Sparta Releases

CWRU's pre-award application, Sparta, is patched on a regular basis as our developers are constantly trying to address defects and introduce enhancements.

Here is a list of what has been patched since we went live in 2014.


July 27, 2019

The Office of Research Administration completed a platform upgrade (version 8.0.7) for SpartaPre this past weekend.

Users will notice that the application has a new look and feel with new fonts, buttons and page designs. Most of the functionality will work as it did prior to the upgrade, but we wanted to point out some of the changes and fixes that are in this release.

  • Breadcrumbs are now collapsed by default. To access the breadcrumbs, click the double arrow in the navigation bar.
Sparta Pre 8 breadcrumb screenshot
  • The My Home tab is now labeled Dashboard.
Sparta Pre 8 dashboard screenshot
  • The New Funding Submission button is now labeled Create Funding Proposal.
Sparta Pre 8 create funding proposal screenshot
  • Proposals that have been returned by the management center to a DA for update can now route back to the management center.
  • When adding personnel to the budget, users have the ability to set the display order, which maps properly to the SF424.
  • When validating an SF424, personnel with eRA Commons accounts must be correct at the time of submission. There will be errors that prevent submission if the user names are missing or incorrect.
  • Subcontract and subaward budgets will now map correctly to the SF424.
  • If users want to see the entire budget using the Printer Version view, attachment links in a budget's printer version will now work.
  • A number of wording updates and corrections have also been made.


March 9, 2019

  • Email My Team activity now has a more descriptive subject line that includes the FP number
  • IDC rate is now editable by DAs when creating a budget
  • A fix was made to minimize Budget period start dates getting out of sync

December 28, 2017

  • Updated the default SF424 forms available for users to include new Forms-E forms
  • Made additional vendor-provided updates to the SF424 component

November 18, 2017

  • Incorrect cost share issue should now be resolved
  • IDC cap for subcontracts will now be editable on continuations
  • Awarded budgets will now generate successfully and not require admin intervention, as well as the error text being improved to explain the delay for awarded budgets to display
  • The Financials tab totals will now match the Workspace totalsPI attestation has been updated
  • Email My Team activity will include a warning about attachment file sizes causing the email to not be sent
  • Notification for "Submit to Sponsor" was not correct post-upgrade, but is now fixed
  • Notification for "Sponsor Submission Not Required" has been corrected (It was not being sent)
  • Fixed an issue where LOI activities were incorrectly inserting proposal team members into dept. DA group
  • Improved Dept. Chair Sign Off Language on notification to include How-to approve steps
  • Improve Div. Chair Sign Off Language on notification to include How-to approve steps
  • Notifications for Corporate and Foundation Relations had errors that have been fixed
  • There were also additional SF424 forms added to the application

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

  • SF424 Enhancements:
    • Resolved the issue where a staff person was generating a $1 cost share in period 1 of the 424 budget.
    • Equipment Costs Mapping requires equipment description. This prevents frustrating error messages later in the process.
    • Division Name will now populate with the Department Name if the Division Name field is blank for the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). This will prevent an error that had to be fixed manually before proposals could be submitted.
  • Funding Proposal Enhancements:
    • Corrected an issue where the indirect rate would default back to the current 58.5% after selecting a different rate.
    • We now prevent both the immediate and primary sponsor fields from being the same value. Prior to this fix, repeating the sponsor in both fields had caused a Sparta error message that confused users.
    • The "Email my team" activity is now available to Department Administrators and Department Support Staff.
    • Financial & Budget tabs now display the control account number.
  • Workflow Enhancements:
    • SOM workflows for the department of Medicine and divisions now route to the Division Administrator, instead of the Department Administrator.
    • Workflows were updated to allow Department Administrators and PIs to Submit a request for a Preliminary account from the Pending Sponsor Review or Award Notification Received states.
    • Fixed the "Submit for PI Review" activity to alert the PI when the funding proposals are sent back to the PI from states further along the workflow.
  • IPAS Enhancement:
    • We have added the 555000 control account to the rebudget list.
  • General Enhancements:
    • 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

May 16, 2014

  • SF424 Enhancements:
    • Enhancement to allow successful submission if a DUNS number is entered with trailing 0's, or if the trailing 0's are omitted during entry in the smartform.
    • Resolved issue where the opening and closing dates that were displaying for funding opportunities was a day earlier than what was posted to
    • Added validation to verify that an Activity Title is entered in Section A if there are values in Sections B, C, and E. Previously, if an Activity Title was not entered in Section A, values in the other sections would not be calculated and data to be missing in the XML.
    • Implemented NIH validation rule which checks to see that a DUNS number is either 9 or 13 digits and has no special characters or letters.
    • Disclosure Permission statement mapping to 424 from Funding Proposal is complete.
  • Updated PI attestation language on Funding Proposal
  • Letter of Intent - New Sponsor form is now available in this activity
  • attestation - Approved Notice of Award state
    • Enhanced the ability to allow Division Administrators to route funding proposal back to SOM OGC office.
    • Division Administrators will have access to budget and funding proposal in this state.
    • A new notification alerting the Division Administrators of status.

April 25, 2014

  • SF 424 enhancements:
    • Non-PDF attachments are converted to PDF during the Generate PDF activity attestation the SF424 workspace
    • Additional NIH validations
    • Automatic status updates within Sparta
    • Performance improvement for Submission attestation-check activity
    • Added a reminder that the SF424 does not re-create automatically in the workflow
  • NIH Page size validations - the validation which enforces the page size of each NIH attachment to be standard US letter size of 8.5x11 has been made less strict. These changes mimic the changes made by NIH.
    • If the attachment is smaller than 8.5x11, no validation error occurs.
    • If the attachment is greater than 8.5x11 and there is another NIH rule limiting the number pages in the attachment, then a validation error will occur.
    • If the attachment is greater than 8.5x11 and there is no NIH rule limiting the number pages in the attachment, then no validation error occurs.
    • If the attachment is greater than 9x12, a validation error will occur.
  • Added control account numbers to Financials tab
  • Budget Personnel Grid will be sorted by last name
  • Added the ability to attach files when withdrawing a Funding Proposal
  • Insurance Cost has been added to the General Costs dropdown
  • Bottom Line Budget category has been added to the General Costs dropdown
  • Added a check that prevents the Cost Share budget type being changed from Cost Share

April 11, 2014

  • Mapping for R&R Detailed Budgets - updated mapping for travel and equipment costs
  • Budget Justification Attachments - on view 7.1, fields have been added for budget justification attachments. These will map over to the SF424
  • Follow On Submissions (FOS) - Updates to the calculations on the travel and general cost grids for Continuations, Resubmissions, etc.
  • Update to Letter of Intent (LOI) button - should be visible across multiple roles.
  • Removal of Summary Budget as an option
  • Modification of routing of the IPAS when the PI has left CWRU
  • Mapping of animal assurance number on SF424
  • Hide activity of Notify SPA of Grant Status
  • New Sponsor form updated that if the country is not USA or Canada a state is not required

This page was last updated July 28, 2019