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A limited submission is a funding opportunity in which the funding agency limits the number of proposals that The University of Texas at Austin may submit. In such cases, an internal competition is held in advance of the proposal deadline to determine which PI(s) may submit their proposals to the funding agency.

Explore the Vice President for Research's "Find Funding" webpage for resources for locating a funding opportunity right for you.

Limited Submission Process

1. Announcements

UT-Austin’s Vice President for Research (VPR) tracks the limited submission opportunities for which UT-Austin is eligible and notifies all eligible UT-Austin colleges via email of these opportunities.


2. Internal Deadlines

After a sponsor deadline for a limited submission opportunity is announced, VPR sets an earlier, internal deadline to collect preliminary materials (e.g., concept papers or “white papers,” PIs’ biosketches) from all eligible colleges for internal competition. VPR notifies the colleges of the university-wide internal deadline and submission requirements via email. Our College, specifically the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities, then announces this internal deadline along with the submission requirements to targeted department chairs and organized research unit directors via email.

VPR aims to set their internal deadlines early enough to allow the selected PIs adequate time to prepare a competitive full proposal for the funding agency. However, there is no predetermined schedule for university-wide internal deadlines set by VPR, and so the deadline for a given internal competition can change from year to year. Viewing internal competition deadlines from past years can help you predict when this year's internal competition will take place.


3. Submitting Materials for Internal Competition

Internal competition materials must be submitted via the online interface CompetitionSpace on or before the university-wide internal deadline. A list of required materials to be submitted in CompetitionSpace is provided in the email limited submission announcement that the College sends out. Materials to be submitted vary based on the funding opportunity but typically include a short (one- to three-page) concept paper or “white paper” and the PI’s biosketch.

In addition to these materials, sometimes VPR will require submitting PIs to include a "cognizance statement" from their Dean's office, to ensure that the Dean's office is aware of the PI's intent to apply for a given opportunity. In these cases, the College will set an earlier deadline (usually 4 or 5 days earlier) for PIs to request cognizance statements. To obtain a cognizance statement for an internal competition, email CNS_SRI@austin.utexas.edu. Detailed instructions and deadlines for requesting cognizance statements also are provided in the email announcements for internal competitions.

Importantly, if cost sharing is required by the funding agency, you should discuss cost-sharing requirements for your proposed idea with the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities prior to submitting your internal competition materials. Likewise, if special space or facilities modifications are required for your proposed ideas, these issues should also be discussed with the Associate Dean prior to submission.


4. Review and Selection

Internal competition materials received by VPR are reviewed and ranked by a committee of faculty from multiple Colleges. Currently, there is no standing faculty committee; instead, faculty reviewers are selected for each competition by the VPR office, with input from the Associate Deans, based on their subject matter expertise and/or past experience with the funding sponsor. Sometimes, past award recipients for specific opportunities are asked to review internal submissions for the same program, since they have first-hand experience with the program.

These reviewers rank submissions according to the criteria set forth by the awarding agency. For research proposals, the committee members rank submissions on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Responsiveness to guidelines set forth by the funding agency
  • Potential for far-reaching impact on campus and beyond
  • Best chance of success in the external competition


Recommendations are collected from the faculty advisory committee and the top nominee(s) are sent forward to the Vice President for Research for final selection.


5. Final Selection: Vice President for Research

The Vice President for Research receives the faculty reviewers' recommendations and has final authority for selecting the proposal(s) to be submitted from UT-Austin. The VPR notifies the selected nominees. VPR also will notify those who were not selected of their status in the competition.


Frequently Asked Questions about Limited Submissions


I want to apply for a limited submission opportunity, but I have not received an email announcement stating the internal deadline. What do I do?

One of two things may have happened: Either VPR is not aware of the funding opportunity, or VPR has not yet set a deadline for this year’s internal competition. First, check the VPR's list of limited submission programs to determine whether an internal competition is already underway or planned. If the opportunity you’re interested in is not listed anywhere, then contact us at CNS_SRI@austin.utexas.edu. We will communicate with VPR to obtain permission for you to submit your proposal or to determine when the internal competition deadline will be set for this year.


I just received a limited submission announcement email, and it says I have only two weeks to prepare my internal competition materials and submit them to VPR. Why are these deadlines so tight? Can I get more advanced notice?

University-wide internal deadlines for all limited submissions are controlled by VPR. To give you as much notice as possible, we aim to distribute limited submission announcements to our faculty the same day that we receive notice from VPR. Although funding agencies frequently change their proposal cycles, and thus deadlines can change from year to year, viewing internal competition deadlines from past years can help you predict when this year's internal competition will take place.


What do I need to submit for a limited submission opportunity?

Each limited submission opportunity announcement email includes a list of the materials required for submission. All materials must be submitted via the CompetitionSpace web interface on or before the internal deadline, which is also stated in the email announcement. If you’ve lost your email announcement you may contact Strategic Research Initiatives to receive another copy or search the CompetitionSpace list of open competitions.


I know the College has an office that provides proposal preparation support for large center grants. Can they help me put together my internal competition materials?

We typically have multiple teams or PIs within the College who are interested in the same limited submission opportunity. Therefore, to avoid a conflict of interest due to a perceived unfair advantage, Strategic Research Initiatives cannot co-write your white papers or assemble your internal competition materials for you. However, Strategic Research Initiatives can offer advice on how to best structure your white papers and in some cases can provide examples of past successful white papers. If your white paper is selected as the UT-Austin nominee for external competition, Strategic Research Initiatives is available to support the development of your full proposal. Contact us at CNS_SRI@austin.utexas.edu for more details.


I was out of the country last week when an internal deadline came up. Can I have a pass and submit my materials late?

You may appeal directly to VPR to submit your materials late by contacting vprcompetitions@austin.utexas.edu. However, late materials will only be accepted under extenuating circumstances and if there is sufficient time for faculty committee review.


Can I request that a certain faculty member not be assigned to review my proposal due to a conflict of interest (perceived or real)?

You may request that a faculty member not be assigned to review your submitted materials by informing the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities of the conflict. We will relay the information to the VPR office/OSP.