University of Louisville

David W.

Grants Management Account Senior

Became an RA: The 1990's

I began my journey in grants management in January 1996 as a temporary in the Grant Management Office which was part of the Controller’s Office. My job was to close out old grant accounts in the financial system. Two months later I was hired as a grant accountant. The position entailed all of the post award duties as the Grants Management Office which was housed in a different building was purely pre-award. My duties were to make the federal cash draws, to work with departments who had drug study projects. I also worked with the financial aid department to set up their annual grant accounts and to make certain their annual report to the feds balanced with the grant account. After two years in this position I moved to a project management position to assist with setting up automation for journal entries in the financial system.

After two years, I hired into the Grants Management Office which had now taken over the pre- and post-award duties except for the financial reporting and invoicing. I began to learn how to negotiate contracts as well as set up grants in the financial system. There were two of us in my position who handled the main campus and was soon increased to three Grants Management Specialist. We assisted with submitting over 1,200 proposals which increased over the years to 1,800 proposal per year. While reviewing proposals I was also answering questions for professors concerning their awards. My responsibility also included sending out subawards and negotiating language with other institutions.

Our biggest adventure was in September 2009 when the city of Louisville received 6 inches of rain in an hour. The campus was flooded, and we were in the lower level of the building. We had to move our computers up to the next floor as water began to enter the building. There was three feet of water on the outside of the door.

After almost 22 years in the central grants management office, I have moved to the College of Education as a grants management account. Now instead of reviewing proposals, I am assisting professors in putting together their proposals and budgets to send to OSPA for review.