Campus research teams and related central offices use the SAGE Suite electronic research administration system to manage application proposals and related items. The suite is comprised of three components that access the shared SAGE Suite database.
SAGE: System to Administer Grants Electronically – used by campus researchers and administrators
SPAERC: Sponsored Projects Administration & Electronic Research Compliance – used by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)
SERA: System for Electronic Research Accounting – used by Grants and Contract Accounting (GCA)
FIDS: Financial Interest Disclosure System – used by researchers designated as investigators
The following set of tables gives a high-level overview of who uses each of the different components, and describes the possible actions and the why and/or when.
SAGE: System to Administer Grants Electronically
WHO: Campus research administrators, Principal Investigators, campus reviewers, compliance reviewers
WHY / WHEN
Create SAGE Budgets
Centralizes data gathering for salaries, benefits, F&A rates. It can be linked to an application, which automatically populates the eGC1 budget page. Any changes to the budget will update in real time when the eGC1 Budget page is viewed.
Create applications (standard or Grant Runner)
Required for all sponsored research. The Grant Runner version includes the sponsor forms for NIH, and is submitted system-to-system by OSP.
The application (eGC1 pages) is, in effect, an approvals routing cover letter for the proposal. It is used only by UW and does not go to the sponsor.
Approve routing applications
Used by the Principal Investigator, Multiple-PI, Application PI, academic reviewers (division, department, dean) and compliance reviewers (human subjects, animal use, EH&S, etc.) to view and approve the application. At each approval, a PDF snapshot of the application is captured and attached to the eGC1 on the Approvals History & Comments page.
Administrators and reviewers have the option to add other reviewers (as individuals or a group) to the approval flow. These are referred to as “ad hoc” reviewers (approvers or watchers).
Request an advance budget number for awards
Used when the research proposal is being awarded by the sponsor, but the actual award has not yet arrived. It requests GCA to set up a budget account in the financial system so the research team can start spending the award money. When the preparer completes it in SAGE, GCA will be able to view and process it in SERA.
Applications, by default, are not eligible for an advance. The eGC1 preparer must use the Advanced Budget Eligibility tool to request that OSP mark the application as eligible.
Create subaward requests for awarded applications
Used when a research proposal has been awarded, and part of the award needs to go to the subrecipients (subcontractors) that the research team will be collaborating with. For a new award, a “new” subaward request (SA) is created along with its parent subaward (SC). For an ongoing award, a “modification” request would be created within the existing subaward (SC).
SPAERC: Sponsored Projects Administration & Electronic Research Compliance
WHO: Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)
WHY / WHEN
Review and approve applications
OSP reviews the information on the eGC1, such as the sponsor proposal information and compliance questions, after all campus reviewers have approved. When OSP approves the application, they place it into a new or existing Cycle.
Add Approved applications to a Cycle
A Cycle holds a “competing segment” for a research team/project/sponsor combination. It’s a container to keep applications, their related advances, funding actions, admin actions, and subawards together. One cycle can be “related” to another, so that more than one segment is associated.
A Cycle is automatically deleted when the last item in it is removed.
Create various types of Administrative Actions as needed
Administrative Actions document various related agreements, adjustments and/or changes, and the finalization of a research project. These actions all appear in the project’s cycle, associated to their appropriate parent item.
Note that all actions (including Funding Actions) start as “unidentified” ones, with a prefix of AA. They are then converted to the specific type needed.
Non-Award Agreement (NAA) records a generic agreement not pertaining to funding.
Pre-Award Notification (PAN) records a change to the proposed project before the sponsor awards funding.
Post-Award Change (PAC) records changes to the project after the sponsor awards the funding.
Close Out (CO) records the tracked activities to terminate a project upon completion of the research.
Create Funding Actions (FA) for awards
When an application is awarded by the sponsor, OSP creates a Funding Action as a child of the application. Depending on answers to certain compliance questions, there may be automatic “holds” applied.
Once the FA is completed (and all holds are cleared), it is trasmitted to SERA to establish a budget in the financial system (if not already done via Advance Request).
OSP reviews the subaward requests, and negotiates the contract with the subrecipient. The request moves through several statuses until, when the agreement is “fully executed” the request becomes Active. It is automatically “Expired” once the End Date is passed.
SCs and FAs can have a many-to-many relationship. The system enforces that all related FAs and SCs must be within the same cycle.
SERA: System for Electronic Research Accounting
WHO: Grant & Contract Accounting (GCA)
WHY / WHEN
Process Advance Budget Number Requests
Received from the research team, this allows the team to spend award money before the actual award arrives. GCA adds a budget number to the ADV and sets up that budget in the financial system. As part of completing the ADV, the system sends a notification to the requesters.
Process Funding Actions
Received from OSP. GCA adds a budget number, if needed, and sets up the budget in UW financial system. As part of completing the FA, the system sends a notification to the requesters, and the first-level reviewers for the organization code receiving funding.
Process Post-Award Changes
Received from OSP. Not all types of PACs are sent on to GCA. As part of completing the PAC, the system sends a notification to the requesters.
Create “Other” items
Created as needed for various budgetary processes. These items only appear in SERA.
FIDS: Financial Interest Disclosure System
WHO: Any research personnel designated as an “Investigator” on the PI, Personnel, & Organizations page of the eGC1.
WHY / WHEN
Create a Financial Interest Disclosure for an eGC1
Complete an Annual Update disclosure
Investigators are required to disclose any significant financial interests (SFI) such as salary, equity, sponsored travel, etc., that might, or might appear to, bias their research.
An investigator must complete a disclosure for each eGC1, whether or not there are SFI that apply, before the proposal can be marked as Ready-to-Submit = Yes.
The disclosures are reviewed by the SFI Reviewer, in OR Central, who determines if there is a potential for a Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI). The review occurs at the time of award (just-in-time).
Annual Updates: All investigators are required to review and update their SFI at least once a year. The “year” is calculated from the date of the last disclosure created. Investigators are notified by email 45 days prior, and again at 15 days prior, to the end of that year’s time.
Full details on using FIDS can be found in its User Guide.
Once GCA has processed the Advance Budget Number Request, SAGE will notify you by email. This email is sent to the Principal Investigator (PI), the Administrative Contact listed on the advance, and the Pre-Award Budget Contact on the related eGC1.
There are four versions of the email, one for each type of request:
Examples of the email text follow.
Subject Line: Advance Budget Request
Email Body (with example text):
Dear Dr. Smythe,
An advance budget # 99-9999 for your project titled Canine Intelligence has been created. It is currently online.
SAGE – the System to Administer Grants Electronically – is the web-based system used by faculty, researchers, administrators and staff to:
Submit funding applications for consideration
Route them electronically for approval
Request advance budget numbers
The core SAGE system allows you to carry out several tasks, including budget development, creating an eGC1, using Grant Runner to complete SF424 R&R forms for NIH opportunities, reviewing and approving applications, and submitting a request for a budget advance.
SAGE Budget helps you create an accurate budget for your grant proposal. It auto-populates data from the payroll and financial systems, helps you select proper rates, and calculate totals automatically.
eGC1s are the electronic Grants and Contracts forms you use to route your grant proposal through the University’s internal compliance process.
A Grant Runner application combines the eGC1 and sponsor forms for some NIH funding opportunities requiring SF424 R&R forms, including Modular, Detailed and Subaward Budgets. With the click of a button, OSP can electronically submit your application via Grants.gov to the sponsor.
The Eligibility Tool takes you through a series of questions to assess all compliance areas and determine if you can create an advance budget number. If, based on the answers you provide, the tool determines the eGC1 is eligible, the tool emails the results to OSP. They will then confirm the information provided and remove the eligibility block.
An Advance Budget Number Request is made for a specific eGC1. You must be an owner of the eGC1, or have either Read/Write or Read-Only access, to create an advance. The owners of an eGC1 are the PI, Administrative Contact, Pre-Award Budget Contact, eGC1 Preparer, and Budget Preparer (if the eGC1 has a linked budget).
If your only access to an eGC1 is through the Global Edit ASTRA role, then you cannot create an Advance for that eGC1. You must open the eGC1 (from the Approvals tab) and use the Contacts & Access page to assign yourself direct access (or change the preparer or a contact, if appropriate). You can then create an advance.
The steps to do this are:
Find and open the eGC1
Go to the Contacts & Assign Access page
Click the Add Another User link in the Access section
Before you can request an Advance Budget Number, you must have the following information available:
Proof of commitment on the part of the Sponsor. For example, a subaward commitment letter or a federal or state sponsor’s fundable score.
An agreed amount of money to request as advance funding.
A time period for the Advance Budget Number. You can request an Advance Budget for no more than 6 months.
A designated contact person and box number for questions and communications from GCA.
The number of the associated eGC1.
The signature of the Chair or Dean of your department, guaranteeing all advance funding.
The PI or Department Administrator is responsible for monitoring advance budget expenditures. They must notify GCA within 10 working days prior to the end date of the advance budget if the award is still pending. In this situation, you have the option to request:
A Supplement to increase the amount of funding available on the existing Advance Budget.
An Extension to extend the availability of an existing Advance Budget Number for an additional three months. Note: An Advance Budget cannot exceed 12 months.
The process for requesting a renewal, supplement, or extension is similar to requesting a new Advance. In addition to the standard information, however, you will also need to know your Advance Budget Number.
You can only request an Advance Budget Number for eGC1s in Approved or Awarded status.
By default, an eGC1s is not eligible for an Advance Budget Number. The PI or department must use the Advance Budget Number Eligibility Tool to determine eligibility. The department must also provide assurance of payment if requesting an Advance Budget Number without sponsor pre‐award spending approval.
The department chair or dean must ensure the research team meets all compliance requirements for all expenditures made on an Advance Budget Number, per GIM 9 Advance Budget Numbers.
Once OSP marks the application as eligible for an advance, the system sends an email notification to the research team. The email is sent to the PI, Administrative Contact, Pre-Award Budget Contact, and eGC1 Preparer.
The email subject is “Advance Budget Request Eligibility” and the text of the message is “Your eGC1 A[number] is now eligible for an advance budget request. Please log into SAGE when you are ready to create the advance budget request.”
After you complete the Advance Budget Request Form, you need to route it for departmental approval and then submit it to GCA for final approval.
To complete your request, click Complete on the left navigation menu. SAGE will validate all the required information, lock the form, and begin the routing process.
If there is information missing, a list of validation errors will display at the top of the page. Once you have fixed the errors, click Complete again to move the advance into Routing status.
In the Advance Details section, the Request Date will change from N/A to the current date, and the Last Action Taken will change from Created to Campus Completed.
To submit your request to GCA for processing, start by clicking Print Final on the left navigation menu. This will display a PDF version of the Advance Budget Number Request form in a new browser window or tab. Print this page.
Follow the instructions on the printed form and send the signed copy to GCA.
Instructions: Print this form, obtain appropriate signatures, scan and submit the request to Grant & Contract Accounting. If you already have a budget number, please submit through GrantTracker’s “Advance Bgt” topic. If not, please attach it to an email and send to email@example.com. When submitting electronic copies, please retain the original form in your department files. Questions? Call 206-616-9995.