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So you’ve won a grant! Now what?

MSU Denver’s Grant and Contract Accounting team offers comprehensive assistance throughout the grant process.

By Lindsey Coulter

September 17, 2019

Members of Grant and Contracting Accounting team.For new and seasoned faculty members alike, a successful grant submission can be thrilling and a bit daunting. However, thanks to Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Grant and Contract Accounting team within the Office of the Controller, the process has become much more streamlined.

The Grant and Contract Accounting team supports faculty members in the fiscal management of their sponsored awards. Currently, the University’s largest grantors are the United States Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All awards receive the team’s assistance and expertise.

Darlene Eckhardt, grant and contract manager, notes that while the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs is the best resource for proposal development and pre-award activities, the GCA team specializes in collaborative, customer-centric post-award management and financial oversight. This allows faculty to focus on putting their award to its intended use — whether that be supporting research or helping students attend academic conferences.

“We give faculty members and administrators a comprehensive picture of their awards,” added Charli Pringle-North, grant-compliance officer. “A lot of faculty are very hands-on during the submission process but aren’t as familiar with navigating the post-award process. We’re here to fill in that expertise.”

Grant recipients complete an onboarding process to ensure that they fully understand the accounting matters as well as the GCA support available. This may include the process of hiring staff, implementing scholarships and stipends and supporting the University’s fiscal year-end. After this, they generally work with one GCA accountant who is an expert with the sponsoring agency and the award requirements. The partnership, which may include quarterly financial reviews and principal investigator excel workbooks, lasts for the entire life of the grant. Meanwhile, Hanh Tran, restricted-fund accountant and alumna, reviews all expenditures and draws down funds from federal agencies, further streamlining the process for awardees.

“Sometimes there is a reaction of ‘I got this million-dollar award. How do I get started? How do I spend money?’” said Nate Beidler, grant and financial-aid accountant. “We’re here to help the principal investigators working on the grants doing the scientific or educational research so they don’t have to worry about the in-depth compliance and financial-reporting issues.”

This year, the GCA team will also host monthly hot-topic discussions where principal investigators, administrative staff and anyone else interested can learn more about specific award topics. To learn more about the hot-topic discussions or about the GCA team, please email

Fun Grant Facts!

  • MSU Denver has been awarded grants that offer approximately $700,000 in annual scholarships for Colorado students and approximately $700,000 annually in stipends to defray living expenses.
  • The University currently manages 35 active grants and contracts with an annual budget of $7.9 million.
  • Seven of those grants are from the National Science Foundation to support undergraduate research. 
  • Our Center for Urban Education grant and contracts, totaling $800,000, also support high school students with college-readiness programs.

Topics: Accounting Services, Best practices, Collaboration, Excellence, Funding

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