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Sparta Updates + Reminders

June 25, 2016

  • Created a new 'Other Search Options' tab on My Home to allow users to search by Award number and see the proposal's long title
  • Streamlined the tabs on the My Home page, combining Draft and Routing searches under the Pre-Submission tab and Submitted, Awarded and Not Funded under the Post-Submission tab
  • Forms-D forms have been automapped
  • Improved Personnel Budget grid calculations that were experiencing a rounding error
  • Fixed an SF424 budget issue where "$0" was mapping for personnel when Calendar only
  • Fixed an issue where Indirect Rate were not sticking (it sometimes switches back to default 58.5%) on some budgets 
  • New Sponsor Request notification includes the requester name and FP number again
  • Email My Team messages now show the sender and all of the recipients in the body of the message
  • Several Researcher Profile Updates, including areas to provide NSF ID, ORCID numbers, as well as displaying the employee ID number and making several fields editable that had been incorrectly set to display only
  • Improved the language on 'Submit to Sponsor' notification when PI is responsible for submitting
  • The Federal Identifier is now mapping correctly to SF424
  • Fixed an SF424 issue where external key personnel's org name was automapping incorrectly as CWRU
  • Added several new reports on the Reports tab, including 'COI Status by Department or Division, a Proposal Activity report similar to OSPARS and a TBD Sponsor report
  • Added Prelim IPAS activity to supplements

March 26, 2016

  • Updated NIH salary cap to $185,100 for new proposals
  • Made improvements to a number of system-generated notifications
  • Added a notification to division administrators when a proposal is submitted to sponsor, similar to how department administrators are notified
  • Fixed or added a number of links within Sparta that were outdated
  • Fixed a number of typos on Sparta forms
  • Fixed an issue where completed IPASs would show in the In Process list on a parent proposal
  • Applied patches to the SF424 portion of Sparta so that updated Forms-D forms would be available to users (patch 2.8.0 and 2.9.0)

December 8, 2015

Proposal enhancements

  • Email My Team functionality no longer allows mail without recipients
  • Proposals in the "Pending Sponsor Review Prelim" state can now complete a "Request Petition..." IPAS
  • Revise the pop-up language a Dept. Chair agrees to when approving a proposal
  • DAs are included now for notification for Submit to Sponsor activity
  • DAs are included now for notification for Withdraw Proposal activity 
  • Reason for withdrawal text (field already exists) now displays in Proposal History
  • COI Up-to-date and COI Expiration fields now display at the top of Profile page
  • Sponsor Due Date has been added to Proposal Information on the main screen
SF424 enhancements (release 2.7.0)
  • Fixed date format on PHS Fellowship Supplemental (V2.0) - Page 2 to MM/YYYY
  • Fixed NIH Biosketch page count validations
  • Removed incorrect validation on key person's Base Salary field in Research and Related Budget
  • Improve duplicate file name error displayed when running Validate Submission activity
  • Updated Subaward Download file in the SF424 Workspace with V1.3 Subaward forms
  • SF424 types now locked down for three fields on first form
  • Application for Federal Assistance (Short Organizational) was missing validation for max length fields
  • Subaward Export validation fixed
  • Invalid XML generated for Department of Education Budget Information Non-Construction Programs (V1.2)
  • Fixed typo on Career Development Award Supplemental (V2.0) form - the attachment field label
  • Added support for SHA-2 security certificates for connectivity to after 12/31/15
  • Added 26 new forms as optional to the Forms list

July 18, 2015

  • Corrected a defect that would prevent users from creating additional budget periods if they changed the proposed start date after entering any budget information.
  • Corrected an issue with default Indirect Rates and Sparta will now recognize the existing IDC rate from the budgets View 1.0 and apply it when users add additional budget periods. Previously, the system would automatically apply the default rate.
  • The IPAS to "Change PI" is now expanded to be the "Change PI/Dept." IPAS which will allow users to request department/division changes as well as PI changes on a proposal.
  • The My Home link has been corrected to improve proposal status filtering, default sorting and it also replaces the "Grants" link which was producing inconsistent search results.
  • Users should no longer get an intermittent system error when trying to create an IPAS. Before this patch, users would sometimes get a "time-out" error while trying to create a new IPAS.
  • Implemented a fix that will prevent users in Sparta from deleting external team members from budgets which would corrupt the user records and cause errors routing the proposals.
  • Fixed the proposal routing for divisions post-award so the system no longer generated duplicate awarded budgets.
  • Departments and divisions can now be looked up by number as well as name on View 2.0 of the proposal.
  • Set the budget type to always be project to prevent users from making a simple mistake that caused calculation errors.
  • Providing functionality to allow central office staff to fix incorrect award numbers.
  • Applied a vendor patch to the Automap tool to improve automapping between proposals and SF424 forms.

May 23, 2015

  • A problem in Sparta has been corrected where proposed or awarded budgets would not correctly generate for Continuations of imported eURFs. It would also change the parent FP's state from Awarded to Clone in Progress.
  • When key personnel were added to a proposal, they should have received a notification with a link to the proposal. This notification now works.
  • The box on the Personnel grid for budgets that allowed users to re-order the display order of personnel has been fixed. Prior to the fix, changing the order would often corrupt the budgets.
  • Users now have the ability to enter a different salary cap for calendar, academic or summer periods on Subcontract personnel grids.
  • The Email My Team pop-up window has been changed and the issues with recipients being unselected or text being cleared have been fixed. Additionally, there is now just one list of recipients to manage. The Read-Only permission group has been removed from this window since it is available via the Invite Others - Read Only activity button.
  • Moved the Read Only permission out of the Email My Team activity and into a new activity "Invite Others - Read Only"
  • Added the ability to select either item in View 2.0 by name or ID number (dept./div. number or sponsor ID)
  • Fixed typos and updated the COI certification link to SpartaCOI.
  • Removed incorrect role that showed on user's My Home screen as a role they were assigned.
  • Added the PI email to the notification sent to Research Compliance when a proposal will include rDNA research.
  • Modified the subject line for IPAS notifications to include the type of IPAS to help recipients understand what they are receiving.
  • Administratively, the Sparta database had not been storing the Date Submitted date correctly. This did not affect users but was affecting reports.

January 31, 2015

Proposal enhancements

  • Annual calendar salary cap for 2015 increased to $183,300
  • SOM FP workflow now stops at Dept. Chair Review when FCOI is missing for key personnel
  • DA given the ability to "Submit Budget and Compliance" from correct Approve Notice of Award - Div state
  • Fixed typo on question 11.0 of the No-Cost Extension IPAS
  • Updated IDC waiver Help text on the Budget view 1.0 based on SOM Research Administration feedback
  • The Training question on the FP budget is now hidden until permanent fix is implemented
  • Attachments tab on the FP now shows docs
  • The organization for key personnel is now set to "CWRU" in SF424 forms
SF424 enhancements (release 2.6.4)
  • Page limit error for Career Development Award form is now caught for NIH submissions
  • Corrected an error that happened trying to convert some Word documents to PDF
  • The SF424 duplicate filename checkbox is no longer turned on for NIH submissions
  • Fixed an error in subaward import activity that caused issues in the Other Personnel section when the zeroes are removed
  • Removed the equipment cost validation that required the equipment cost items to be $5,000 or greater in the R&R Budget and Fed + Non-Fed Budget
  • Added three new NIH validation rules (4.3.1, 15.20.13 and 3.18.29)
  • Corrected a typo in the 'Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander' label on the Planned Enrollment form
  • Added 17 additional optional forms

October 18, 2014

Proposal enhancements

  • Email my Team activity is now available to Department Support Staff
  • Utilization of rDNA notification now includes PI email
  • Denied IPAS notification now includes the FP# and has the typo corrected
  • Added more attachments from FP to the Attachments tab
  • Made the budget type read-only for cost share and subcontract budgets
  • Removed Reset Budget activity for all users except AOR
  • Made the submission deadline field be editable
  • Improved the LOI Approval notification wording
  • Fixed an issue with some of the budget control code labels not accurately displaying underlying ID
SF424 enhancements (release 2.6.2 and 2.6.1)
  • The Import Subaward activity was failing with error "There was a problem importing the subaward, please verify that the subaward is filled out correctly"
  • Race and Disability selections made on the Research & Related Personal Data page in the SF424 smartform were not showing as selected in the generated PDF
  • Suggested Reviewers were not generated in the XML if they were copied over from funding proposal, and not manually entered into the NSF Suggested Reviewers page in the SF424 smartform
  • Other Personnel values are now calculating correctly

September 13, 2014

  • For AOR, FPs in Pending Sponsor Review state are now showing in the ALL tab
  • Removed the "Withdrawn-Not Funded Submitted Proposal" activity
  • DivisionName needs to map correctly for AOR & SOM in the SF424
  • SOM FPs no longer route twice after Finalize Contract Terms activity
  • Removed the Request Preliminary Budget activity button for DA & PI
  • Pending Sponsor Review notification wording has been clarified
  • Applied changes to Compliance forms requested by CWRU’s COI office
  • Fixed Funding Proposal so all Attachments show on the Attachments tab

July 25, 2014

  • We have added a "Training & Information" link on the Sparta homepage to allow users a quicker link to CWRU-specific info related to updates, maintenance, and training
  • Two new tools on Spiderweb allow Department/Division Administrators or higher to create a new Sparta user or request an older eURF be imported to Sparta:
    • Sparta Request Person allows someone to set up a new Sparta user as support staff and the PI if the new user has a CWRU ID
    • Sparta Request eURF allows DAs to request a eURF that is not yet in Sparta as well as update the PI and department if necessary. The eURF request is still reviewed by ORA or SOM OG&C before completing the import into Sparta

June 4, 2014

  • We have received questions regarding the organization of the SF424 PDF file generated from Sparta. In conferring with our Huron consultants, it was relayed that "This will not impact the submission since the PDF file is never sent to When the SF424 project is validated, an XML file is generated with the data that was entered into the smartform. When the user runs the Submit to GrantsGov activity, the xml is transmitted via webservice to The federal funding agency then picks up the xml and assembles it into a PDF package on their end."
  • The PDF is not the file submitted to It is for our records only. Huron has identified that this matter will be corrected in a future release for all of its customers.

May 28, 2014

  • With the upcoming proposal due dates, we wanted to provide a few friendly reminders regarding the creation of your SF 424. We have received some requests for additional information regarding the process for importing subaward/subcontractor budgets into Sparta. This PDF contains step-by-step instructions to assist with this process. Future enhancements to this process will be forthcoming at a later date.
  • As a friendly reminder, please be sure to double check the details of your PDF version of the SF424 to ensure all information is accurate.

May 16, 2014


  • The testing of the NIH R-series submissions with detailed budgets has been completed. For these submissions,
  1. Generate the SF424 application
  2. Go to the SF424 workspace and open the SF424 application.
  3. Review the SF424 application for completeness. Information relevant to the form; therefore, you will just need to complete the series specific fields.
  4. Validate the SF424 and generate the SF424 PDF before routing through the Sparta system. Please note Sparta will map over a 0 in the blank person months fields and this will show as a warning during validation. We are aware of matter and are working through this. If you prefer, these 0's can be deleted from the SF424.
  • As an update, the mapping for non-R (F,K,T, etc. and non-NIH) series submissions is being completed. In the interim, continue to follow this guidance:
  1. Create a New FP and complete both the Funding Proposal and Budget forms. Please note there will not be a location to add the Series specific attachments in Section 7.1 CWRU Research Plan for These attachments can be added as a last step directly to the generated SF424 within Sparta.
  2. Generate the SF424 application
  3. Go to the SF424 workspace and open the SF424 application.
  4. Within the SF424 you will utilize the budget grid information to populate the SF424 budgets (by inputting the numbers) and also attach any of the required PDFs into the SF424 directly. Please be sure to also complete any other required fields. Please note Sparta will continue to map over information relevant to the form; therefore you will just need to complete the Series specific fields.
  5. Validate the SF424 and generate the SF424 PDF before routing through the Sparta system.


  • In our last update, the functionality to allow the addition of Bottom Line Budgets was made available. Keep in mind that these budgets should only be used for discretionary projects. If a Bottom Line Budget is received for any other type of project, the funding proposal will be returned for a detailed budget to be completed.


  • Detailed budgets are required at the time that a follow-on submission (FOS) is completed for a progress report. The first year (or for a converted award) is the time when detailed budgets are completed for all years of a project. Upon the next year's funding, detailed budgets which are in Sparta will be used as a starting point for budget purposes. The benefits in the time spent entering the detailed budgets at the onset include expedited processing of continuation funding, reporting of budget information and the transparency of proposed and committed effort of personnel.

April 22, 2014

  • Now that all schools have gone live with Sparta and we are moving forward, we would like to create a Sparta User Advisory team. We would like to invite participants from the different management centers to offer their input, feedback, and testing on Sparta and where we should go in the future with Sparta. This team would meet monthly and offer feedback on enhancements and fixes for Sparta. They would also provide ideas on new enhancements for the system as well as the priority of those items. This team may also help test new Sparta functionality. We are requesting volunteers and greatly appreciate your willingness to participate and be a part of the team. If you are interested, please send your name to