Limited Submissions

Internal Competitive Review Process

A "limited submission" is a Sponsoring Agency's funding opportunity that limits the number of proposals an institution may submit for a particular grant competition. The timing, dollar value, number of submisisons, scope of work, and frequency of offering of the limited submission programs vary considerably.  

To apply to these programs, principal investigators (PIs) need to go through a standard UAF internal review and selection process. An important step in this process is submitting a 3-page white paper that summarizes the proposal idea, its merits/impacts, and a draft budget. This white paper will be reviewed by the limited submission review committee. The committee will rank the white papers based on published criteria and make a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR), who will take the final decision in this selection process. Top ranking PIs will be given the 'go ahead' by the VCR to submit a full proposal to the external agency.

Limited submission review committee (2013-2015) :       

  • Christopher Arp (Water and Environmental Research)
  • David Fee (Space Physics)
  • Doug Goering (CEM)
  • Andrew Gray (OGCA Pre-Award)
  • Robert Herrick (Planetary Science)
  • Russ Hopcroft (Fisheries)
  • Jerry Johnson (ACEP)
  • Anupma Prakash (Geophysics) Chair
  • Brian Rasley (Chemistry)
  • Barbara Taylor (Biology / Neuroscience)
  • Michael West (Seismology / Volcanology)

Note: The committee has the option of soliciting external reviews.

Popular limited submission programs and calls: Listed here are some of the popular calls. Other opportunities appear from time to time. If you know of other opportunities that UAF faculty could apply to, please let the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) know about these so that this list can be updated.

  • NSF Major Research Instrument Program
  • M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
  • The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

The University of Alaska also has some large existing programs that may have additional opportunities for limited submissions. These programs have their own review and selection criteria and do not follow the standard UAF internal review and selection process. These include :

  • NASA EPSCoR CANs (Review coordinated by the Alaska Space Grant Program)

Process and (timeline) :

  1. Opportunity announcement: OSP will send out a monthly update announcing upcoming limited submission opportunities and associated deadlines as broadly as possible (e.g. via deans and directors, sponsored programs listserv, and grants and contracts listserv). We anticipate that for major limited submission programs with established deadlines, there will be sufficient lead-time.
  2. Notification to your Institute, College, or School (as soon as you make up your mind that you wish to apply. Recommended timeline - within a week of opportunity announcement): To apply to a limited submission program, first notify your dean/director that you intend to participate. The dean/director has the option to provide comments or rank multiple proposals submitted from their unit. This is also a good time to work out a plan with your dean/director for providing matching funds for your proposal, should the agency require non-federal matching funds.
  3. Notification to OSP (Recommended timeline - at least 12 weeks prior to agency deadline): The PI must send an e-mail of interest to (with a CC to the dean/director) notifying their interest in applying to the limited submission opportunity. PIs should provide a tentative title for their submission at this time.
  4. White paper submission for UAF-wide competition (required deadline: on Thursday, 10 weeks before the proposal is due to the agency): If you are selected from your unit for a UAF-wide competition, then you will need to submit: a title page, up to a 3-page white paper, a one page draft budget in the OSP format, and short CVs of PIs and funded Co-Is via email to White papers must be received by 5:00 p.m. on or before the internal submission deadline. Late/incomplete submissions will be refused.

    This white paper will be reviewed and ranked by the UAF’s limited submission review committee. The committee will make a recommendation to the VCR, and the VCR will decide which PIs will continue with a full proposal submission on behalf of UAF. OSP will communicate this decision to the selected PIs, their respective dean/director, and relevant department fiscal/proposal staff by Thursday, 8 weeks before the proposal is due to the agency. Candidates who have not heard any communication by this deadline should contact or call 474-1851.

    Some opportunistic or less known limited submission opportunities may have compressed timelines between the announcement of the request for proposals (RFP) and the due date for submission, which will require a corresponding compression of our internal review schedule. Such special opportunities will be dealt with on an ad hoc basis and timelines/schedules for these will be clearly circulated by OSP along with the original email circular that announces the opportunity.

Special Note: For certain large-scale programs, such as proposals for developing centers, the PI or designated Co-I may be invited to make a presentation about the project directly to limited submission review committee. Should this step be necessary, the requirement will be included in the initial opportunity announcement along with a modified timeline for the internal review process.

Guidelines for title page, white paper, budget summary, and CVs:

Title page: Provide a title page with the name of the sponsor, the name of the program, and the title of the proposed project. Include the names, titles, departments, telephone numbers and email addresses of the UAF PI and Co-Is. If applicable, provide the same information for the PIs of partner organizations, along with their affiliations at the partner organizations. Provide the name, email address, and telephone number of your dean or director. Indicate if the proposal requires matching funds and whether or not a plan for securing the matching funds is in place.

Also indicate whether this is a (i) new white paper never reviewed before; (ii) a resubmission of a white paper (that was not advanced for full proposal submission) with no/minor/major modifications; (iii) a resubmission of a white paper (that was advanced for full proposal submission but proposal was not funded) with no/minor/major modifications.

White paper: The white paper can be a maximum of 3 pages in length, including figures and references. Please use a minimum 12-point font size for the text and a minimum 1-inch margin for the document. This 3-page white paper is the only document that the internal review and selection committee will base its judgment on, so please take care to succinctly present your proposal ideas in this document. The white paper should present the rationale/purpose of the project/request, your work plan, personnel and responsibilities, relevance to the specific call, plus relevance to UAF and Alaska.

Should your white paper fall in category (iii), i.e. it is a resubmission related to a full proposal that was submitted earlier but not selected by the agency for funding, then please add a short section (no more than 1 page) on 'reference to the earlier proposal' that summarizes the main strengths and weaknesses pointed out by the reviewers and how you are planning to address the weaknesses in this second round of submission. This section is not counted in the 3-page limit.

Depending upon the solicitation, the following should also be included in the white paper:

Program or center development white papers: Carefully outline how this new program or center will fit into the existing university structure and describe how this program can become self-sufficient. Append a signed support letter from your dean or director (not counted in the 3 page limit). Note: Establishment of a center requires UA Board of Regent approval. This is not required at the submission stage, but will be necessary prior to accepting an award.

Instrumentation white papers: Preference is given to proposals requesting instrumentation that benefits multiple faculty members or multiple programs. White papers must include recent price quotes from the anticipated vendor (not counted in the 3 page limit). If applicable, you must identify the room or lab that will house the equipment and provide cost estimates for installation.

Budget summary: (<1 page, not included in the 3 page limit). Present a brief summary of the budget request. Should the solicitation require matching funds, indicate the approximate amount of funds requested from the agency, the amount and terms required for the match, and the identified sources for the matching funds. Indicate whether the matching fund sources are confirmed or not. The budget should conform to OSP templates.

CVs of PI and funded Co-Is: Include a short CV (2 page limit each) of the PI and funded Co-Is.

Review Criteria:

White papers will be evaluated on:

  1. Scientific/technical quality and merit (5 point scale)
  2. Compliance and alliance with agency requirements/specific RFP (3 point scale)
  3. Relevance/benefit of the proposed research for UAF/State (3 point scale)
  4. Evaluation of the budget request/match plan (3 point scale)
  5. Overall rating (5 point scale)
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