New research tracking and administration system rollout to be complete next week

Sparta CWRUAfter more than two years of planning and development, Case Western Reserve University’s new research proposal submission and tracking system will be launched fully as of Monday.

Dubbed Sparta (Sponsored Programs Application for Research Tracking and Administration), the system is designed to ease the grant and contract application process, increase the accuracy of submissions, and ensure timely management of extensions and renewals. The Office of Research Administration and Information Technology Services coordinated the selection of a vendor and implementation of the software, but worked to involve faculty and staff closely to ensure that, when completely implemented, the system met researchers’ primary needs.

The campuswide rollout began in October with the School of Dental Medicine, and will finish Monday when the School of Medicine begins using the system.

“Implementation has been very smooth,” said Suzanne Rivera, associate vice president for research. “The staggered rollout has allowed us to identify a few minor bugs and fix them right away. Users seem to really like the new system.”

Sparta offers many advantages over its predecessor that make it easier and faster to complete funding applications. Features include:

  • Smart forms: The system asks questions appropriate to the type of research being proposed.
  • Smart fields: Commonly used information, such as departments and names, are selected from a list to minimize errors and data inconsistency. Fields are pre-loaded with known data.
  • Form validation: The system examines data as it is entered to minimize entry errors.
  • Budgets: Detailed budgeting occurs within the system. Cost sharing is calculated for you.
  • The previous paper Internal Prior Approval Sheet (IPAS) form for project changes is electronic and is processed within Sparta.
  • SF-424 (Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form): Departmental administrators and principal investigators can create the form within Sparta. Fields from the smart form map to the SF-424 form.
  • System-to-system submission: Funding proposals and SF-424s will be submitted through Sparta to
  • Proposal cloning: Once created, proposals can be used as templates for similar proposals in the future.

The Office of Research Administration offers training through in-class and online formats. A schedule can be found on the office’s website.

For more information, contact the Office of Research Administration at