Scroll down this page for information about the internal selection process, "Frequently Asked Questions," current limited submission competitions, a list of recurring programs, and more.
Some sponsors (including federal, state, foundation, and nonprofit) limit the number of nominations or proposals (or sometimes concept papers, pre-proposals, letters of intent, etc.) that Cornell University may submit to a particular program. This information can usually be found in the "Eligibility" section of a funding opportunity announcement. These "limited submission" opportunities must undergo an internal selection process, which is overseen by the Office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation (OVPRI).
This internal selection process is necessary because (a) some sponsors will automatically exclude all Cornell submissions for a given opportunity if they receive submissions in excess of the limit, and (b) without institutional approval a sponsor may return the submission without review.
Visit Cornell's internal competition online platform to apply to current limited submission competitions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Limited Submissions
- Prospective applicants/nominees for LS opportunities must first apply to an internal competition (unless otherwise stated in an announcement). Each competition announcement includes an internal submission deadline, program summary, link and/or pdf file for the sponsor's program guidelines and requirements, and a list of materials required for the internal review process.
- For internal review, applicants typically must submit a two- to three-page project description, one-page budget summary, and a lead PI biosketch or CV. For some competitions other materials, such as a nomination letter from a Department Chair, are also required. Internal application/nomination requirements vary depending on the program. It is the submitters responsibility to review the internal competition announcement to learn what specific materials are required.
- Internal competition deadlines: While every effort is made to provide ample time for internal application/nomination preparation and submission, there are some cases where the sponsor’s timeline necessitates a short timeline. In rare cases, a sponsor's timeline precludes an internal competition altogether - for such opportunities, applicants are typically approved on a rolling/"first come, first served" basis until all slots are filled.
- For most limited submission competitions, the Faculty Senate's Research Advisory Committee (RAC) reviews the submitted internal applications. For some LS programs an ad hoc review panel may be convened and/or senior leadership, such as College Deans, may participate in the review. The review panel then selects to move forward the submission(s) that has the best opportunity for success based on its responsiveness to the sponsor's solicitation and program objectives, and its scientific and scholarly strength. Internal applicants are promptly notified of the outcome.
- Note: There are some limited submissions program, such as the Sloan Research Fellowships, where internal selection is coordinated by individual Departments not the central Limited Submissions team. This information is included in the announcement that is disseminated to campus.
- The selected candidate then works with their unit pre-award specialist/grant coordinator and Grant and Contract Officer (GCO) to prepare and submit the materials required by the sponsor, according to each sponsor's specific instructions and guidelines. Sponsors' requirements vary (e.g., it may be a Letter of Intent, Concept Paper or other type of pre-proposal, or a full proposal). Note: Materials submitted for an internal competition differ from funders' own submission requirements.
Internal competitions and limited submission opportunities are regularly announced via our email listserv, on this website, and/or on InfoReady (Cornell's third-party, web-based internal competition platform).
To receive timely communications about limited submissions, subscribe to the CU-RES-ADMIN-L listserv here. You may also reach out to the Limited Submissions team.
Unless otherwise stated in a competition announcement, all internal application materials must be submitted via the InfoReady platform and emailed applications will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted by the internal submission deadline noted in the competition announcement.
Please contact the Limited Submissions team if you missed an internal competition deadline. If the submission slot(s) were not already filled, you may still be able to apply to the funding opportunity. In these situations, approvals to submit to the funder are typically granted on a rolling/first-come, first-served basis.
If a selected candidate decides not to submit to the sponsor, they must notify Cornell Limited Submissions as soon as possible. Internal competitions are highly competitive and, where possible, we want to allow another applicant to be selected to submit.
If you need assistance using the InfoReady platform, please contact Cornell Limited Submissions. We are happy to help you.
If faculty, students, or staff become aware of a limited submission opportunity that is not currently listed on this webpage or the Cornell InfoReady website, please notify the Limited Submissions team before any applications/LOIs/Concept Notes/etc. are submitted to the sponsor.
We do our best to identify and announce limited submission opportunities, but cannot guarantee that we find them all. If there is any question about submission limits for a solicitation, please contact us.
- Adhere to all the internal submission requirements, including page limits.
- Read the sponsor's solicitation and research the sponsor. What and who does the sponsor aim to fund? Align your proposal with the program goals and priorities.
- Clearly state the problem/need your proposed research will address.
- Clearly describe the objectives, methods, significance, and innovation.
- Address the "so what?" factor. If you succeed, what difference will it make? What will be the impact?
- The proposal should be accessible to a general scientific audience. Reviewers will have differing levels of familiarity with your specific area of research. Define significant technical terms and avoid using a lot of "jargon."
The RAC has developed recommendations for Chairs writing nomination letters for internal competitions, which can be downloaded as a pdf file: Tips for writing letters of nominations (Cornell netID login is required for access).
Recurring Programs List
Download a list of recurring limited submission programs here.
News (updated weekly)
- DOE Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) FOA to Address Key Deployment Challenges for Offshore, Land-Based, and Distributed Wind: This FOA consists of four Topic Areas focusing on High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) for Offshore Wind, Advancing Deployment of Distributed (ADD) Wind, Offshore Wind Energy Social Science Research, and Bat Deterrent Technology Development. Topic Areas 1 and 2 are limited submission; Cornell may submit no more than one concept paper/full application for each Subtopic Area 1a, 1b, 1c, and Topic Area 2. There will not be an internal competition; instead interested applicants must contact Cornell Limited Submissions. Applicants will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Email a letter of interest to Limited Submissions with the following information: (1) The project name and specific Topic Area or Subtopic Area. (2) The name(s), title(s) and affiliation(s) for the PI and Co-PI(s)/other Key Personnel. (3) A statement regarding the cost share requirement indicating how the PI intends to meet the requirement.
- NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI): The new NSF MRI Program solicitation has posted (NSF 23-519). NSF has made significant changes from the previous solicitation, including revisions to Tracks 1 and 2, the addition of a new Track 3, and a waiver of cost sharing requirements. Cornell's internal MRI program competition has been revised and is now finalized. Note: There are two MRI submission windows in calendar year 2023, one in February 2023 and another in November 2023. The current internal competition is for the February 2023 submission cycle. There will be another competition in the future for the November 2023 submission cycle.
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM): The program is under revision and awaiting a new publication. NSF recently released a Dear Colleague Letter with further information. The internal competition has been paused for now and will be re-open when the new S-STEM solicitation is available.
Current Internal Competitions
Unless otherwise noted in a competition announcement, internal Applications are due at 5:00PM on the Deadline.
Note to Weill Cornell Medicine investigators: You must contact Florencia Marcucci, email@example.com, in the WCM Office of the Research Dean, if interested in apply to a limited submission funding opportunity. WCM has separate internal competitions.