Limited Solicitations Explained: There Can Only Be One

Did you know that some external funding programs have a cap on the number of applications that the University of Arizona can submit? Certain funders are doing this more and more often (i.e., NIH). 

Funding programs can opt to limit the number of proposals submitted per institution, called limited solicitations. Usually limited solicitation programs are capped at just one or two applications per institution in a funding cycle. To determine which UA proposals will be submitted to the sponsor, the Office for Research & Discovery conducts a two-stage intuitional review process. First, pre-proposals are reviewed, scored and ranked by the submitting PI’s college or department. These pre-proposals typically include:

  • A project description (roughly 2-3 pages);
  • PI biosketch; and
  • For large, complex proposals, names of team members at UA and at partnering institutions.

Within University of Arizona Health Sciences, email your pre-proposal details to Lauren Zajac, Executive Director of Research Administration at

Second, pre-proposals are forwarded to ORD who will evaluate the college nominations. An ad-hoc committee of UA faculty and representatives are then arranged for a formal review process and will select the most competitive pre-proposals based on the criteria employed by the sponsor or funding program. Review criteria of these pre-proposals may also include:

  • PI and investigator team qualifications in the specific funding area, and success leading multi-disciplinary/multi-institutional team efforts, if applicable;
  • The quality of the project description;
  • The relevance or “match” between the proposed project and the program requirements;
  • The impact or “importance” of the proposed project;
  • Responsiveness to review comments from a previous submission, if applicable; and
  • Any other factors relevant and appropriate to the funding program such as cultural competency; public outreach efforts; inclusion of underrepresented groups/minorities; and quality of the evaluation design.

More details, including a comprehensive flowchart of the limited solicitations process, can be found at:

The calendar of limited solicitations and their nominees can be found here Don’t forget to bookmark this page and check back frequently for new funding opportunities. 

Originally Posted: 
Friday, February 26, 2016 - 5:00pm