Tag Archives: Overview

A Principal Investigator (PI) or Research Administrator (RA) can request authorization to spend in advance of the receipt of an award or the setting up of an award in UW systems. The department must guarantee these expenditures if an award does not come through.  The UW authorizes advance spending through the assignment of an advance budget number.

The PI or RA uses SAGE to create the Advance Budget Number Request or Advance Extension. Once approved by the PI, Department Reviewer, and the Office of Research SFI Reviewer, the advance request moves to GCA Assigned status and is available for processing in SAGE Central.

From the Awards tasklist, open the item by selecting either the Request ID or Short Title.  You can also search for an item by its Request ID or associated eGC1 number.  Selecting the item from the result list will open it in a new browser tab.

The advance request header for an Advance includes (reading left to right):

  • a blue arrow to return to the tasklist
  • the text “Advance Budget Request” and the request’s number (ADVnnnn)
  • a link to the Request Application (eGC1)
  • the Advance Budget number (if it exists)
  • the Award Activity number (if it exists)
  • a link to the Associated Cycle (if it exists)
  • the Request Status
  • a more options menu (three vertical dots) which allows you to add a comment

The following image shows an example header for an advance.

advance request header

When you open an advance, by default the Request Summary section will display.

Within the Request Summary, you can edit the GCA Managed Information section. You will be able to view the remaining sections:

  • General Information
  • SFI & FCOI
  • Cost Share
  • Non-Fiscal Compliance
  • Supporting Attachments
  • Delegation of PI Approval

These sections are described in the Advance Review & Submit, Request Summary article in the SAGE User Guide.

Within the Request Summary, you can also Return a Request to campus.

Once a budget number or numbers are assigned, you can Mark Setup Complete & Notify Campus to complete the process. This will change the advance’s status to Processed, display the budget number in the header, and update the GCA and Processes nodes on the Approval Flow.

With the introduction of SAGE Central, all GCA functions are now done there. 

This guide has been “retired” but retained for now.

GCA staff use the System for Electronic Research Accounting (SERA) to manage SAGE-related items of the following types:

  • Advance Budget Number Requests (ADV): Campus users create these to request a budget number in advance of their award so that they can begin spending the award.
  • Funding Actions (FA): OSP staff create these to manage awards received by the UW.
  • Post-Award Changes (PAC): OSP staff create these to manage any award changes made after the initial receipt.
  • Other Forms (OTH): GCA staff create these to record and track forms related to setting up new budgets in addition to Advances, Funding Actions and Post-Award Changes.

An Other Form records and tracks information related to setting up new budgets in addition to Funding Actions and Post-Award Changes. These other forms include, but are not limited to, Transpasus from departments and new budget requests from units such as CoMotion.

What is a cycle?

A Cycle is an electronic file that contains all the items relating to a specific Sponsored Project during a specific competing segment. Cycles are a convenient mechanism for tracking the progression of a competing segment and the relationship of the items created within that segment.

Here’s an example of what a Cycle might contain:

cycle diagram showing relationship of items

You can relate a cycle to another cycle. For example, you might want to relate cycles for a project with multiple competing segments.

How is the cycle organized?

We often refer to the relationship of two items as “parent” and “child.”  A “parent” item might be the cycle, an application, or an action and its “child” might be an application or another action.

The Cycle is the top of the hierarchy and so it has no parent. Cycles contain three possible child items: NAA, PAN, and eGC1.

Some parent-child relationships are specifically defined, while others are more general. The following table indicates the typical relationships between items.

Item Type Parent Children
Cycle (none) NAA, PAN, eGC1
eGC1 Cycle [1] FA, NAA, CO, AA, ADV
PAN Cycle [2] (none)
FA eGC1 [3] PAC, SC
PAC FA (none)
NAA Cycle, eGC1, or FA (none)
CO eGC15 (none)
AA Cycle, eGC1, or FA (none)
SC (subcontract) FA (none)
ADV (advance budget number request) eGC1 (none)

Table Notes: Currently, the system also allows

  1. An eGC1 to be the child of another eGC1.
  2. A PAN to be the child of an eGC1 or an FA.
  3. A CO to be the child of a Cycle, eGC1, or an FA.

Applications (eGC1s) within the cycle display from newest to oldest. Child items under eGC1s display oldest to newest.


  • When you click “Back to My Team” from the Cycle Details page, the Cycle Details window will close, and the window you last had open will revert to the My Team tasklist. If you wish to keep your previous item open, close the browser tab containing the Cycle Details (rather than clicking the “Back to My Team” link).
  • You can only use the Cycle Details tab or “fly-out menu” to open one other item at a time. If you want to open multiple cycle items at a time, then do so from the Cycle Details page.

The OSP staff create Funding Actions (FA) and Post-Award Change (PAC) administrative actions using SPAERC. Once OSP finishes an action, they send it to GCA and it becomes available for processing within SERA. The action will have a status of In GCA with a Last Action Taken of Received in GCA.

The processing steps for an action may include

If an action needs changes, you can return to OSP. They would make the changes and then re-send the action to GCA for further processing.

In addition, you can reassign an action or add comments to the History & Comments page.


Use the SERA Administration tab to see the list of available tools, as shown in the following image.

sera administration tab

Clicking the link for “Manage GCA Groups…” will display a new page with a list of choices, as shown below.

Manage Groups, Users, Org Codes tool page

There are separate tools to

The following articles describe each administration tool.