible on our Funding Opportunities page.

UF-affiliated researchers who come across institutionally limited opportunities for which guidelines have not yet been published on our Funding Opportunities page should contact Dr. Jeevan Jyot in the Office of Research as soon as possible to determine internal coordination procedures. 

UF Guidelines for Limited Submission Programs

University of Florida Guidelines for Limited Submission Programs

Funding agencies (sponsors) are increasingly restricting the number of applications an institution may submit in response to many funding opportunities.  University of Florida (UF) designates these as “Limited Submission Programs.” 

If more than the specified number of applications is submitted in response to a “Limited Submission Program,” all applications from the institution will be returned without review.  Therefore, complying with the guidelines is critical.

The Office of Research (OR) at UF has established the following process for selecting the proposal (or proposals) approved to be submitted in response to a limited submission program.  The policy will be implemented through the Division of Research Program Development (DRPD).

  1. Announcement:
  • Information on limited submission programs will be published by DRPD on the Funding Opportunities page as soon as possible following the release of the announcement by the sponsor. While DRPD will make every effort to identify all limited submission opportunities and announce them on the Funding Opportunities page, this is not always possible. Therefore, faculty members who wish to apply to a program for which the number of institutional submissions is limited, and where an internal selection process has not been announced, should contact Limited Programs in DRPD at as soon as possible to determine whether an internal selection process is necessary. Typically, the UF announcement on the Funding Opportunities page will provide guidance about the internal selection process such as requirements for an internal Letter of Intent (LOI) and concept papers/pre-proposals, internal deadlines and contact information for the individual or department coordinating the process.
  • Certain program announcements may be specific to a college or department. In these cases, DRPD will usually ask the respective college(s) or department(s) to coordinate the internal selection process. DRPD will work with the college(s)/department(s) to ensure that appropriate contact information and internal deadlines are included in the UF announcement on the Funding Opportunities page. After the internal selection process is completed, it is the responsibility of the college/department to provide the names of the successful candidate(s) to DRPD.
  • If a college is interested in internally coordinating an area- or field-specific Limited Submission program, they should contact DRPD at All requests will be considered.
  1. Internal Selection Process: All limited programs announced require submission of an internal Letter of Intent* (LOI), as detailed in the internal announcement (also described at ).
  • When the number of internal LOI submissions does not exceed the sponsor’s limit, DRPD will notify the internal applicants that they have institutional approval to submit their proposals to the sponsor following UF’s guidelines and policies.
  • When the number of internal applications exceeds the sponsor’s limit, DRPD will solicit concept papers** and form a review committee consisting of faculty members who have expertise in the program’s subject area to evaluate and select UF’s applicant(s). In some cases pre-proposals*** will be invited which will involve submitting a more detailed internal proposal based on the program criteria (for example NSF NRT, MRI, PIRE, etc.).
  • Some internal competitions begin with a selection process within the colleges (the UF announcement on the Funding Opportunities page will indicate if this is the case). It is the PI’s responsibility to find out if his/her college or school has set an earlier internal college review deadline.
  1. Review Criteria: The criteria used for evaluating the concept/pre-proposals will reflect the criteria stated in the sponsor’s program announcement. Generally, the following are considered:
    • Scientific merit of the proposal, based on the RFP requirements
    • Review of past submissions, feedback and responses to reviewer comments
    • PI’s funding record with the sponsor
    • Justification for requested budget
    • Broader Impacts, inclusion of minorities, sustainability beyond funding period, etc.

If a program allows two or more submissions and multiple internal proposals are submitted from the same PI(s) or the same department, DRPD may choose to select only one proposal from this group of PIs or department or encourage collaboration.  Such actions are intended to maximize UF’s chances of receiving funding from the sponsor. Reviewers’ comments will be provided to the PIs whenever available. Throughout this process, the anonymity of the reviewers will be maintained.

  1. Selection notification: The Vice President for Research will review the recommendations of the review committee for a final decision. DRPD will notify all candidates of the review outcomes via email. DRPD will also provide the name(s) of the approved candidate(s) to the Proposal Processing offices in the Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP).
  2. No internal applicants: Once the internal deadline for LOI submission has passed and DRPD does not receive any interest, these opportunities will be re-announced via a weekly “Last Chance to Apply” email. LOIs received under these circumstances will be treated on a first come, first served basis until the maximum number allowed by the sponsor is reached.
  3. Resubmissions by UF Faculty: Only one resubmission from a PI/team will be allowed for the same proposal, for the same program to the sponsor.
  4. Selected internally but not applying: Once a faculty member is selected to apply for a limited submission opportunity, s/he has the responsibility of submitting a timely application. Should a candidate decide to not submit an application, s/he needs to inform DRPD in writing (Attn: within 5 business days of selection notification. If the selected applicant withdraws her/his proposal, the applicant who received the next highest ranking will be notified that s/he may submit a proposal.
  5. Multiple submissions to a sponsor: If UF submits more than the approved number of proposals for a limited program, the sponsor may disqualify all submitted UF proposals, or request UF to approve one proposal for submission. In the second instance, all unauthorized proposals will be administratively withdrawn by UF.

Requirements for Limited Submissions Formats

*Internal Letter of Intent Format:

Guidelines for the general internal Letter of Intent are included in each opportunity announcement and can be found at If there are additional opportunity-specific requirements these will be included in the article associated with the opportunity on the Funding Opportunities page, and that information will supersede the general internal LOI guidelines.

**Internal Concept Paper Format:

Unless otherwise noted in the UF announcement on the Funding Opportunities page or via email, internal concept paper should include:

  • Cover Page (one page)
    • The sponsor name and full funding opportunity title for which you are applying.
    • The name and contact information of the contact PI and no more than 5 Co-PIs/Key Personnel.
  • A biographical sketch for the PI and up to 5 key personnel in the format provided
  • Two page project description (11-point type with 0.5 inch margins). Pay close attention to the program announcement and clearly address the program’s objectives and funding criteria.
  • One page budget that reflects the entire total project period (requests for matching funds or any exceptions to campus policies must be identified at this stage of the process and included in the budget page). A budget justification (1 page max) should also be attached.

*** Pre-proposal Format: Required format will be dependent on the solicitation and described in the internal announcement

Note: The UF announcement on the Funding Opportunities page may sometimes outline a different set of requirements to be addressed in the concept paper to reflect the program announcement.  The requirements listed in the UF announcement on the Funding Opportunities page will always take precedence.

Any questions regarding these policies should be directed to Dr. Sobha Jaishankar, Assistant Vice President for Research (

Letters of Intent for Limited Competitions

Letters of Intent (LOIs) are often required internally for limited submission programs. If specific instructions for the submission of LOIs is included in the article associated with the opportunity on the Funding Opportunities page, that information supersedes these general guidelines.

Internal letters of intent are not binding (you may withdraw at any time, and the personnel, title, and description may be revised as necessary before submission to an external funding agency), are for internal use only, and have no specific formatting guidelines. They may be sent in the body of an email or as an attached 1-2 page .doc or .pdf file.

While you may choose how to format your LOI and the internal funding announcement on the Funding Opportunities page may request some additional specific content, please ensure that your LOI contains, at minimum, the following information:

  • The full funding opportunity title and sponsor name for which you are applying. (Please also include this in the body or subject line of the email if the LOI is sent as an attachment.)
  • The names and departmental affiliations for the PI and no more than 5 Co-PIs/Key Personnel.
  • A biographical sketch of the PI in the format provided
  • A tentative title for the project.
  • A short (one-paragraph) description of the project.
  • Any other information or documents specifically requested in the article detailing the internal process on the Funding Opportunities page.

If you have any questions about limited funding opportunities or find a limited submission opportunity for which you would like to apply not yet listed on the Funding Opportunities page, please contact Dr. Jeevan Jyot in Program Development at