A limited competition is a grant program in which the sponsor restricts the number of applications that can come from a single institution. It is the institution’s responsibility to ensure that it does not exceed the permitted number of applications.
To that end, the Office of Research Development watches Grants.gov and other sources for announcements of limited competitions. When we identify one, we post a notice to RESRCH-L, the listserv maintained by the Office of Research Development. We also post it to a running list of limited competitions that we keep on our website.
The notice contains brief information about the grant program and includes a deadline by which investigators who want to apply must notify the Office of Research Development of their interest. Investigators usually have a week to decide whether they want to pursue an opportunity.
If the number of investigators wishing to apply to a program does not exceed the number of applications the university is permitted to submit, all can go forward with their proposals. The Office of Research Development will notify those who expressed interest that they can begin to prepare full proposals.
If the number of investigators wishing to apply to a program exceeds the number of applications the university is permitted to submit, the office conducts an internal selection process. Investigators who want to apply are asked to prepare a one- to two-page preproposal. These preproposals are reviewed by an ad hoc subcommittee of the Council for Research. The council examines the program review criteria and selects the applications it believes best meet those criteria.
The Office of Research Development then informs investigators of the council’s decision. Those selected can begin preparing a full proposal at that time.
Please note that the list of limited competitions compiled by the Office of Research Development is not exhaustive. Anyone who wants to apply to a limited competition not posted on the list should contact the Office of Research Development so it can post the opportunity and conduct this process.