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CERES Known Issues

Reported Issues

  • Duplicate Resource Sharing Plan attachments appearing: For proposals using the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form, an attachment uploaded to the Resource Sharing Plan will appear twice in the CERES-generated pdf - once for the Resource Sharing Plan and once in place of the Other Plan(s) attachment. However, the documents will be sent correctly to the sponsor.
  • Fields not mapping during the export budget process: When exporting a budget to an R&R budget form, the export budget process does not to map the UEI, Name of Organization, and attachments in Research & Related Budget V2.0. Attachments are not mapped in Research & Related Budget V3.0.
    • Workaround: Depending on the form selected, users will need to manually fill in the missing information/attachments.
  • FP Copy – PI Change: Some budget properties are autofilled incorrectly when an FP is copied. When you copy a proposal and change the PI on the copy, the copied proposal budget retains the original PI's salary and appointment data. 
    • Workaround: Only use FP copy when the PI will stay the same on the copied proposal. Otherwise create a new FP with the new PI.
  • SF424 Editors don’t update automatically when FP editors are added after the SF424 has been created
    • Workaround: If you have “assign editors and readers” activity on the workspace side activities options, you can add additional staff to the FP after the SF424 has been created and then re-run the create/update SF424 activity. You can also email the Business Systems & Operations Team and request that additional staff be added as editors/readers.
  • PIs with 0 effort do not appear on SF424 budget (both NU PI and subcontract PIs)
    • Workaround: Manually add NU PI and any subcontract PIs with 0 effort to the SF424 budget
  • Package not supported error displays even when all the individual forms listed are showing as supported
    • Workaround: Click Refresh next to the package chooser, then the error will disappear
  • Dashboard Refresh Error: The dashboard does not refresh correctly, and you receive an on-screen error.
    • Workaround: Refresh the page, and the error should go away.
  • Undelivered Award Set-up Notifications: No indication (to SR) that some award set-up notifications have not been delivered to departments.
    • Workaround: To ensure you are aware of all awards that have been set up, periodically run the GA201 as a double-check, looking for allocations authorized since the last time you ran the report. 
  • Flowdown F&A Rate Issue: On federal flowthrough applications, Northwestern’s non-federal F&A rate for sponsored research (69.64) is automatically being applied instead of the university’s federal F&A rate (60%). That is, if you select another university as the sponsor on the Funding Proposal (FP) but then put the prime source of funds as a federal agency, the budget calculates F&A at 69.64% instead of 60%. 
    • Workaround
      • Go into the budget. On Budget General Info - Question 3 choose “no” to the standard rates.
      • This causes a manual rate table to show up.  Hit “clear” on that table, and then change the answer to Question 3 back to “yes” for standard rates.
      • This will cause the budget to refresh with Northwestern’s federal F&A rate. Double check the calculations after executing this workaround to ensure budget numbers are accurate.
    • Note on F&A Rates: Northwestern’s federal F&A rates can be found on the university’s current rate agreement (dated 8/19/2022). Northwestern’s non-federal F&A rates are outlined in this Application of Facilities and Administrative Rates memo.

Resolved Issues

Resolved as of 08/10/23

Descriptions of known issues resolved in August 10th patch



Activity and Notification Updates 

The "Send Award Notice" activity now includes a selector for recipients and award documents, which will allow SR to include correct attachments and recipients and alleviate the issue where notifications were not being sent because of file size. 

The “Export Budget to Subaward PDF” Activity on Funding Proposal (FP) workspace will no longer be available. This will prevent base salary amounts from being seen in the exported spreadsheet in the FP history tab. 

COI Integration Update for Withdrawn Proposals 

CERES will no longer send data to eDisclosure when a proposal is withdrawn before routing. This will prevent projects from being created erroneously. 

Budget Validation Update 

The validation on the budget SmartForm, which was not working previously, now works as intended. 

Resolved as of 07/20/23

Descriptions of known issues resolved in July 20th patch



Award Modification Request – added a new type 

A new Award Modification Request type called "Outgoing Subaward Modification" has been added. 

Indirect cost (IDC) calculation and default rate assignment 

Updated IDC rounding to 2 decimal places, which will prevent certain rounding discrepancies. 

Updated default IDC rate assignment to address an issue where the incorrect rate was being used in some cases for pass-through proposals.  

Resolved as of 6/28/23

Description of issues resolved in June 28th system patch



OMB expiration date for SF-424 subaward budget forms was not populating correctly.  

OMB expiration date for SF-424 subaward budget forms is updated to use the current expiration date. 

Resolved as of 6/21/23

Description of issues resolved in June 21st system patch



OnBase award and agreement documents were not appearing in the correct folders when viewed through the links from CERES workspaces.

OnBase award and agreement documents links in CERES now lead to the correct folders.

Documents uploaded to OnBase from awards were occasionally failing due to incorrect key words.

All documents sent to OnBase from Awards will now be sent correctly.

Requested additional notification for completed Agreements ancillary review.

When an Agreements ancillary review is complete, the agreement reviewer, primary contact, and PI will now receive a notification.

Requested additional notification for completed Award ancillary review.

When an Awards ancillary review is complete, the specialist, primary contact, and PI will now receive a notification.

Requested “Sync Personnel with eDisclosure” function for Sponsored Research staff.

A manual “Synch Personnel with eDisclosure” is now available on the Funding Proposal for Sponsored Research staff. This will allow research projects to be created and COI review to occur before the proposal leaves the draft state.

Longer Load Times: Periodic longer load times, such that when you are trying to make an update, the on-screen “timer” spins for 30 or 60 seconds instead of loading right away. It is still possible that this may occur on rare occasion. Workaround: Give the system extra time to load. Do not refresh or quickly close and then reopen the window.
Activity Timed Out: An error that says the activity you were doing timed out. It is still possible that this may occur on rare occasion. Workaround: Close the activity window, reopen it, and try again.
“-1” Time-Out Error: Similarly to the “time out” issue above, you may receive an internal server error with an error code of “-1”. This indicates a time-out error

It is still possible that this may occur on rare occasion. Workaround: Go back to the CERES homepage, search for the record you were working on, and go back into it. You should be able to keep working on the record from the point you left it, but double check your most recent action to make sure the update saved.

Resolved as of 5/23/23

Description of issues resolved in May 23rd system patch



Update COI Payload Logic Based on Proposal Type 

Revision (Supplement) and Continuation proposals will no longer be integrated with eDisclosure as separate projects. 

Update OnBase Link Creation for Agreements Related to Other Agreements 

OnBase links will work consistently on all Agreements regardless of whether they are related to another project. 

Update Custom Search That Displays Non-NU COI Investigators on COI Status Tab 

Non-NU FCOI investigators will be shown in the COI Status tabs even when not associated with an organization. 

Award Modification Workspace - Funding Actions Tab does not show complete data 

The Funding Actions tab will now consistently display information about changes made to the award allocations. 

Create Notification to Inform Dept. Reviewers When PI Certifies 

When a proposal is in department review, the reviewers in the current step will be notified when the PI certifies a proposal. 

Add "Requires COI Review" Property to FP SFs and Add Logic 


A new field on the proposal SmartForm will allow RAs to initiate integration to eDisclosure at the time of proposal for those with non-standard COI terms. 

Effort commitment notifications were failing sporadically when investigators from one department were listed on another department’s proposal. 

When effort is committed by a faculty member on a proposal from a different department, those faculty member's department administrators will correctly receive a notification. 

Create Notification to Inform PI, Admin Contact, and Specialist When Ancillary Review is Complete 

A new notification has been created which will be sent to the PI, administrative contact, and SR specialist when an ancillary review is completed on a proposal. 

Resolved as of 5/5/23

  • Agreements notifications originally sent only to PIs and Collaborators will now include Primary Contact
  • SF424 PDF will be included in integration to OnBase when proposals transition to Pending Sponsor Review state
  • Tags Reports now visible to all users (Grants and Agreements modules)