The Office of Research Development facilitates the University’s selection process for Limited Submissions grants and awards. When a sponsoring agency limits the number of proposals that the University can submit for a funding opportunity, those opportunities are limited submissions. Many of these grants and awards are prestigious, and winning them can bring high visibility to researchers and scholars. Likewise, winning these opportunities enhances the reputation of the University’s faculty and its research portfolio.

Limited Submissions Updated Policy

The Office of Research Development is implementing a 45 day first come, first served policy. In the event that there are 45 days remaining prior to an opportunity’s first published deadline (LOI, preproposal, full proposal, or any other required material), the first faculty team to contact ORD will receive clearance to submit as the University’s nominee.

Limited Submissions Calendar

There are no upcoming events at this time.

We make every effort to identify limited submission opportunities and provide internal information in a timely manner. If a researcher should identify a limited submission that does not appear on our list or our calendar, please forward the program information as soon as possible to the Limited Submissions and Awards Team at or (919)962-7503.

A limited submissions grant is given to an individual or a team to fund a particular project or body of work. Agencies accept a limited number of proposals from each institution and the University must determine which proposals are submitted. Applications are submitted to the ORD, which coordinates the University’s formal submission to the grant agency. For proposals that are not funded, the grant agencies often provide substantive feedback on strategies to improve proposals for resubmission.

A limited submissions award is given to an individual as an acknowledgment of their academic or professional achievement. Faculty are nominated by a department chair, dean, or program head. ORD coordinates an internal review of candidates to determine the University’s official nominee. These awards frequently target junior faculty who have demonstrated significant contributions early in their careers. Many corporate entities and private foundations will award individual faculty as acknowledgment of their academic or professional achievements. Foundations will invite academic institutions to nominate promising investigators—often junior faculty—with a high likelihood of making significant contributions in a particular area of research and/or scholarship.

Below is a list of limited submissions awards sponsored by corporate entities and private foundations. The University has competed for these awards historically and we expect to continue to participate in the annual competitions. All dates are approximate and are contingent upon official invitation from the sponsoring agency.

Sponsoring Agency Limited Submission Award Disciplines of Interest (Broad) When to Expect Internal Call (Approximate)
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program Chemical Sciences Fall
David and Lucille Packard Foundation Packard Fellowships in Science and Engineering STEM Fields Early Winter
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Moore Inventor Fellows STEM Fields, Chemical Sciences Winter
American Diabetes Association Pathways to Stop Diabetes: Initiator Award, Accelerator Award, and Visionary Award Basic and Clinical Diabetes Research Late Winter
Takeda Corporation (via New York Academy of Sciences) Innovators in Science Award Neuroscience (2017 Focus) Spring
Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award Brain Neuroscience Research Spring
William T. Grant Foundation WT Grant Scholars Program Social/Behavioral Research in Youth and Inequalities Spring
Mallinckrodt Foundation Mallinckrodt Grants Basic Sciences Informing Disease/Conditions Late Spring
Pew Charitable Trusts Pew Scholars in Biomedical Research Basic Sciences Informing Diseases/Conditions Late Spring
Searle Fund at the Chicago Community Trust Searle Scholars Program Basic Sciences in Medicine, Chemistry, and Biology Late Spring
Simons Foundation Simons Investigator Program Math, Physics, Computer Sciences Summer
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Mellon New Direction Fellowships Arts and Humanities, Humanistic Social Sciences Summer
Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholars Program Bioethics-focused Research Summer
Johnson and Johnson WiSTEM2D Scholars Program Women in
STEM Fields
New York Academy of Sciences Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists STEM Fields Late Summer
St. Baldrick’s Research Grants / Scholar Grants Childhood Cancer Research Fall
Carnegie Corporation of New York Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences Early Fall
Rita Allen Foundation Rita Allen Scholars Award Basic Cancer, Immunology, and Neuroscience Research Late Summer
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award Food and Agricultural Sciences TBD
Brain Research Foundation Fay/Frank Seed Grant Basic Neuroscience Research Fall

For more information, please contact the Limited Submissions and Awards Team at, or (919) 962-7503.

Strategic and Large-scale Limited Grants

ORD realizes the importance of time to strategically plan for large scale, cross-disciplinary initiatives. Maximum time to prepare a large submission is a valuable and rare commodity for faculty, particularly in the current funding climate. ORD is piloting a modified version of the current limited submission selection process for these particular grants. With that in mind, The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research may determine that certain limited submission grants are considered as critically important to the research mission of the University; in such cases, relevant teams may be strategically identified by the Vice Chancellor.

Standard application materials include:

  1. Biosketch or CV of PI
  2. Brief Project summary (2 pages unless award specifies differently)
  3. List of potential collaborators (internal and external to UNC)
  4. Names of three internal (to UNC) faculty who could speak knowledgeably about the project, in the event of an internal review. Faculty named on the project, chairs or deans, direct reports or others who have a conflict of interest cannot serve on the internal review committee.
  5. Other materials specific to the requirements of the sponsoring agency

ORD facilitates the University Limited Submissions process. A main feature of this process is that it is a peer review. The UNC Chapel Hill process for the internal review of proposals, mirrors the NIH Study Section Panels review process.

How did I get chosen as a reviewer?

As a peer review process, reviewers are chosen by the grant applicants. The applicants select UNC faculty peers to review their work. They submit three names of faculty members who can speak knowledgeably about the area of proposed research. From among this list, ORD chooses a faculty member to observe the internal review process for the proposal. For more information on the University Limited Submissions process, please view or print our flow chart and one-page Limited Submissions One Pager .

What are my responsibilities as a reviewer?

Reviewers are responsible for reading the information packet sent to them by ORD one week prior to the review. Once reviewers are familiar with the candidate’s proposals (usually only 1-3 pages long), CVs, and grant criteria, the committee will meet. During the review, the faculty members confer and select the University nominee from the group of confirmed candidates put forward for the grant.


  • Review committees are composed only of faculty members who have expertise in the research being reviewed (faculty are identified by candidates under review);
  • University nominees are chosen by the faculty committee;
  • The ORD Director facilitates reviews;
  • General Reviewer feedback (with reviewer consent) is provided to all faculty candidates as well as the nominees to assist in mentoring junior faculty and improving future outcomes.


“(The review process) helped me understand how to write a better application” and “gave me a better sense of what’s going on in other parts of the campus”.

“background (provided in the internal review packet) was extremely effective in establishing a framework for decision-making”.

“Exceptionally well run program. This is truly putting the best proposals forward, and it shows”

  • Serves as a liaison between the University and the award-granting agency;
  • Secures copies of previous successful applications;
  • Helps obtain institutional endorsement, when appropriate;
  • Provides nominees with review-committee feedback;
  • Arranges for award-mentorship opportunities;
  • Partners with development office where appropriate.

Feedback from Faculty Nominees:

“ORD provided information about the specifics of the funding institution which was important and helpful”

“The process helped push me toward a well-defined idea early in the process”

“Exceptionally well run program. This is truly putting the best proposals forward, and it shows”