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  1. Objectives
  2. Identifying limited submission opportunities
  3. Process for prospective applicants
  4. Internal selection process
  5. Exceptions to this process

Limited Submission programs are those where the funding agency limits the number of applications that an eligible institution may submit. SFU requires that all Limited Submission applications have received prior authorization through the following process coordinated by Institutional Strategic Awards (ISA).



  • Raise awareness of limited submission opportunities
  • Incentivize early mobilization of proposal development
  • Minimize preparation burden on faculty
  • Promote transparency, equity and fairness in internal selection
  • Provide constructive feedback to candidates
  • Avoid exceeding SFU’s limit and having applications returned or deemed ineligible


Identifying Limited Submission Opportunities

Limited submission opportunities will be posted in the Funding and Award Opportunities database (FundOps), with alerts sent to subscribers.

If you are interested in a limited submission opportunity that is not yet posted, please contact


Process for Prospective Applicants

  1. Check applicant eligibility and fit of project idea against funder guidelines
  2. Submit an online Registration Form* by the internal deadline (or asap if the opportunity is not yet posted in FundOps)
  3. Applicants will be notified as soon as possible after the internal deadline if they are authorized to submit an application, if there is room in the institutional limit, or if an internal competition will be held
  4. Applicants who missed the internal deadline need to contact to find out if there is still room within the institutional limit


Internal Selection Process

If the institutional limit on applications has not been reached by the internal deadline, applicants will be notified that they can proceed to submission. Late applicants will be authorized to submit on a first-come, first-served basis until the institutional limit is reached, after which they will not be authorized to submit. If the number of Registration Forms received by the internal deadline exceeds the institutional limit, it will trigger an internal selection process:

  1. Registered applicants will receive instructions on which documents to submit and a deadline.
  2. Submissions will be reviewed by members of the Limited Submission Review Committee, comprised of the Associate Vice-President, Research (AVPR); Associate Deans, Research (ADRs), and a representative from SFU International (if applicable) or their delegates. 
  3. The criteria for review will be the funder’s selection criteria and alignment with SFU’s Strategic Research Plan
  4. The Review Committee will make recommendations to the AVPR on which projects to advance to submission. The final decision rests with the AVPR.
  5. The ISA will notify all applicants of the decision with three (3) days of the Committee meeting
  6. Selected applicants are asked to notify as soon as possible if they choose not to proceed; the next highest-ranked applicant will be invited to take their spot

In some cases, if potential synergies are identified, applicants may be asked to merge ideas and submit a joint proposal.


Exceptions to this Process

  • If the ISA is notified of an opportunity with a tight external deadline, applicants will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis rather than through internal selection; the FundOps alert will note this
  • If SFU is notified by the funder that we have exceeded the institutional limit, and time is too short to follow the process described above, the AVPR will decide which to approve, based on the criteria described above.
  • Funding opportunities for which ISA or SFU have a specific application procedure (for example, CFI Innovation Fund, are not covered under this process. Please contact ISA for more information or visit the SFU CFI Innovation Fund page.
  • Limited submission research award opportunities (e.g., NSERC McDonald Fellowships, WiSTEM2 Scholars, etc.) are not covered under this process. Please contact for more information or visit the Prizes and Awards page.