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FAQs


How does the limited submission process work? ►


When a sponsor limits the number of proposals that an institution may submit, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research notifies investigators about the limited submission funding opportunity — both through this website and through the limited submission listserv — and indicates the number of preliminary proposals or full proposals that Rice may put forward to that sponsor.

Before submitting an application to a limited submission program, investigators must obtain institutional approval to do so. Acquiring approval is a two-step process:


  1. Investigators must submit an online internal “letter of intent” form (see the FAQ below) for the program of interest.

  2. If more investigators express interest in an opportunity than the sponsor allows to submit proposals, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research will coordinate an internal limited submission competition. In this case, all investigators who submitted an internal “letter of intent” form will receive an e-mail inviting them to submit a short pre-proposal for review by an internal selection committee.

When reviewing the internal pre-proposals, the committee evaluates how well they address the sponsor’s review criteria and the internal review criteria, determines which of the pre-proposals would be the most likely to be funded by the sponsor, and ranks the pre-proposals accordingly.



How do I submit an internal "letter of intent" form? ►



  1. Go to the list of active limited submission opportunities and click on the link to the opportunity of interest.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the announcement, click on the "submit 'letter of intent' form" button, and complete and submit the form to indicate your interest in that limited submission opportunity.

  3. You will receive an automated reply indicating that your letter of intent has been received. If you do not receive this reply, please contact the Office of Proposal Development or the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (OCFR).



How do I submit an internal pre-proposal? ►



  1. If only or fewer than the allowable number of investigators submit “letter of intent” forms to prepare a proposal for a sponsor’s limited submission program, all investigators who submitted a “letter of intent” form will receive an e-mail indicating that they may proceed to develop and submit a proposal to the selected program.

    For example, if a sponsor permits Rice to submit only two applications to one of its programs and only two investigators submit “letter of intent” forms, both of those investigators will be notified that they may proceed to submit full proposals to that particular program.

  2. If more than the allowable number of investigators submit “letter of intent” forms to prepare a proposal for a sponsor’s limited submission program, all investigators who submitted a “letter of intent” form will receive an e-mail indicating that an internal competition will need to be held and that they will need to prepare and submit an internal pre-proposal for review.

    For example, if a sponsor permits Rice to submit only two applications to one of its programs and five investigators submit “letter of intent” forms, all of those investigators will be notified that they will need to prepare and submit an internal pre-proposal for review.



What if a limited submission funding opportunity has not yet been posted to this website? ►

As soon as possible, please e-mail a link to the limited submission funding opportunity to the Office of Proposal Development (OPD) or the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (OCFR) as indicated below. The announcement for that program will be posted to this website and sent out on the limited submission listserv within two business days.

  • If the sponsor is a federal or state agency, contact:

    Phyllis McBride, Director of Proposal Development


  • If the sponsor is a corporation, contact:

    Leah Aschmann, Director of Corporate Relations



What materials must be included in the internal pre-proposal? ►


Generally, the internal pre-proposal materials must be submitted in a single PDF file and must include — in this order — a cover sheet, a 1½- to 2-page project summary, and a 2-page biographical sketch for each of the Rice project participants.

In some instances, additional materials may be required; if so, the invitation to submit an internal pre-proposal will indicate what extra materials to include. In all cases, the pre-proposal must explicitly address each of the four internal review criteria described in the FAQ below.



What are the internal review criteria for the pre-proposal? ►


All limited submission pre-proposals must explicitly address the following four review criteria, as indicated below and in the review form that the internal selection committee will use to evaluate the pre-proposals:


  • Significance / Intellectual Merit

    Does the proposed research address an important problem, move the field forward, advance knowledge across fields, and improve scientific knowledge?


  • Approach / Methodology

    Are the concepts, strategies, and analyses for the proposed research appropriate and reasonable, and are the methodologies and alternative strategies feasible?


  • Sponsor Relevance

    Does the proposal respond fully to the sponsor's funding opportunity announcement, and is the proposal likely to win based on the criteria spelled out in that announcement?


  • Effect on Rice

    If funded, how will the proposed research support Rice’s Vision for the Second Century or otherwise strengthen the University?



What is the review process for the internal pre-proposal? ►


The Office of Proposal Development (OPD) or the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (OCFR) will e-mail the link to the sponsor's funding opportunity announcement, along with all applicants' pre-proposal materials, to all selection committee members. Using the review criteria above, all selection committee members will be asked to rank applicants' internal pre-proposals according to the five-point scale provided below, and to briefly explain the rationale for their rankings:


  1. Exceptional — Exceptionally strong with essentially no weaknesses.

  2. Excellent — Very strong with only some minor weaknesses.

  3. Good — Strong but with at least one moderate weakness.

  4. Fair — Some strengths but with at least one major weakness.

  5. Poor — Very few strengths and numerous major weaknesses.



What is Rice's limited submission policy? ►


Rice's limited submission policy was approved in November 2013. The policy is transparent and will always be posted on this limited submission website.


  1. Rice investigators will alert OPD or OCFR when they learn of a limited submission opportunity so that the opportunity may be announced to the campus community and opened to all eligible candidates, and so that Rice may comply with sponsors' guidelines to have open internal competitions.

  2. OPD and OCFR will give candidates as much time as possible to prepare the preliminary proposal for the internal competition, and, if selected, to prepare the full proposal for submission to the external sponsor. To facilitate this effort, OPD or OCFR will post funding opportunity announcements for limited submission programs on this website and on the limited submission listserv within two business days of receiving information about the opportunity, and, when possible, at least 90 days before the sponsor's deadline.

  3. The review criteria used by the selection committee to evaluate the candidates' internal pre-proposals during a limited submission competition will always be transparent. Specifically, a link to these criteria will always be provided to candidates in the announcement for an internal limited submission competition, as well as to the selection committee in the request to serve as a reviewer.

  4. The names of the members of the selection committee for an internal limited submission competition will not be released to internal candidates to protect the identity of the selection committee members and to encourage their continued participation in the selection process.

  5. All internal candidates applying to the same internal limited submission competition must submit only those materials requested by the selection committee in the format requested; if an internal candidate submits additional materials, the candidate's pre-proposal will be returned without review.

  6. All internal candidates may request that OPD or OCFR provide them with a summary of the selection committee's review comments to learn why their internal pre-proposal was selected or declined.