Why Centers and Institutes?

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Knowledge and Value for North Carolina

Solving the most challenging problems of the day requires innovation and collaboration. Research centers and institutes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provide the infrastructure and support services necessary to help scholars and scientists produce their best work.

When they join a center or institute, faculty members typically retain their appointments in discipline-based departments, continuing to teach students and mentor graduate students. By carrying new knowledge back to their home departments, these faculty members help keep their disciplines on the cutting edge.

Research centers and institutes also help the state’s economy. Their ability to address real-world problems in a comprehensive manner attracts external funding and helps North Carolina compete for economic-development opportunities. a thriving research center or institute is a powerful force for new ideas and beneficial change.

Return on Investment

  • During the 2016 fiscal year, VCR centers and institutes generated $20.95 in external funds for every $1 invested by the state.
  • The university must have state dollars to sustain our research centers and institutes because external funding will not pay for basic infrastructure.
  • External grants and contracts accounted for nearly 90 percent of the total budget of all VCR centers and institutes combined.
  • During the 2016 fiscal year, VCR centers and institutes attracted nearly $175 million in external funding. Research centers and institutes account for more than 20% of UNC-Chapel Hill’s external funding, which totaled $847 million in FY 2016.