Carnegie Mellon University
Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance System (SPARCS)

SPARCS Unavailable

SPARCS will be unavailable from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM on Wednesday, December 6 due to maintenance on the system.

Important Dates for IRB Protocol Submissions

The new Common Rule, which governs human subjects research (HSR), is effective for all new IRB protocols approved on or after January 19, 2018. To accommodate the transition to the new regulations, the following is planned for protocol submission via SPARCS:

Between December 20, 2017 and January 3, 2018 no new IRB protocols can be submitted.* During this time, protocol modifications and continuing reviews will be accepted - these will be handled under the "pre-2018" HSR regulations. This limited interruption of service is necessary to implement the new regulations.

Beginning on January 4, 2018 new IRB protocols may again be submitted via SPARCS. Any new protocols submitted on or after this date will be subject to the new HSR regulations. 

Protocols approved prior to January 19, 2018 will continue to be governed by "pre-2018" HSR regulations for an undetermined period of time.

The IRB office will be especially busy during December and January, so we'd really appreciate if protocols are submitted well in advance of the anticipated start date.

*if a funding agency requires that a study be submitted and approved during this time period, the IRB will work with the researcher outside the system.

The SPARCS Proposals module is live!

The Office of Sponsored Programs and the SPARCS Team would like to thank everyone for their support during the SPARCS Proposal module design and implementation phases. OSP and SPARCS would especially like to thank the Business Managers and Research Administrators who provided valuable insight during the design phase and their time in helping us test the system over the past six months.

Support for SPARCS
OSP and the SPARCS Help Desk will support SPARCS by offering assistance in the following ways:

  • A member of the SPARCS team and the OSP pre-awards representative for the department or college will be available on-site one day a week to provide support for proposal submissions to research administrators. This schedule is published on the SPARCS Events Calendar and all users are welcome to reach out to the mobile team at the specified location.
  • Drop-in desk(s) at OSP office for proposal entry help/guidance.
  • Office visits when possible.

 Please let us know if you have any issues or questions by emailing the SPARCS Help Desk or contact us by phone at (412) 268-3485.

RAC Meeting Presentation

The RAC was updated on the SPARCS Project on October 17. Please view the RAC meeting presentation for updates on the SPARCS project.

Two-Factor Authentication (2fa)

Effective April 20, all faculty, staff and students must be registered for 2fa (DUO) to access SPARCS.

If you do not register with 2fa (DUO) for WebLogin, on April 21 you will be denied access to WebLogin protected services when you attempt to login.  You will not be able to access the service until you are registered with 2fa (DUO) for WebLogin. This includes SPARCS.

Visit the Self-Service Registration page available at to register and manage your device(s). If you cannot register using the Self-Service page, contact the Computing Services Help Center at to request 2fa/DUO registration.


Off-campus users will need to continue using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client to access SPARCS. For more information on the VPN please visit:

For more information, see the Two-Factor Authentication (2fa) pages at

Please direct any questions to the Computing Services Help Center at or  412-268-4357 (HELP).

The SPARCS Help Desk can be reached via:

SPARCS Change Management Presentation

The Change Management Team met on April 6. Please view the change management presentation for more information.