Limited Submissions


“Limited Submissions” occur when a sponsoring agency limits the number of proposals an institution may submit for a given funding opportunity.  Because of these restrictions, and because some opportunities attract broad interest within the university, the UM ORSP follows a standardized internal competition process to select proposals to submit on behalf of the University.

When the Internal Competition Standard Procedure Applies

If ORSP becomes aware of a limited submission opportunity at least eight weeks prior to the sponsor's due date, the Internal Competition Procedure below will usually be followed to select and/or develop the proposal(s) for the available slot(s). If ORSP learns about the opportunity between four and eight weeks prior to the due date, then ORSP will make every effort to fill the slot with a competitive proposal in the most practical and expedient way possible, which may or may not involve an internal competition. If ORSP learns about the opportunity less than four weeks prior to the due date, there will definitely NOT be an internal competition; in these cases, assignment of the slot will be made at the discretion of the Director of Research Resources and/or the Vice Chancellor for Research, and preferential consideration will be given to any investigator(s) who first expressed intent or interest in the opportunity. For limited submission opportunities of strategic importance to the university, the Vice Chancellor for Research reserves the right to bypass the internal competition and select or solicit a proposal to submit; however, these exceptional cases will be rare. 

IDRUM Notes:

  • IDRUM Exploration Groups and Strike Teams may be given priority consideration for limited submission opportunities.
  • For some internal competitions for recurring funding opportuniites, proposals/teams/ideas may be selected for either the current competition cycle, or for the next competition cycle.

Internal Competition Procedure


  • ORSP announces the opportunity on the website and in UMToday. 
  • The announcement contains the following:
    • Highlights and key points from the solicitation;
    • A link to the full solicitation;
    • Requirements for the “Letter of Intent to Propose” (LOI);
    • Due date for the LOI and the notification date;


IF the number of interested applicants does not exceed the number of proposals allowed,

THEN all applicants may participate in the limited funding opportunity, via the normal procedure for submitting proposals.

Furthermore, if by the LOI deadline the number of interested applicants is less than the threshold permitted by the limited funding opportunity, ORSP will accept rolling applications after the deadline – allowing applicants to participate on a first-come, first-served basis.

IF the number of applicants submitting an LOI before the deadline exceeds the institutional limit,

THEN the ORSP moves forward to the Request for Pre-Proposals.

If a Request for Pre-Proposals (RFPP) is Warranted

All investigators who have submitted an LOI shall receive from the ORSP a Request for Pre-Proposals (RFPP).  The RFPP shall include:

  • Requirements for the internal Pre-Proposal;
  • Due date for the internal pre-proposal;
  • Criteria to be used by the internal reviewers (based on the solicitation and University priorities); and
  • Cost share requirements. 

Among other stated requirements, the Pre-Proposal must address cost-share requirements/commitments.  Cost share commitments must be known before the Pre-Proposal can move forward.

Internal Review Process

Stage 1:

  • For each school or college that has an application pending, the ORSP first seeks guidance for appropriate reviewers from the Dean.
  • ORSP puts together a team of 3 or more reviewers (choosing first from the Dean’s nominees, then from other faculty volunteers, ORSP faculty fellows, ORSP directors, and/or external reviewers in a related field).

Stage 2:

  • ORSP reviews each pre-proposal for alignment with the program requirements, and makes comments on the review form.
  • If the ORSP notes opportunities for collaboration among the respondents, an effort will be made to encourage internal connections and interdisciplinary cooperation.
  • ORSP distributes internal pre-proposals to reviewers along with a scoring sheet.  The scoring sheet contains the stated requirements of the solicitation, and appropriate scoring criteria.
  • Reviewers complete scoring sheets for all applications.
  • If the Reviewer believes he/she has a conflict of interest with respect to scoring a particular application, they will so indicate on the scoring sheet.

Stage 3:

  • ORSP compiles and reviews score sheets, and based on the scores, will select which internal pre-proposals will go forward.
  • ORSP may also select an alternate pre-proposal.
  • ORSP notifies applicants about selection results and provides consolidated, anonymous feedback to all submitters based on reviewers’ comments.
  • ORSP sets a deadline for internal submission. As a condition of their selection, submitters must agree to comply with all internal deadlines, and to share sponsor review comments with ORSP.  Proposals not received in full by the deadline are subject to being replaced with the alternate proposal.

Stage 4:

  • The selected internal pre-proposals and alternate proposal are developed into full proposals by the investigators (incorporating the comments of the internal reviewers and eliminating identified weaknesses).
  • ORSP Program Development Specialists assist as needed in compiling and reviewing proposal components.
  • The ORSP Director of Research Resources will offer assistance in strengthening the language of the proposal, especially the summary or project description.

Reviewer Confidentiality: Deans may request the names of reviewers before the review process begins.  However, the names of reviewers will not be shared with applicants.