Grants and Contracts

The Operations Group assists with proposal submissions, account set-up, contract negotiation and processing, and other services related to federal and non-federal grants, foundation agreements, state and county grants, and industry contracts.

These funds are given for specific projects which require a level of compliance and reporting. At CWRU these projects flow through the Sponsored Programs Application for Research Tracking and Administration system which is also known as SPARTA.     

Helpful Resources

The Office of Research and Technology Management provides the following support and resources:

  • The Office of Pre-Award Services and Agreements (PASA) - assists staff with funding proposals from start to finish, along with notification of funding opportunities. 
    • identifying funding opportunities
    • understanding requests for proposals and sponsor requirements
    • assisting with the components of a proposal including the budget, agency forms and subcontracting plans
    • submitting the application to the sponsor
    • negotiating contracts and subawards
    • establishing or modifying the account once an award has been made or revised
    • representing the university in communicating to the sponsor items that require prior approval
    • training faculty, staff and students in sponsored projects policies and procedures including proposal development and submission
  • The Office of Post-Award Services and (Financial) Compliance (PASC) - handles financial aspects of the funding proposal.
    • account monitoring
    • financial reporting
    • invoicing
    • non-salary journal review and approval
    • salary adjustment review and approval
    • project closeouts
    • training faculty, staff and students in sponsored projects policies and procedures including financial reporting, invoice processing, cost transfers, and project closeout
    • cash management, including cash receipt and drawdown
    • financial cash transaction reports
    • collection activities on outstanding invoices
    • effort reporting systems
  • The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) - ensures compliance with federal, state, and local regulations with regard to research.
  • Research Education and Training Program - provides training in a variety of formats, including online and in-person training open to the whole campus, or customized for your department or group.
  • The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) - provides full-spectrum intellectual property services.

The Grant Expense Report Guide can assist on finding and utilizing grant expense reports.

Grant Submission Process

Define Roles

Define roles of individual(s) that will also be involved and responsible for monitoring the grant (e.g. roles and functions). This only needs to be completed if you are a department that has never completed a grant.

  • Proposal Team – Person(s) responsible for working on the funding proposal, submission or withdrawing of proposal if needed.
  • PI ( Principal Investigator) -  responsible for leading the charge in preparation of the proposal, routing of the final version of the proposal.  The PI also works with his or her department to manage the grant. Please note that any notification concerning the proposal will be forwarded to the PI.   
  • Department Administrator – Submits & edits proposal.
  • Department Chair - Reviews proposal and provides oversight

Planning Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about applying for a grant:

  • Completed RFP - document that solicits proposals through a bidding process.  (Include the purpose of the Grant)
  • Project start date and end date
  • Sponsor Information
  • Identify the Principal Investigator for the project
  • Department (that the grant should be set up under)
  • Completed Budget - details spending allowed, cost share requirement (if any) and reporting requirements. (Important Indirect Cost Rate should be included in the budget if applicable. (Please contact the finance liaison for grants concerning budget questions or concerns.)
  • Statement of Work - is a new CWRU requirement by the Office of Research Administration, and seeks more clarity on SubContract Grant Projects. This new template will give the Pre-awards Office the information necessary to conduct an internal review in SPARTA before the proposal is submitted to the direct sponsor or prime sponsor. Download the Statement of Work document.
  • Identify indirect cost (IDC) if applicable - If you have to apply for an indirect cost waiver, please fill out the Indirect Cost Rate Reduction Request Form. Requests to have the IDC used within the department must be approved by the Provost.
  • Make sure your Conflict of Interest (COI) is up to date. This should be done every year.
  • Email complete proposal documents - attachments should be PDFs - to the grants liaison Sam Kress ( or Dennis Rupert (
  • The Student Affairs liaison enters the funding proposal into the SPARTA system, and works with PASA department to follow the process thru until the project is set up.

Awards from Sponsors

If the funder responds directly to you or your department with an agreement, memorandum of understanding or notice of award, forward that information to our office along with the name of the project and the funder it was submitted to. We will look up the project in SPARTA and submit that information to PASA for processing.

If your proposal is awarded directly to PASA, you will receive a Notice of Award generated by the Office of Research and Technology Management that contains the following information:

  • Transaction Type  - New, Revision, Continuation,  or Increase
  • Project Information – Listing Sponsor, Start & End Date, F & A Rate based on the terms of the agreement.
  • Budget Information – Detailed by account number & category
  • Award Information: 
    • Project Director 
    • Administrative Department – The department responsible for The sponsored project
    • Type of Award – Ex. Grant, Contract, Etc
    • Billing Code - Billing codes established based on terms of award. (see list below)
      • BC01 - Letter of Credit
      • BC02 - Cost of Reimbursement ( usually monthly billing requires)
      • BC03 - Automatic Payment
      • BC04 - Fixed Prices (bill per schedule included in award
      • BC05 - Budget based on revenue received ( Discretionary Grants)
      • BC06 – Budget based on revenue received ( Discretionary Gift)
    • Date range of the project
    • Comments

If there was a budget alteration from the original submission, PASA will ask for an updated budget to set-up the speedtype. That can be accomplished through SPARTA by completing the budget worksheet.

Now that your project is awarded, be mindful of project dates and review the project to ensure expenses that are occurring per the budget that was submitted.

Changes to Project Awards

Changes to an existing award also need to be done through SPARTA by submitting an Award Modification Request (AMR). Our team can also assist.

How to submit an AMR 

Following are some common reasons for changes.

  • No cost extension - The process of requesting the speed type to be extended without any additional funds being added. (Please make sure to include a copy of the current income & expense report. 
  • Petition to allow project to remain open:
    • To ensure the account remains open while awaiting additional funds. 
    • Extension of date pending.
    • Agreement and Contract is still pending
  • Re-budget / reallocation – Increase budget  due to additional funds received
  • Change to principal investigator, department, or division

Additional Training

Additional training is available on the SPARTA Grants and Agreements Information website.