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Limited Submission Guidelines and Procedures

The University of California, Santa Barbara, requires an internal review and selection process for any funding opportunity that limits the number of applications, nominations, or proposals that an institution is eligible to submit to an agency. Before applying for an opportunity with limited submission requirements, applicants must follow the campus process to receive approval from the Office of Research to submit on behalf of UC Santa Barbara.

Announcement of Opportunities

Research Development in the Office of Research announces the majority of limited submission programs and coordinates the campus selection process. Opportunities are identified through invitations, funding databases, and past opportunities. If you become aware of a funding opportunity with limited submission requirements that is not listed, please contact immediately.

Announcements that include detailed information about the opportunity including the internal deadlines and application process are e-mailed to the appropriate deans, department chairs, program directors, contract and grant liaisons, and faculty, and are also posted to the Office of Research web site.

Internal deadlines are chosen to allow adequate time for the campus review of applications and to allow sufficient time for the selected applicant to meet the agency deadline. Based on past and anticipated interest in the specific program, the Office of Research may ask for either a notice of intent or a pre-proposal. A notice of intent requires the submission of the names of the PI and any co-PIs, the anticipated administering unit, and a descriptive project title. Requirements for pre-proposals will be outlined in the limited submission announcement. All notices of intent or pre-proposals are due to by 5 p.m. on the deadline date unless otherwise specified.

Review Process

The Office of Research will determine if a campus competition is warranted based on the number of applications received by the deadline and the agency guidelines. Participants will be notified no later than two business days following the internal deadline about the need for a campus review, including the full list of applications (investigators and project title) that will be participating in the campus competition.

In most cases, if the number of participants does not exceed the number of allowable submissions no internal review will be necessary. However, if the agency requires cost-sharing or other large commitments from the university, the submission will need approval from the appropriate senior administrators.

If the Office of Research receives more potential submissions than the campus is authorized to submit, a campus review will be developed. If a pre-proposal was not initially requested, the Office of Research will request the appropriate materials from the applicants and set a deadline.

The Director of Research Development convenes an ad hoc faculty committee with the expertise necessary to conduct a fair and thorough review. Considering the diversity of applications submitted during a typical limited submission, it is unfeasible to convene a panel where each member is an expert capable of evaluating all proposals in a given pool. Therefore, chairs of departments from which an application was submitted will be asked to nominate a faculty reviewer for the campus review. In this way, the review panel should be composed of individuals each capable of evaluating the research merits of at least one application, although all review members will weigh in on presentation, clarity, adherence to proposal preparation instructions, and alignment with agency guidelines.

The committee identifies the application(s) with the best chance of success in the overall external competition by evaluating:

The committee makes a recommendation regarding an applicant(s) to the relevant Deans and the Vice Chancellor for Research who will, in consultation, select an applicant(s) to move forward to the agency. All applicants and their deans will be notified of the results and provided with a summary of the review comments if appropriate.

In special cases where the agency program guidelines require a large institutional commitment or coordination, the review panel may either be initially composed of senior administrators or the selection process will incorporate a second layer of review by senior administrators.

Candidate Responsibilities

Once selected, the applicant has the responsibility to submit a timely application, barring serious, extenuating circumstances. Should a candidate wish to decline a nomination, the Director of Research Development must be notified within three business days of selection notification.

Past Competitions

Some programs may still be open for agency submissions if fewer than the eligible number of preliminary proposals were received and the sponsor's deadline has not passed. Approval to apply to the sponsoring agency may be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact if you are interested in submitting to a competition with available slots.


Unless specifically mentioned in the campus announcement, cost-sharing (mandatory or voluntary) commitments are not required at the internal proposal stage and should not be sought until the applicant has received approval from the Office of Research to submit an application to the funding agency.

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