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Limited Submissions

Limited-submission funding opportunities are those for which the sponsor limits the number of proposals UC San Diego may submit.

Opportunities are posted through an internal application platform (InfoReady Review) and distributed via two opt-in mail lists:

  • The UCSD Funding List is used for distribution of funding opportunity announcements relevant primarily to investigators on the General Campus and at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
  • The Biomedical Limited Submissions List is used for distribution of limited-submission opportunity announcements relevant primarily to investigators engaged in biomedical and health-related research.

When the number of internal applications for a given funding opportunity exceeds the allowable number of external submissions, internal review is conducted by one or more of four standing faculty committees, members of which are appointed by the Academic Senate. Recommendations on the most competitive applications are provided to the Vice Chancellor for Research. All applicants are notified of the outcome and provided reviewer comments, if any, on their applications.

For additional details on the limited-submission process, please view the FAQs. For questions, please contact limitedsub@ucsd.edu.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if the website doesn’t list an opportunity that I am considering?

While the Office of Research Affairs (ORA) makes every effort to list all limited-submission opportunities on this website, there may be some opportunities that are not on our list. If you become aware of a limited-submission funding opportunity that is not posted on our site, please notify us immediately by contacting limitedsub@ucsd.edu with the name of the sponsor and funding opportunity. Please include or provide a link to the call-for-proposals, if possible.

Who should submit an internal application on behalf of the research team?

Alignment with sponsor eligibility criteria is among the factors pertinent to assessing an application’s responsiveness to and competitiveness for a given opportunity. While faculty review committees recognize that multiple members of a research team contribute to program development, the InfoReady applicant should be the lead PI, who, if selected, will take responsibility for developing a proposal pursuant to sponsor guidelines. If needed, the InfoReady platform allows proxy submissions on behalf of a team lead.

Who reviews internal pre-applications?

Four standing committees composed of Academic Senate-appointed senior faculty members review internal pre-applications and make recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Research regarding which applications should go forward as proposals to external sponsors. Each standing committee includes faculty representation across a broad range of disciplinary expertise. For a small subset of limited-submission programs for which the relevant standing committee benefits from additional expertise in the pre-application review process, supplemental ad-hoc reviewers are recruited. View current committee membership

What criteria are used to determine which application(s) will move forward?

The review committees’ overarching goal is to maximize the number of limited-submission awards that come to UCSD. The process begins with the careful reading and evaluation of each internal application by each member. Reviewers consider each application's responsiveness to the program's goals and guidelines, including merit review criteria, if stated, as well as adherence to the campus application instructions. The committee's determinations are made following extensive discussion in face-to-face meetings or teleconferences. While committee members are chosen to provide diverse disciplinary expertise, they are not intended to serve as advocates or representatives for applicants in their respective areas.

Will I receive comments from the committee?

Yes. Each campus applicant, whether or not their proposal is chosen to move forward, is provided with written feedback from the committee. However, the committee cannot provide a detailed review due to the volume of submissions received.

If I miss an internal pre-application deadline, may I submit late or request an extension?

When a listed internal deadline has passed and no applications are received by our office, opportunities remain open until filled, up until the sponsor’s deadline. If the opportunity still appears on the InfoReady web page, please contact us. Please note that some opportunities do not receive any campus applicants. These are excellent opportunities to apply for external funding without competition from other PIs on campus. If the campus deadline has passed and the opportunity has been closed, i.e., the number of pre-applications meets or exceeds the sponsor’s limit, late pre-applications cannot be accepted. This policy is to ensure fairness and to enable the review process to proceed swiftly. Expeditious completion of the campus review process allows selected applicants as much time as possible to develop highly competitive proposals.

If my pre-application is not selected, can I reapply in a future cycle?

Yes. Each pre-application is evaluated without prejudice based on the outcome of prior reviews.

If my pre-application is selected for one opportunity, does that affect the chances of success in other competitions?

No. Reviews for each limited-submission opportunity, and each cycle of each opportunity, are independent. All applicants, whether selected to move forward or not, compete on a level playing field in subsequent competitions. Resubmitted pre-applications are treated as new applications – neither accorded preferential consideration in the evaluation process, nor disadvantaged in any way. Each pre-application, whether or not it is a resubmission, is given full consideration by the faculty review committee. The committee selects the pre-application(s) judged to be most competitive among those under consideration at the time of review. 

What if my internal proposal is selected, but I decide not to submit to the sponsor?

Slots for many limited-submission programs experience high demand. Selected PIs should plan to move forward immediately with developing a full application pursuant to the sponsor’s guidelines. Applicants who are unable to do so should notify limitedsub@ucsd.edu as soon as possible to afford another investigator time to prepare a competitive application. Failure to submit without timely notification risks underuse of campus slots, and may be taken into consideration in future limited-submission cycles.

Do you have any general suggestions for preparing a competitive pre-application?

In addition to following the instructions in the campus limited-submission announcement, we strongly recommend that applicants carefully review the call-for-proposals and, if applicable, any additional information on the sponsor’s website that gives insight about the sponsor’s priorities and preferences. Descriptions of previous awards/awardees and reviewers/judges can be particularly illuminating

Is there a possibility of collaboration between PIs whose pre-application(s) were selected to move forward to the sponsor and those whose pre-application was not selected?

By policy, information about the selected applicants/applications to limited-submission programs is not divulged, in order to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of the review process. A PI whose application was not selected to move forward may be offered a possibility, if interested, to send materials to us to be forwarded to the selected PI(s), along with an expression of interest in exploring potential collaboration. Encouraging strategic collaborations to position UC San Diego teams for success is always of interest. In such cases, the selected applicant may initiate collaboration, but is under no obligation to do so.