Limited Submission Procedures

Limited Submission Policy (Effective August 1st, 2016)

AU Competition Space Limited Submission Web Portal

The Office of Proposal Services & Faculty Support (PSFS) consistently searches for limited submission opportunities that may be relevant to Auburn investigators regardless of the funding agency. Those opportunities that have been identified by PSFS are posted in the AU Competition Space, a new online program that facilitates and simplifies the internal submission process for investigators. As the repository for limited submission opportunities, investigators are encouraged to review the limited submission opportunities posted to the AU Competition Space and initiate the internal application process for any opportunity listed. Please be aware that the office may not identify every opportunity available. Therefore, anyone who wishes to respond to a limited submission Request for Proposal (RFP) that is not posted in the AU Competition Space or advertised in funding opportunity e-mails should notify PSFS (Christine Cline at as early as possible so an internal selection process can be initiated. The e-mail notification should consist of the Principal Investigator’s (PI’s) name, opportunity title, and a copy of or link to the program announcement.  A PI should never assume they are the only ones applying.  Failure to send this notification may result in disqualification of an applicant for that grant competition.

Opportunity is identified:

Once identified, PSFS will review the guidelines, establish appropriate internal review dates, post the RFP to the AU competition space and publish it in the funding opportunities newsletter when practical.  All white papers developed in response to the internal selection process must be submitted through the AU competition space in the prescribed format.  If the identified opportunity has an impending deadline, PSFS may identify alternative procedures to ensure the greatest Auburn flexibility and competitiveness.

Internal application period closes without any or all slots filled:

If the internal application period closes without any or all slots being filled, the opportunity will be reposted to the AU competition space and applications will be accepted in the order they are received until all available slots are filled.  Applicants are still required to submit an internal white paper to be considered for submission. 

Submission information:

The White Paper

All internal white papers will be submitted through the AU Competition Space.  The submission form now allows for standard fields that don’t count against the total submission.  An optional field has been added if the proposal is a resubmission.  For resubmissions, please enter the agency to which it was previously submitted and the reviews from the funding entity that it received. 

The PI will be required to upload the following into AU Competition Space for each competition.  Some competitions may require additional information.

  • White Paper - Maximum Two Pages (unless otherwise specified in the online form, example: NSF MRI is 5 pages), PDF only, single spaced, 1 inch margins, minimum 12 point font. Proposals that do not meet these specifications will be rejected. This section is analogous to a mini-narrative.
  • Impact Summary Statement & Total Project Cost - Maximum One Page, PDF only, single spaced, 1 inch margins, minimum 12 point font. Proposals that do not meet these specifications will be rejected. This section is best fulfilled by a paragraph or two describing the importance and impact of the research and a broad breakdown of costs (a full budget and timeline are NOT needed). Click here to see an example.
  • Current & Pending Funding (pertinent to this proposal) - Maximum One Page, PDF only, single spaced, 1 inch margins, minimum 12 point font. Proposals that do not meet these specifications will be rejected.
  • PI Biosketch - Maximum Two Pages, (If there are CO-PI’S, please upload a two page CV for each) PDF only, single spaced, 1 inch margins, minimum 12 point font. Proposals that do not meet these specifications will be rejected.

Submission information for nonstandard submissions:

Some opportunities, such as the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Ralph E. Powe award, require the PI to fill out the agency’s forms.  In such identified situations, the ORAU forms, in this example, will be used in lieu of the above requirements and will be reflected on the AU Competition Space.  Some competitions, such as the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation RFP (NSF MRI), will require more information than is listed above and will be reflected on the AU Competition Space.  If you have questions about a specific award, please contact Christine Cline (

Review committee and selection:

The strategy of the limited submission review process is to select the highest quality proposal(s) that have the potential to advance the research enterprise and enhance scholarship at Auburn University.

A committee, generally composed of three to five Associate Deans for Research (ADRs) or their designees, will serve as the review panel. When deemed appropriate, at-large faculty experts may be identified to serve as needed.

The committee members, utilizing the review criteria in the solicitation, will individually review and rank the internal white papers and submit their reviews to the facilitator.  If all members of the committee reach a unanimous decision, the committee will decide if a meeting is necessary.  If the reviews are not unanimous, the committee is required to meet either in person or virtually to discuss their rankings and reach a consensus opinion.

Once the committee has reached a consensus, the results will be forwarded by the PSFS designee to all applicants and their respective ADRs. 

Successful applicants will receive e-mail notification and will be asked to confirm that they wish to proceed with submitting a full proposal.  They will also be put in contact with the appropriate college level designee or contract administrator within OSP to help address any needs they might have in the proposal development process.

General Review Criteria:

Internal pre-proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
1.    What are the proposal’s strengths and weakness as it addresses the program objectives in the solicitation?
2.    Does the project fit with the agency's primary thrust?
3.    Is the white paper well written?  Is it clear and concise?  Does it explain the project thoroughly?
4.    Is the Investigator(s) able to adequately conduct the proposed scope of work?  (The PI’s current & pending support applicable to the project will be reviewed and evaluated.)

Please note:  These are general standards/criteria that may be modified to meet the requirements of individual funding opportunities. 

Reviewer Guide Review Reviewer Guide (October 2019).pdf