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UNC Research is charting a course to grow Carolina’s research enterprise and continue enabling its success with a new strategic roadmap.

A message from the Vice Chancellor for Research:

Dear Carolina,

Our University stands among the world’s most impressive research institutions, and we are poised to propel it even further. Today, we are unveiling the Carolina Strategic Research Roadmap – a bold, actionable plan to solidify our position as a global research leader and drive greater impact and achievement.

The Strategic Research Roadmap provides the blueprint that will allow us to foster a more nimble, innovative, and entrepreneurial research environment driven by three guiding principles: innovate, transform, and renew.

This is the culmination of a year-long effort led by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research to gather insights from key stakeholders across campus, including University leaders, deans of schools and research units, directors of pan-campus centers and institutes, and faculty members deeply involved in research activities. Together, we worked to identify areas of strength, opportunities for improvement, and strategies to amplify Carolina’s research impact, which is synergistic with other efforts being led by the Chancellor, the Provost, and other vice chancellors.

The results of that engagement and collaboration have yielded a new strategic vision that will help us continue to grow and strengthen our research infrastructure, address areas of concern, and build upon our existing strengths.

Research Roadmap Priorities

Three strategic priorities will enable us to propel our research enterprise to new heights:

  • Priority #1: Build, improve, and maintain state-of-the-art research facilities, equipment, data, and technology to enable success.
  • Priority #2: Grow Carolina research by identifying and investing in strategic opportunities, leveraging existing research strengths, and fostering collaboration to discover new knowledge and address challenges.
  • Priority #3: Increase the impact and translation of Carolina’s research and communicate its value.

In addition, there are two key operational imperatives necessary to support the three strategic priority:

  • Imperative #1: Support and grow a talented research workforce that ensures Carolina continues to excel in research that serves our state and the world.
  • Imperative #2: Foster an environment that facilitates efficient research processes and promotes integrity, objectivity, and quality of research outputs.

Next Steps

As we move into the next phase of implementing the Strategic Research Roadmap, we will form working groups tasked with developing plans to achieve each of the goals and operational imperatives. In the coming weeks, individuals will be invited to join those committees based on their experience and position within the University, ensuring we have appropriate representation from across campus.

If you are invited to participate, we hope you will consider applying your talents, knowledge, and time to these efforts. Together, we can create an even greater research enterprise that fulfills the University’s missions to teach the next generation of leaders and providing crucial service to the state, the nation, and the world through new discoveries, revolutionary technologies, and life-saving treatments.


Penny Gordon-Larsen, Vice Chancellor for Research

Lee H. Roberts, Interim Chancellor

J. Christopher Clemens, Provost

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