Limited submission (LS) funding opportunities are those in which the number of applications Northwestern can submit is limited by the sponsor. Research Development manages the institutional process, including the Limited Submission Advisory Committee. The Vice President for Research is the institutional nominator and has the final authority to select a nominee.
See our list of Limited Submissions by logging in with your NetID.
Download the standard LOI template.
Limited Submission Process
Limited Submission funding opportunity announcements are distributed in a targeted fashion to faculty. The announcements provide a description of the opportunity, a link to the funding agency’s site, deadlines, and the internal components required for submission.
Research Development staff make every effort to identify all limited submission opportunities and notify faculty. If you identify a limited submission opportunity that is not in our list, please contact us as soon as possible.
Faculty interested in applying for a limited submission funding opportunity are required to submit an internal letter of intent (LOI) by the due date (unless an LOI phase is not included in the announcement). The completed LOI template should be submitted via the web form provided in the announcement. If the number of LOIs submitted is less than what is allowable by the sponsor, applicants are authorized as institutional nominees to submit a proposal to the sponsor.
If the number of LOIs exceeds the sponsor’s limitation, an internal competition is held. Typically, all applicants that submit an LOI are invited to submit an internal proposal. Faculty should contact Karen Cielo if they submitted an LOI and did not receive an invitation to submit an internal proposal (or other notification) shortly following the LOI deadline.
Internal proposal guidelines are included in the LS announcement and/or invitation to submit an internal proposal. Typical requirements include a short project description, biographical sketch, and (if required by the sponsor) a recommendation letter from the department Chair or division Chief.
The Limited Submission Advisory Committee (LSAC) is composed of senior faculty from Northwestern schools and is charged with identifying nationally competitive candidates. Ad hoc reviewers, including faculty who are past awardees, are invited to join the meeting. In addition, ex-officios from the Foundation Relations or Corporate Engagement guide the panel by providing information about the sponsor’s mission, priorities, and the review process. Following the panel discussion, the LSAC votes for the recommended candidate(s). The Vice President for Research (VPR) reviews the committee’s discussion and recommendations and nominates the institutional nominee(s).
Once the VPR approves the nominee(s), the applicant is notified and authorized. The applicant’s department Chair, Associate Dean for Research, and Sponsored Research Grants Officer are also notified. Investigators who are not selected are notified as well. All candidates receive reviewer feedback from the LSAC in their notification.
Applicants must adhere to all posted deadlines and may not submit an application in response to a LS funding opportunity without institutional authorization from Research Development. Nominees are expected to submit a timely application, barring serious, extenuating circumstances. Should the nominee wish to decline a nomination, she/he is required to notify Karen Cielo as soon as possible.
Limited Submission Advisory Committee
I just became aware of a limited submission funding opportunity—what should I do?
Please check the Limited Submission Opportunities page to determine whether the opportunity has been announced to the Northwestern community. If the opportunity is not listed, please contact Karen Cielo as soon as possible.
What do I need to submit for a particular limited submission funding opportunity?
Each limited submission announcement includes the deadlines (date and time), description of the required internal components, and the process for submitting the application electronically.
I missed the internal letter of intent deadline—can I still apply to the opportunity?
Applicants must adhere to all posted deadlines to participate in the limited submission process. If you missed the deadline, you may communicate your interest for a particular opportunity to Karen Cielo.
I am a research administrator—how can I get limited submission funding opportunity announcements?
Please send an email to Research Development and request to be added to our list.
Can I contact members of the Limited Submission Advisory Committee to get feedback on the review of my proposal?
No. Applicants will receive feedback on their proposals via email, regardless if they were selected by the committee as an institutional nominee or not.