Sponsors often limit applications for a grant or fellowship by instructing universities to nominate only one or a small number of candidates. This requirement places the task of selection of the nominee(s) on the institution. The eligibility and nomination rules of these programs, many of which are established annual competitions, vary widely. Management of these opportunities is the responsibility of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. See the Limited Submissions section for a description of the application process and a list of opportunities.

The HMS Foundation Funds Program administers the nomination process for funding opportunities from private foundations that require candidates to be nominated by either HMS or Harvard University. Proposals are reviewed by a standing committee, the HMS Foundations Funds Committee. For those awards for which Harvard University is the nominating institution, a two-tier nomination process is activated and the HMS nominees are then reviewed by a university-wide panel.

Faculty may not apply directly for LSOs without institutional endorsement, HMS or University, according to sponsor guidelines.