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Management of Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

Direct questions to:
Hannah Schmidt
Office of Research & Engagement

View current limited submission opportunities.

FAQ on Limited Submissions at UT Knoxville

Receive email notifications when new Limited Submission opportunities are posted via the LIMITSUB Listserv.

The Office of Research and Engagement (ORE) is responsible for administering the nomination process for any funding opportunities for which the sponsor limits the number of institutional nominations and/or the number of applications that an institution may submit.  ORE refers to these funding opportunities, or solicitations, as “limited submission opportunity.”

For most limited submission opportunities, when a sponsor releases the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) the ORE distributes an internal announcement through the LIMITSUB Listserv and other distribution lists.  The internal announcement includes a brief description of the opportunity, a link to the original solicitation, and instructions and the internal deadline for faculty to submit their notification of interest (NOI) in the opportunity. If the number of NOIs received exceeds the limit set by the sponsor, the ORE will coordinate an internal review. Faculty who submit an NOI by the deadline will be notified if an internal review is required along with instructions for preparing and submitting an internal proposal for consideration.  The ORE will identify internal reviewers who, in turn, will make a recommendation to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Development (AVCRD).  The AVCRD makes the final decision regarding which proposals will be submitted by UT Knoxville.

To allow adequate time for the review process and the selected faculty to complete and submit the proposal to the sponsor, internal deadlines will be set well in advance of official sponsor deadlines.

The ORE may deem certain programs “strategic institutional priorities”, for example, NSF’s Material Research Science and Engineering programs, and DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers program.  In these cases, the ORE may disseminate pre-solicitation information, solicit NOIs prior to the publication of the sponsor’s solicitation and/or require additional information in the NOI.  For those strategic institutional priorities requiring significant institutional investment in the form of cost share and/or other resources, the ORE may elect to direct the selection and teaming process in lieu of running an open internal solicitation.  These strategic institutional priorities will be identified in advance. Faculty interested in these programs should express their interest to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Development in advance of the solicitation and monitor internal communications and instructions carefully.

ORE may elect not to broadly disseminate a limited submission opportunity if it is deemed to be “highly focused” or if it specifically supports institutional programming or other activities that are not typically initiated or led by faculty members.  “Nominations” to competitive award or fellowship programs with very specific eligibility criteria, for example the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Program, will fall into this category.  In these cases, the ORE will develop and publicize alternative selection mechanisms.

It is the responsibility of the would-be Principal Investigator to contact ORE immediately via an email to limitsub@utk.edu if they identify a funding opportunity that places limits on the number of submissions allowed by the institution and is NOT listed on the Limited Submission Opportunities page.  Contact should be made at least 12 weeks in advance of the submission deadline or as soon as the opportunity is identified in order to manage a potential conflict.

If you would like to receive notification of limited submission opportunities click here to subscribe to the ORE limited submissions listserv.

FAQ on Limited Submissions at UT Knoxville

When you do find an opportunity where the number of applicants per organization is limited, please check the Limited Submissions current opportunities page to verify that ORE is not already running a competition for the opportunity. If the opportunity you have found does not appear, please contact limitsub@utk.edu immediately. Depending on the proximity to the opportunity’s submission deadline, ORE will either announce the opportunity to the research community or determine if you can be allowed to proceed as “first to notify.”

Failure to notify ORE may waste a great deal of your time if someone else already notified us and received the permission to proceed.

Each limited funding opportunity is announced via email through the limited submissions listserv and contains explicit instructions for submitting your Notification of Interest (NOI). If you have not received the announcement, please contact limitsub@utk.edu.

While the required submission components may vary depending on the opportunity, ordinarily you need to submit the following to limitsub@utk.edu:


  • Name and contact information of PI
  • Name and contact information of potential collaborators (if applicable)
  • PDF Abstract – 200 words (max) providing a brief explanation of the proposed research


The subject heading of your email should state your name, your department and the name of the limited submission opportunity. When submitting your NOI, please send from a UT address and copy your department head and associate dean for research.

As stated above, submission of a NOI is mandatory.

Under extenuating circumstances you may appeal directly to ORE to submit your materials late by contacting limitsub@utk.edu.

ORE posts limited submission opportunities on the UT limited submission listserv, in the weekly ORE newsletter, “Catalyst,” on the limited submission webpage, and by email dissemination to college and department level contacts, including the associate deans for research and the Governor’s Chairs.  To sign up for the listserv and to receive Catalyst, sign up here.

You will be informed via email regarding the need, if any, for a competition shortly after the NOI deadline expires. This email includes a list of the materials required for the competition as well as the due date for submission of competition materials.

All preproposals are reviewed under the auspices of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Development.  To ensure fairness, the AVCRD will only speak with applicants to clarify certain aspects of a preproposal that are unclear, or to gain required information that is missing from the application forms.  All decisions of the AVCRD are final.

Typically the applicants (both successful and unsuccessful) are notified within two weeks after competition materials are due.

ORE makes every effort to ensure that successful internal applicants have sufficient time to prepare a full proposal upon being notified of their selection.  In some instances timeframes may be shortened due to circumstances such as when ORE becomes aware of a limited submission opportunity, or when a given sponsor chooses to publicize its funding opportunity announcement.

If you are selected as the nominee, depending on the size and complexity of the proposal, ORE’s Faculty Development Team and Research Development Team are available to support the development of your full proposal. Contact AVCRD@utk.edu for more details.

If you decide not to submit you must inform ORE via limitsub@utk.edu as soon as possible so another applicant can have the chance to submit. Not informing ORE can have a negative impact on your being considered as a nominee in the future.

Further, a nominee may not just choose to submit for the next submission deadline for the opportunity.  Each selection is for a specific submission deadline for an opportunity, not the opportunity itself.