Though Brittany Beckford is new to the role of Post-Award Grants Administrator, she is not new to CAS. She spent time temping in both the Dean’s Office and in the Biology department before beginning the Post-Award position in June. A native of Kingston, Jamaica by way of Rocky Mount, NC, Beckford has an accounting degree from Mt. Olive University and is finishing up an MBA from Fayetteville State University. We caught up with her for a quick Q&A.
Tell us what you do as the Post-Award Grants Administrator for Biology and Chemistry & Biochemistry departments.
My role is to deal with administrative and financial tasks for PIs after they have been through the proposal process and received their funding. My key responsibilities involve tracking monthly expenses and monitoring their budget to make sure they don’t overspend, making sure they are spending within the sponsor guidelines, and completing payments and reimbursements, including doing paperwork to arrange tuition and stipends for research assistants.
What was it like for you starting out in this new position?
At first, I was going through the rules and guidelines, getting to know the PIs and projects they are working on, and how they usually spend their money. After a few weeks, all the work hit at once! My desk was piling up with travel forms and invoice payments and deadlines. I still have more to learn, but I learn as it comes. Managing grants for both departments is challenging, because they have different grants with different rules, and some PIs have multiple awards. I have been relying on many people for help, but especially Ms. Trina (Porcher) from Chemistry and Ms. Amy (Coble) from Contracts & Grants. They’ve been a tremendous help.
What do you like best about your job so far?
Seeing people of different ages and backgrounds, people from all over the world working together on exciting projects and topics. I am excited for them, to see them actually make progress on their research.
So if you were a PI, what would you be researching?
Probably something like sports nutrition. It is something that I always struggled with especially as an athlete growing up. [Brittany ran track in high school and college.] If I could find healthy, natural, nutritious, consistent products that work best for each body type, that would be a big help to a lot of athletes.
What are some things you like to do for fun?
I like to practice cosmetology and try out different hairstyles. I also like family time, hanging out with my parents, my younger sister, my aunt and my cousin – playing games, joking around, cooking. I also like learning about different things. Now I’m into learning about cars: the different types, their safety features, how to do maintenance, changing the oil, changing a tire.
Do you know any good accountant jokes?
No, I do not. Those jokes are always about how accountants are so boring.