Coordinator's 'meticulous' work eases research grant process

A graphic with text boxes over Eaton Hall reads, "Unsung Hero, Robin Hinman, Eaton Hall Shared Service Center, 'She makes us all better,' Perry Alexander, AT&T Foundation Distinguished Professor."

Robin Hinman | Grant Coordinator | Eaton Hall Shared Service Center | January 2021

Robin Hinman makes Perry Alexander’s job less stressful.

Hinman will track down a 5-cent budget mistake, drive to campus at the last minute, and locate hard-to-find contracts to support research awards for KU’s Information & Telecommunication Technology Center.

She works meticulously and is exactly the person Alexander wants handling grants.

“She will do just about anything necessary,” said Alexander, AT&T Foundation Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and ITTC director. “She always gets it done.”

Hinman is a grant coordinator in the Eaton Hall Shared Service Center, which supports ITTC, EECS and other engineering departments. She works in post-award grant administration, overseeing award portfolios, handling grant issues and communicating with the Office of Research.

She has worked at the University of Kansas since 1992, serving in roles at central offices and research centers before joining the Eaton Hall SSC.

Jennifer Holladay, Eaton Hall SSC research manager and Hinman’s supervisor, said Hinman’s wealth of experience helps make her so effective.

“I can see the trust she’s earned from years of building strong relationships and successfully managing ITTC’s sponsored awards,” Holladay said. “She is personally invested in her work.”

Hinman also reconciles student and staff appointments with research budgets — an intricate feat that involves locating student and staff contracts, finding sponsor budget requests and more.

“It’s almost impossible to track, and we’re not sure how she does it,” Alexander said.

Hinman focuses on the details — resolving grant issues, tracking overhead rates, handling fees and overseeing payroll — so the 42 researchers and staff at ITTC don't have to.

“All of us are able to spend more time on what we’re good at,” Alexander said. “She makes us all better.”