Limited Submissions

What Are Limited Submission Opportunities?

Many sponsors limit the number of proposals an institution may submit for a specific funding opportunity. For example, while most NSF opportunities allow unlimited submissions per institution, some like the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) only allow one or two proposals per institution per cycle. In these cases, if multiple PIs are interested in submitting to that call, CCNY needs to make a determination internally of which PI(s) should be allowed to represent the college with their proposals. It is the responsibility of the Office of Research to run fair and timely internal competitions for all such opportunities.

The Grants and Sponsored Projects (GSP) Office will not approve your submission to a sponsor on any limited submission call without the prior approval of the Associate Provost of Research or research/proposal development staff in charge of the limited submission process.

The Limited Submissions Process

The Office of Research follows a multi-step process to assess faculty interest in limited submission opportunities and to determine who should submit on behalf of the university:

  1. Announcement of Opportunity. The Office of Research announces limited submission opportunities relevant to CCNY faculty on a weekly basis. Each announcement contains specific information regarding the call, a link to the full request for proposals (RFP), and instructions for submitting an Expression of Interest (step 2). We encourage interested faculty to review the full RFP on the sponsor’s website before proceeding to step 2.
  2. Collection of Expressions of Interest (EOIs). We ask that all interested PIs submit an Expression of Interest by the stated deadline by using the online form linked in the limited submission announcement. All open calls for EOIs are listed on the form. The Office of Research typically sets the EOI deadline between 1-3 weeks from the date of the announcement, depending on the timeline for submission to the sponsor. For tight sponsor deadlines, we sometimes must also set a tight EOI deadline to ensure that the selected team has sufficient time to write a high-quality proposal. The information submitted in the EOI form will not be used to select proposals for submission to the sponsor, but will instead be used by our office to:
    • Determine whether an internal competition must be held.
    • Recruit reviewers for the internal competition who have relevant expertise.
    • Identify possible opportunities for collaboration between PIs who may be interested in similar opportunities. 
  3. Solicitation of Whitepapers. If more PIs submit EOIs than spots CCNY has available for submission to the sponsor, the Office of Research will run an internal competition. PIs who submitted an EOI will receive a whitepaper template and instructions (including review criteria). Generally, PIs are given 1-2 weeks to write whitepapers, depending on the sponsor timeline for final submission.
  4. Peer Review. Proposals are reviewed by CCNY faculty volunteers. The Office of Research provides reviewers with a scoring rubric, typically designed based on sponsor review criteria. 
  5. Approval. The final decision on all internal competitions rests with the Associate Provost for Research. This determination is typically made based on consensus from reviewers, but in cases where there is no consensus, other factors such as early-career status may be considered at the Associate Provost’s discretion. Once a determination is made, all competitors are notified and the identity of the winning PI(s) is released.
  6. Submission. Selected PIs are expected to submit a Proposal Assistance Request System (PARS) to the Grants and Sponsored Programs Office within 5 days of selection notification. In the case that a selected PI no longer intends to submit a proposal, they should notify the Office of Research as soon as possible so that another team may be allowed to submit. The Office of Research reserves the right to disqualify PIs from future internal competitions who are selected competitively but fail to submit a proposal to the sponsor without following up with our office in a timely manner.

If an opportunity is announced but received no EOIs by the deadline, it becomes available on a first-come-first-serve basis. That is, any PI who expresses interest after the deadline will automatically be selected to submit.

In rare cases where it is in the interest of CCNY as a whole, the Associate Provost for Research may modify or dispense with this process. For example, certain large (non-research) institutional grants are best written and led by college leadership (e.g., The President’s Office, The Provost, various other administrators) rather than teams of faculty chosen through a competitive process. In these cases, the Associate Provost may still solicit EOIs from faculty interested in working with college leadership to develop programs to benefit CCNY as a whole, but will not usually run an internal competition. In certain cases, the Associate Provost may also allow a team to re-submit a proposal to a sponsor that has received positive feedback but has not been funded in previous rounds (please discuss with our office early if you are in this situation).

What to Do if You Are Interested in a Limited Submission Opportunity That Has Not Been Announced?

If you identify a limited submission opportunity that has not been announced by the Office of Research, please contact the office as soon as possible so that the announcement and EOI process may be initiated. In some cases, an internal competition may have already taken place that you are not aware of.

Other Important Information About Limited Submissions

  • Deadlines are not flexible. In the interest of maintaining a process that is fair to all parties, no late EOIs or Whitepapers will be accepted. No exceptions will be made except in extreme circumstances. Submit your work early. A minute past the deadline is late.
  • Ask questions. Our office is here to advise you on this process and help you submit the best representation of your ideas. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.
  • Talk to your program officer. Whitepapers that note that the PI has had a conversation with their program officer and were encouraged to apply are more likely to be successful in the internal competition process.

Please reach out to Dr. Jackie Lee Weissman ( jweissman@ccny.cuny.edu ), Assistant Director of Proposal Development, with any questions.

Last Updated: 12/07/2023 10:20