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Office of Research Administration

Limited Submissions and Internal Competitions

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General Information

This page provides a summary the University's process for managing "Limited Submissions" — external funding programs which limit the number of applications an individual institution may submit. For information about specific limited submission-related "Internal Competitions," please visit our competition management portal, Competition⇄Review Nexus.

Some private foundations, and some individual grant programs from federal sponsors, limit the number of proposals an institution may submit. In effect, this reduces the sponsor's review burden by requiring applicant institutions to eliminate some of the less competitive proposals. In order to submit USM's best proposal(s), avoid disqualification of all USM proposals by submitting more than allowed, and ensure a fair selection process, ORA conducts Internal Competitions (IC) when necessary. Sometimes ORA announces a Notification of Interest (NOI) query to determine whether or not more USM parties want to submit proposals than the sponsor allows. Sometimes the Vice President for Research (VPR) may encourage a collaborative effort among PIs as an alternative to a competition.

ORA manages ICs and NOIs online with a program called Competition⇄Review Nexus. Visit the Nexus portal anytime to browse ICs and NOIs. For more details about Nexus, click the Applicant & Reviewer Guide link in the bottom right section of the Nexus Home page.

Because many limited-submission grant programs are reissued annually, ORA keeps archived competitions in the Nexus Calendar so information about them remains available. Please be aware that not all limited-submission programs are listed in Nexus, and sponsors continually add new ones or add proposal limits to existing programs.

If you want to apply to a program that has institutional application limits or requires institutional ranking, look for it in the Nexus Calendar. If there is no NOI or IC related to it in Nexus, contact the Office of Research Administration's Information Specialist, Maurine%20Pace (USM-ORAFREEMississippi) or call 601-266-5054. ORA will initiate a selection process in as timely and equitable a manner as possible.

Process for managing limited submission programs

What ORA does:

  1. Upon learning of a grant program announcement with institutional proposal limits, ORA will review it to determine USM’s eligibility and the program’s potential usefulness to USM investigators. Based on that information, ORA may:
    1. Issue a call via email for a NOI in Nexus to determine the need for an IC. When the number of NOI submitted by the deadline exceeds the number of allowed submissions, ORA may conduct an IC. When the limit is not exceeded, NOI respondent(s) will be notified to submit full proposal(s) to the sponsor.
    2. Issue a call via email for an Internal Competition in Nexus. ICs typically follow NOIs, but the NOI step may be omitted for certain popular programs.
    3. Take no action, unless a potential applicant expresses interest.
  2. Internal Competitions require participants to complete an application form in Nexus and, typically, upload a 3-page concept paper with a summary budget.
  3. IC applications / papers undergo peer review, typically by members of the University Research Council, under the direction of the Vice President for Research (VPR).
  4. The VPR conducts a second review and may, at his or her discretion, consult with other USM faculty or extramural experts. The VPR makes the final decision regarding who may or may not develop and submit a full proposal to the sponsor.
  5. IC participants are notified of the decision.
    1. If your proposal is selected to go forward, please contact your School or other unit’s ORA Grants and Contracts Coordinator / Administrator for assistance with budgets, procedures, and regulations, etc.
    2. If your proposal is not selected to go forward, ORA and the OVPR will be glad to work with you to look for alternative sponsors for your project. Just ask. ORA’s Information Specialist is available at sponsoredprogramsFREEMississippi or 601-266-5054.

Principal Investigators (PIs) competing for limited submission programs agree to:

  1. Read the guidelines completely and carefully.
    1. Confirm that you are eligible and will be allowed to apply.
    2. Evaluate program goals and guidelines to determine appropriateness for your project.
    3. If you are unsure of the program's appropriateness, contact the program officer or equivalent for guidance.
  2. Discuss your intent to submit with your chair, unit director, and/or others involved in reviewing, routing, approving, and supporting the project.
  3. Follow ORA instructions precisely and respond by the deadline. Direct questions about the process to USM-ORAFREEMississippi.
  4. If your project budget includes matching (release time, in-kind, cash, etc.) you may be required to provide a statement of support from appropriate university officials (e.g., Director, Dean, VP, Provost) addressing cost sharing requirements.
  5. If approved to apply for the program, contact your ORA administrator and follow USM submission procedures and program guidelines.