Limited Submission Funding Opportunities

Many federal agencies and foundations offer funding opportunities that limit the number of applications that can be submitted per institution. To facilitate proposals that are as competitive as possible for these limited submission opportunities and to ensure fairness in the selection process, the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships develops internal proposal competitions to review and select proposals to be submitted to the sponsor.

Faculty and staff who intend to apply to limited submission opportunities should notify the director of funding development via email to as soon as possible.

Wherever possible, an internal competition will be held to select proposals for submission to the sponsor. When circumstances do not allow for a full competition, proposals may be selected on a first-come, first submit or another basis at the discretion of the vice president for research and innovation partnerships.

Current Opportunities

National Science Foundation: Major Research Instrumentation (Mri)

Request For Notices Of Intent To Apply

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is seeking non-binding notices of intent to apply to the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation competition.

The MRI Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training. The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire instrumentation that is otherwise too costly and is not appropriate for other NSF programs. The instrumentation must have a broad base of users including researcher groups within the organization, or even regionally or nationally. The MRI program supports instrumentation for research in fields of science and engineering supported by NSF. Proposals requesting instrumentation for research in fields not supported by NSF will not be competitive.

NSF limits the number of proposals it will accept from an applicant organization. NIU therefore must manage the number of proposals submitted to NSF for this program. The Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships manages this limited submission process.

Submission Details – Notice of Intent to Apply

NIU investigators who intend to submit a proposal or who are considering a proposal to the NSF MRI program should submit notice of their intent to apply. Investigators should submit a notice regardless of whether NIU will be the lead institution or a non-lead collaborator.

Please submit your notice of intent via e-mail to Kellie Dyslin at Please enter "MRI Notice of Intent to Apply" in the subject line. The notice should specify the name(s) of the lead PI and any NIU Co-PIs. Please also specify whether NIU will be the lead institution for the proposal, or if NIU will be a non-lead collaborator.

Our goal in seeking these notices is to gauge the potential number of NIU proposals to NSF, and relatedly, the need for an internal competition. Notices will be accepted until the need for an internal competition is determined. Notices are non-binding; submitting a notice of intent to apply does not commit an individual or team to submit an internal proposal or a proposal to NSF, nor does it constitute approval to submit a full proposal to NSF. Therefore, we ask that investigators who are considering a proposal please submit a notice, even if plans are uncertain.

Additional Information and Questions

More information on the MRI program, including the current program solicitation 18-513, is available on the MRI program page.

Please submit questions to Kellie Dyslin at, and enter "MRI NOI Question" in the subject line.

Upcoming Opportunities

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipends Program

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipends program intends to drive new research and publication of same in the humanities via small awards to individual scholars. These awards provide two consecutive months of summer funding to support continuous full-time work on a humanities project. Awards may support salary, travel and other costs related to the proposed research. NEH will only accept two proposals that are nominated by NIU for review. Read more about the NEH nomination process in the current Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF) (pages 3-4).

The NEH Summer Stipends Program internal competition deadline for 2022 has passed. An internal competition for the NEH 2023 deadline will be announced next calendar year.

If you have any questions about the internal proposal competition, contact Enter "NEH Summer Stipends Internal Competition Question" in the subject line