Portrait of Denitta Ward

Denitta Ward, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research & Director, Office of Contracts and Grants


CU Boulder’s robust research and creative works portfolio is a testament to the extensive expertise, quality and innovation of our faculty, staff and students. The professional research administration staff in the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG) is well positioned to support the continued growth in sponsored projects.

OCG provides the CU Boulder campus with expertise in proposal preparation and submission, negotiations, non-financial award management and award compliance. We regularly partner with department staff, the Campus Controller’s Office (CCO), which oversees the post-award financial administration of sponsored projects, and other units supporting research, creative works and services, in our ongoing attention to continuous improvement. 

In OCG, we take our four strategic priorities of client satisfaction, process excellence, people development and infrastructure enhancement to heart in all that we do and initiate. Through these priorities we can achieve our vision of being recognized as leaders in research administration for our expertise in facilitating research funding, process innovation, and retention of top talent.

Meeting the needs and expectations of our stakeholders is at the core of Client Satisfaction. The Faculty and Administrators Advisory Board (FAAB) helps ensure we are connected to the pulse of the campus research community’s needs. During the academic year we hold monthly Tuesday Talks where all stakeholders can meet with the OCG leadership to discuss areas of concern and ask questions. The OCG website is a wealth of information to help principal investigators and department research administrators whether it is finding your OCG team in the directory or obtaining sponsor specific information for proposals.

Process Excellence is focused on streamlining our operational activity. We engage in working groups with our colleagues including, campus institutes/departments, CCO and other affected units to collectively improve and document processes and procedures, including developing tools and resources. We update policies and provide guidance that protects the university and principal investigators in an increasingly more complex regulatory environment. As processes and procedures are formulated, we strive to reduce administrative burden to the extent we possibly can, and are open to exploring any ideas campus staff and researchers propose.

All of this work happens through people. We see People Development as an essential investment that actively and continuously advances employee skills and expertise through accessible learning opportunities. We have a robust training program that extends to all of our campus stakeholders, and we recognize the importance of professional development including professional certifications.

And, finally, Infrastructure Enhancement is about having the right tools to do the job accurately, effectively and efficiently. We collaborate with our business partners in the Office of Information Technology to deploy tools that contribute to growth and functionality. We are proud of our track record of being at the forefront of the paperless initiative, and our staff continue to find ways to maximize technology, including the use of web forms and Docusign to streamline business processes.

OCG is dedicated to continuous improvement and collaboration with the objective of serving our researchers and their staff.

My door is always open for your questions and feedback.

Denitta Ward
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research
Director, Office of Contracts and Grants