New electronic research-funding system to begin four-month implementation

Sparta CWRUSparta, the new electronic system designed to make it easier and faster to complete and submit research-funding proposals and contracts, will debut Oct. 21 in a four-month, phased-in rollout starting with the School of Dental Medicine.

The system—whose acronym stands for Sponsored Programs Application for Research Tracking and Administration—was developed by Case Western Reserve’s Office of Research Administration and Information Technology Services, with input from researchers and study support staff from across the campus.

Sparta’s rollout schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, Oct. 21: School of Dental Medicine
  • Nov. 18: School of Law; Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing; Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences; and Weatherhead School of Management
  • Dec. 9: Case School of Engineering
  • Jan. 13: College of Arts and Sciences
  • Feb. 10: School of Medicine

Once all schools and management centers are converted, Sparta will replace the Spiderweb and PADS online systems to submit proposals and initiate contracts.

The university has an estimated 21,000 users on Spiderweb, with roughly one-fourth of those on the system specifically for grants.

Sparta was created to speed and simplify the research-funding proposal process by incorporating such features as “smart” forms that fill in many fields and can perform error-checking—much like TurboTax or other similar software systems—and pre-loaded fields and form validation that minimize data-entry errors.

The new system also features a budget function that automatically calculates cost-sharing, direct submission to grants.gov and the ability to use an entered proposal as a timesaving template for future submissions.

“This system will bring our research support infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Suzanne Rivera, associate vice president for research in the Office of Research and Technology Management. “We have a world-class research enterprise, and now it will have a state-of-the-art proposal management system. Users will really appreciate the way Sparta allows real-time tracking of their research grants and contracts.”

Training will continue to be offered through the Office of Research Administration, both in-person and online. Register online for a training session.

For more information on the process, visit research.case.edu/Prop_Dev/Sparta/.

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