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Help Support UNC Researchers Fight Against COVID-19

October 7, 2021

OVCR hiring director of DEI strategy

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) is actively recruiting for the director of strategy for research diversity workforce and community partnerships, a new position reporting to the vice chancellor for research. The director will assure that UNC Research leadership is sustaining and enhancing a diverse, inclusive, civil, and welcoming campus research community and workplace that upholds the highest standards of inclusive excellence. They will also collaborate in the development of a coordinated research strategy that leverages the recruitment and investment in diverse faculty, fellows and trainees, students, and staff.

The posting can be found on the UNC HR jobs website, and the application deadline is October 27.

R3 Symposium organizers call for proposals

The Race, Racism, and Racial Equity (R3) Symposium is a series of virtual events that brings together scholars and researchers from across campus to share their work with Carolina and the broader community. The symposium’s first four events addressed UNC’s racist past and present, cultural appropriation, arts-based scholarship, and environmental justice. Now, the R3 Planning Committee is seeking session topic ideas and individual scholarship proposals. Submit ideas here by Friday, October 8.

Submit a poster for NC TraCS CTSA Hub

The 2021 Virtual CTSA Program Annual Meeting, which takes place December 1-3, will focus on the creative innovations developed by CTSA Program consortium hubs during the pandemic under the theme “Intentional Disruption and Innovation: The Future of Translational Science.” Poster submissions are currently being accepted for a presentation on December 3 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Topics include drug development, clinical trials, digital, and innovation-entrepreneurship. All submissions should be sent to mbcassely@med.unc.edu by October 15.

Craig Fletcher elected to the ACLAM board of directors

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Craig Fletcher was recently appointed to serve on the board of directors for the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). Nominated by his peers, Fletcher will serve a three-year term on the organization’s leadership team.

ACLAM is a specialty board recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association as the certifying organization for laboratory animal medicine, a recognized specialty within the veterinary medical profession. ACLAM was founded in 1957, and its active membership comprises over 1,100 diplomates (formerly called fellows). The mission of ACLAM is to advance the humane care and responsible use of laboratory animals through certification of veterinary specialists, professional development, education, and research.

University Research Week, November 8-12

University Research Week is an annual celebration of Carolina’s research excellence and an effort to increase participation by students, of all levels, in research activity. This year’s theme is Research Perseveres. Through keynote presentations, symposiums, workshops, and more, we will be highlighting the tenacity and dedication of our researchers and students and the strategic initiatives that make Carolina one of the top research institutions in the world.

New for this year, we will be hosting the Health of Our State and Beyond speaker series, presented by the Creativity Hubs initiative. During the series, presentations will be given by interdisciplinary teams of researchers who, after winning Creativity Hubs funding, are now tackling some of the greatest challenges facing our state by building coastal resilience, identifying the causes of deadly obesity, developing antiviral therapeutics to stop the next pandemic, and providing affordable, sustainable access to clean drinking water.

Additional events include workshops hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research for students interested in pursuing research activities; a pan-campus symposium on structural racism, with an award presentation for racial health equity at the Gillings School of Global Public Health; and a three-minute thesis competition hosted by The Graduate School.

Please check the website often as new events are being added daily.


September 2, 2021

CPPFD receives award for bolstering diversity in STEM fields

The Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD) was recently awarded INSIGHT Into Diversity magazineʼs 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. This honor recognizes the effort that the program has undertaken to empower underrepresented and women trainees to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.

To receive this award, the program was able to demonstrate it committed resources, support, and staff needed to create robust programming and show results that prove they make a difference in the lives of students, employees, and community members. Since its inception in 1984, CPPFD has aimed to bolster staff diversity in the STEM disciplines by helping underrepresented PhD students obtain tenure-track faculty positions.

Eshelman launches online Teaching and Learning Certificate

The Eshelman School of Pharmacy has launched a unique online Teaching and Learning Certificate program focused on evidence-based teaching and learning strategies. The Center for Innovative Pharmacy Education and Research designed the new 15-hour course as a customized, self-paced learning experience. A robust offering of elective modules allows students to tailor curriculum to satisfy individual learning needs.


August 12, 2021

Quinton Johnson named chief compliance officer

In July, Quinton Johnson became UNC’s new chief compliance officer. Johnson joined the Division of Institutional Integrity and Risk Management as the export control officer in November 2020. In this new role — which he will maintain alongside his position as export control officer — Johnson will provide compliance support to those who need it, fostering a culture of ethics and compliance at the university. Because research universities receive a majority of their support from state and federal funding agencies, it is imperative to ensure that such funds are utilized responsibly and ethically.

New postdoctoral mentoring program announces first fellow

The UNC School of Medicine’s medical doctor program has selected Sikoya Ashburn as its inaugural fellow for a new program seeking to diversify educators who teach medical students at Carolina. Ashburn will be paired with a basic-science faculty mentor; work with an educational mentoring committee; learn about curriculum, assessment, and teaching technology; and interact with medical students both formally and informally.

During her fellowship, Ashburn will also make contributions in brain slicing sessions and content related to the cerebellum (her specialty), review and help with teaching sessions and office hours, and co-teach small groups.

Fellows in the Educational Mentoring Program can come from any department on campus. Ideal candidates have a PhD degree with a background in the biological or physical sciences and an interest in teaching. For more information on the program, please contact Kurt Gilliland.


June 3, 2021

2021 Creativity Hubs winner announced

A Creativity Hubs award has been presented to the AI Accelerated Discovery of Solar Energy Materials Hub — an interdisciplinary team that will use artificial intelligence methods originally developed for pharmaceutical innovations to unlock advances in solar chemistry and solar fuel production. The team creates synergy between disciplines from the UNC College of Arts & Sciences departments of Chemistry, Physics, Applied Physical Sciences, Computer Science, and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

College launches new earth, marine, and environmental sciences department

On July 1, the departments of geological sciences and marine sciences, together with the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, will merge into a single academic unit within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences, becoming the new Department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences (EMES). The department will bring together more than 30 faculty, nearly 70 graduate students, and numerous postdocs and research and technical staff at labs and facilities in Murray and Mitchell halls on campus and at the coastal marine lab at Morehead City.

New data science minor to launch in Fall 2021

In Fall 2021, the Department of Statistics and Operations Research will introduce a data science minor — an important component of the pan-university data science initiative. Based in the UNC College of Arts & Sciences but open to all undergraduates, the program will introduce students to methods and applications that are used in basic and applied sciences, the humanities, social sciences, and other disciplines.


April 1, 2021

Copenhaver named associate dean for research and innovation

Greg Copenhaver has been appointed the College of Arts & Sciences’ new associate dean for research and innovation, effective July 1. He will be responsible for developing and implementing research and innovation strategies for the college and supporting leadership and faculty to enhance the college’s research and scholarship portfolio.

Copenhaver brings a wealth of experience to this role. A member of the faculty since 2001, he shares joint appointments as a professor in the Department of Biology and the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences. He also served on committees that led to the formation of the college’s Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship. He has taught in the program since 2008.

His scholarly work explores chromosome structure and dynamics in the processes that give rise to reproductive cells, relying heavily on genetic and genomic approaches to yield insights into how genes are inherited between generations. His research group’s work currently emphasizes plant biology with the broad aim of improving global food security.

APS offers summer course series for researchers

Enhance your electronics, design, and data skills! Through the Department of Applied Physical Sciences (APS), faculty, staff, and graduate students can take a series of 0.5- and 1.0-credit, pass/fail courses that provide practical “making” skills at a level accessible to all. Researchers can take courses individually as stand-alone content or together as a comprehensive overview of electronics and digital making in the Maker Technologies for Everyone curriculum.

Courses include:

  • APPL112, Practical electronics for everyone
  • APPL113, LabView for data acquisition
  • APPL114, Arduino bootcamp: a deep introduction for beginners
  • APPL115, Raspberry Pi bootcamp
  • APPL121, 3D printing technology and practice

Save the date: University Research Week 2021

Mark your calendars! University Research Week (URW) 2021 will be held November 8-12, 2021. Once again, UNC will be showcasing remarkable, innovative, and life-saving research conducted by its world-renown faculty and students and inspiring the next generation of scientists through presentations, workshops, and more. The URW planning team is optimistic that this yearʼs celebration will include a mix of in-person and virtual events. More information will be available soon. If you are interested in hosting an event during URW 2021, please contact Layla Dowdy in the Office of Research Communications or Bob Pleasants in the Office of Undergraduate Research.


March 4, 2021

Library agreement with SAGE Publishing opens access to research

More than 60 articles by UNC scholars reached a worldwide audience in 2020, free of paywalls or subscription requirements. The universal access comes thanks to the University Librariesʼ groundbreaking open access pilot agreement with SAGE Publishing, which will continue into 2021. Most authors who wish to offer open access to their research must pay a fee to the publisher. Through the agreement, part of the libraryʼs subscription to SAGE journals in 2020 covered these open access charges on behalf of the scholars.

“The research that happens at a public university should be available to the public,” says Vice Provost for University Libraries and University Librarian Elaine L. Westbrooks. “Carolinaʼs library is leading the transformation to a more open future for scholarly publishing.”

New limited submissions and awards management system

The limited submissions and awards team is pleased to announce the launch of Web Home for Award Management of Limited Submissions (WHAMLS), the new system to apply for limited submission and award opportunities.

In addition to being a single destination for researchers to submit proposals for internal review, the system is also set up to host reviewer comments and feedback, and will eventually integrate with RAMSeS to help build out a robust institutional data picture.

Documentation for reviewers is available at the limited submissions and awards website, but if you have any questions during the launch of this system, please donʼt hesitate to reach out to limited_submissions@unc.edu.

BeAM solicits feedback from researchers

The UNC Be A Maker (BeAM) program continues to enhance the breadth and depth of resources available to researchers and welcomes your guidance to help direct strategies and resources. By filling out this eight-question survey, you can help makerspace staff understand the research needs for access, equipment, and messaging.

Additionally, researchers can attend a drop-in virtual open house at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 15, for a tour of the space, an overview of tools and equipment, and breakout Q&A sessions with staff specialists, experts, and advanced BeAM research users. Get a closer look at the metal shop, electronics workstations, and upgraded 3D printer capabilities including the FormLabs Form 3B resin printer, the new Ultimaker S3, PRUSA multimaterial printer, and soon-to-be-added flexible filaments.

UNC to host first NC Vision Zero Leadership Team Institute

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. The NC Vision Zero Leadership Team Institute is a team training resource for communities in North Carolina with Vision Zero initiatives. This event, hosted by NC Vision Zero and UNC, will be the first-ever of its kind, providing multi-sector teams with best practice tools and approaches to help them move toward effective Vision Zero planning and implementation.

This yearʼs leadership institute will be held virtually on June 21, 23, 28, and 30. Applications are due by March 12, and accepted teams will attend for free. To learn more, contact Elyse Keefe, the road safety project coordinator at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center.

Brian Collier named director of science and security

The university has been focused on strengthening its infrastructure to respond to new and changing requirements for research involving foreign entities and collaborators. To ensure the security of the UNC research enterprise and compliance with federal regulations, the OVCR has established a director of science and security position.

On March 1, Brian Collier began serving in this role as the subject matter expert of all science and security matters within the OVCR, which includes helping to secure research data and intellectual property; manage issues of foreign influence and foreign components in our research programs; and train campus stakeholders on, and ensure compliance with, other regulations related to research involving foreign entities and collaborators.

Collier’s 30 years of experience in research administration, operations, finance, and government administration make him uniquely qualified for this role. Previously, he served as assistant director of research administration in the Office of Sponsored Research, where he was responsible for leading a team that provided research administration support for campus faculty and staff. Prior to joining Carolina in 2013, he served as an operations manager with the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville and as an administrative officer at the NIH.


February 4, 2021

OVCR launches AdvanTx for therapeutic-related projects

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) announces the launch of the UNC Advanced Therapeutics Initiative (AdvanTx), a centralized resource to support development of therapeutic-related research and commercialization projects. The initiative aims to serve faculty by providing scientific guidance, coordination of university and external resources, and development of commercial strategies.

Investigators are encouraged to contribute their therapeutic targets or gene concepts, discoveries, or ongoing programs by completing a brief one-page questionnaire. If selected for support, the AdvanTx team — a pan-campus group of therapeutics and innovation translation experts — will work closely with the researcher to support advancement of the therapeutic project.

Announcing the relaunch of FUNDamentals

The Office of Research Development (ORD) has relaunched its newsletter FUNDamentals after last year’s hiatus. It joins the growing suite of OCVR communication platforms — Carolina Investigator, Endeavors, and Inside Research — to bring you relevant and timely resources about extramural funding, internal funding, sponsor engagement, and news from campus partners. Click here to subscribe to FUNDamentals. ORD is always available at ord@unc.edu.

UNC Science Expo seeks presenters for virtual events

Every April, as part of Morehead Planetarium’s month-long N.C. Science Festival, the UNC Science Expo draws thousands of visitors to engage with the amazing research that happens on Carolinaʼs campus through a STEM-themed street festival. This yearʼs celebration has morphed into UNC Science Week with a series of unique, pandemic-proof events April 12-17. The festival team is excited to share the work of UNC researchers through virtual science cafes, drive-in movie screenings, an online expo, “Scientist Saturday” at Morehead Planetarium, and more. To participate in UNC Science Week, please contact ncscifest@unc.edu.


January 7, 2021

Meet Kelley Cardone, Research Development Project Coordinator

Kelley Cardone recently joined the Office of Research Development in a temporary capacity as the new research development project coordinator. Cardone has 11 years of project management experience in various departments within the School of Medicine. In addition to her experience at Carolina, she worked as a social worker and An elementary school teacher. She holds a M.S. in social work from the University of Louisville and a M.A. in teaching from UNC Greensboro. She can be reached at kcardone@ad.unc.edu.


December 3, 2020

Senior faculty research and scholarly leaves for academic year 2021–22

The Provostʼs Office is now accepting applications for competitive senior faculty research and scholarly leaves paid from Kenan, Pogue, William R. Kenan, Jr., William N. Reynolds, and R.J. Reynolds Industries funds. The leaves are to be taken during Fall 2021, Spring 2022, or academic year 2021–22. These leaves will pay a full base salary for one semester up to a maximum amount of $60,000 or one-half of the base salary for the full academic year up to a maximum amount of $60,000. A $4,000 research fund will also be provided during the period of the leave.

Any permanent, full-time, salaried member of the faculty holding a tenured, tenure track, or fixed-term position at the associate or full professor level is eligible to apply. Assistant professors are not eligible for these leaves. Applications are due no later than Friday, December 11 at 5 p.m. For more information or questions about the application process, contact Gordon Joyner.

Postdoctoral proposal support

In partnership with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Office of Research Development (ORD) will now be accepting consultations with postdoctoral researchers to help them prepare applications to extramural sponsors. Please email ord@unc.edu to request a consultation or visit ORDʼs website.


November 5, 2020

Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD) accepting applicants

As part of a continuing commitment to building a culturally diverse intellectual community and advancing scholars from different backgrounds in higher education, the CPPFD is pleased to offer postdoctoral research appointments for a period of two years. Applicants who will have completed their doctoral degree no later than July 1, 2021 and no earlier than July 1, 2016 in any discipline represented at UNC are eligible to apply. The primary criterion for selection is evidence of scholarship potentially competitive for tenure track appointments at UNC and other research universities.

Interested applicants should apply online. For additional information, please visit the program website. Questions may be directed to the program coordinator, Jennifer Pruitt in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

University Research Week recordings available online

University Research Week is an annual celebration of Carolinaʼs research excellence and an effort to increase participation by students, of all levels, in research activity. University Research Week 2020 took place October 19-23 in a completely virtual format. If you missed it, just head to researchweek.unc.edu to watch some of the recorded Zoom events including talks from this yearʼs Hettleman Award winners, a COVID-19 symposium featuring three of Carolinaʼs leading pandemic researchers, and a presentation for students on how to get involved in research.

Distinguish yourself and your research with an ORCID iD

Publishers and funding agencies are increasingly integrating and requiring ORCID iDs — a unique and persistent digital identifier that researchers can use to distinguish themselves from other researchers, especially those with similar names — in their publication submission and grant application processes. NIH, AHRQ, and CDC now require individuals who receive research training, fellowship, research education, and career development awards to have ORCID iDs.

The ORCID identifier comes with an associated online record that links scholarly activities to the iD itself, which provides researchers with several benefits including:

  • streamlined manuscript and grant submission workflows;
  • name disambiguation;
  • a lifetime scholarly record connecting all work; and
  • increased visibility of research outputs.

UNC is an ORCID member and encourages all researchers, including graduate students, postdocs, and other early career researchers, to:

  1. create a free ORCID iD;
  2. connect your ORCID iD to UNC;
  3. import your research; and
  4. use your ORCID iD when you apply for grants or submit publications and include it in your CV and email signature.

For more information about ORCID, please visit the University Librariesʼ ORCID guide or email ORCIDteam@unc.edu.


October 6, 2020

University Research Week, October 19–23

University Research Week is an annual celebration of Carolina’s research excellence and an effort to increase participation by students, of all levels, in research activity. Through multiple unique virtual events, the campus community will become more familiar with UNCʼs world-class research and the strategic initiatives that make it one of the top research institutions in the world. In partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Research and the University Development Office, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research will present a virtual symposium on UNC’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic as the week’s featured event. Additional panel presentations, workshops, lectures, and more will fill out the week. Please check the website often as new event information is added daily.

2020 Hettleman Prizes Awarded to Exceptional Early-Career Faculty

The annual Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement have been awarded to four promising faculty members who exemplify groundbreaking and innovative research along with future career promise.

Recognized at September's Faculty Council Meeting, each recipient will deliver a virtual presentation on their research during University Research Week. This year's Hettleman Prize awardees are:

  • Mohit Bansal, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Andrea Bohlman, associate professor, Department of Music, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Angela Smith, associate professor, Department of Urology, School of Medicine
  • William Sturkey, assistant professor, Department of History, College of Arts & Sciences

N.C. TraCS announces opening of National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C)

The N3C, led by NIH through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, is a data resource and collaborative community built for COVID-19 research. The N3C Data Enclave contains harmonized, patient-level clinical data from health care providers across the country, allowing the research community to study COVID-19 at a scale and statistical power not possible within any single institution.

This detailed guide (ONYEN login required) includes step by step guidance on requesting access, IRB guidance and boilerplate text, and information on required and recommended trainings.

Postdoctoral Proposal Support

In partnership with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Office of Research Development (ORD) will now be accepting consultations with postdoctoral researchers to help them prepare applications to extramural sponsors. Please email ord@unc.edu to request a consultation or visit ORDʼs website.


September 3, 2020

University Research Week

University Research Week 2020 will be held the week of October 19-23. Please note the earlier date due to the shifted fall semester timeline. The signature event of the week-long celebration will be a virtual symposium on UNCʼs response to the novel coronavirus pandemic featuring frontline experts. There will be many other research-based events, panels, and showcases held during the week as well.

If your unit would like to host a University Research Week event, please email Layla Dowdy. A list of last yearʼs events is available.


August 6, 2020

Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment Project for research employees and trainees

In July, a research study team led by Dr. Audrey Pettifor was awarded funding from the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory to implement a COVID-19 research employee and trainee return to work assessment project. The purpose of this study is to determine whether safety and preventative measures that have been implemented on campus are effective in preventing the spread of SARS-COV-2 amongst the research community.

The Return to Campus COVID-19 Assessment Project for UNC-CH Employees and Trainees (ReCAPP) is investigating novel research methods of detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 using self-collected swabs, saliva, and blood for viral and antibody testing. The study involves frequent testing over a 12-month follow-up, with referral as needed for clinical testing at the UNC Respiratory Diagnostic Center. Most of the study procedures and follow-ups can be done remotely over video conferencing and brief study visits in locations across campus with proper precautions including face masks and physical distancing.

The study is limited to research personnel, including those conducting laboratory or human subjects research, and those providing administrative support or other support such as housekeeping staff. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please visit the studyʼs website.

University Research Week

University Research Week 2020 will be held the week of October 19-23, 2020. Please note the earlier date due to the shifted fall semester timeline. The signature event of the week-long celebration will be a virtual symposium on UNCʼs response to the novel coronavirus pandemic featuring many of our front-line experts. There will be many more research-based events, panels, and showcases held during the week as well.

If your unit would like to host a University Research Week event, please email Layla Dowdy. A list of last yearʼs events is available.

2020 Creativity Hubs winner announced

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is pleased to announce this yearʼs winning Creativity Hubs team, Vector-Borne Disease: Epidemiology, Ecology & Response (VEER). Led by Ross Boyce, VEER will seek to develop and implement evidence-based, cost-effective surveillance and response systems to address vector-born disease — an epidemic affecting the entire state, but particularly those living in rural and underserved communities in North Carolina.

Now in its fourth round of seed funding, the Creativity Hubs initiative launches interdisciplinary projects that are expected to lead to sustainable, large-scale extramural funding and commercial opportunities.

ORD welcomes new research development manager

Leigh Ann Samsa assumed the role of research development manager in the Office of Research Development (ORD) on July 27. In this role, she will support strategic initiatives that grow UNCʼs research portfolio with an emphasis on large grant opportunities proposal development. Samsa holds a doctorate in cell and molecular physiology from UNC and a bachelorʼs in biology from Duke University. She completed a research postdoc in UNCʼs School of Medicine and a teaching postdoc in NC Stateʼs Biotechnology Program before joining ORD.

OSR introduces Proposal Playbook

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) Operational Excellence team and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research have collaborated on initiatives to improve and streamline the management of externally sponsored research programs at the university. One of the results of this partnership is a suite of new tools called Research Playbooks.

Research Playbooks are online resources intended to support researchers and research administrators in managing all stages of the award lifecycle from proposal to closeout. The first to be released is the Proposal Playbook, which will provide investigators with tools and information to complete each step of the proposal process.

Training videos on using the Playbooks are available. For questions or assistance, please contact ResAdminOSR@unc.edu.

NC TraCS Biostatistics releases new guidelines for consultations

Effective immediately, researchers seeking a consultation with Biostatistics must submit requests a minimum of three weeks before the deadline they are trying to meet.

The Biostatistics service at NC TraCS works with investigators to identify unmet statistical design and methodological needs and develop new design and analysis methodologies to resolve roadblocks encountered in cutting-edge biomedical research. The team offers biostatistical collaboration, statistical methodology support, and assistance with grant and manuscript preparation. One of the numerous ways the service delivers on these offerings is through no-charge, short-term consultations.

The three week period will give the Biostatistics team time to plan the consultation and investigators time to act on the results.

For more information on Biostatistics at NC TraCS, visit the Biostatistics page or submit a request for assistance in preparing for your biomedical research study. Please submit all cancer-related requests to the UNC LIneberger Biostatistics Core, not NC TraCS.

Downloadable COVID-19 safety signs available

Carolina Together signage and assets are available for download on the university’s branding and identity guidelines website.

Carolina Together communicates the steps the university is taking with clear community standards and university guidelines on the expected measures individuals will take to help keep one another safe and help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on our campus.


July 2, 2020

Sheps Center creates video to share views on racism

The faculty of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research have created a video to address racism in response to the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that have followed. The mission of the center is to improve health by understanding problems, issues, and alternatives in the design and delivery of health care services. “It is impossible to be even a casual student of health services research without recognizing that racism permeates all aspects of American society,” says Sheps Center Director Mark Holmes. Hear more from Holmes and faculty about equity and shaping a health care system that works for all.

COI and Export Compliance programs have moved

Starting July 1, the Conflict of Interest Program and the Export Control Program, both formerly of the UNC Research division, are now part of UNC Institutional Integrity and Risk Management. This new division was created by the chancellor in January 2020 and is led by vice chancellor George Battle. It includes the departments of Environmental Health & Safety, Campus Safety, and the Office of Ethics and Policy.

School of Medicine gives thanks for continued research infrastructure

UNC Health CEO and School of Medicine Dean Wesley Burks, Executive Dean Cristy Page, and Vice Dean Blossom Damania would like to thank everyone, both offsite and onsite, who remain dedicated to the UNC mission and maintain research infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. They would also like to extend special thanks to all of those managing child care and other obligations that were made more taxing during the pandemic.


June 4, 2020

ORD builds COVID-19 research project database

UNC researchers are working tirelessly to help the world navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, from vaccine research, drug discovery, and therapeutics to the impacts on our communities and economy. This resource is intended for use by members of the UNC community to learn about active projects and research interests that are shared by their colleagues. For queries or to add projects, please email the Office of Research Development (ORD).


May 7, 2020

COVID-19 Research Accelerator Fund

UNC’s researchers, scientists, and staff are fervently working to find solutions to the novel coronavirus crisis. To speed the efforts underway and support Carolina’s existing and evolving COVID-19 research, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research has partnered with the University Development Office to launch the UNC COVID-19 Research Accelerator Fund, which provides critical, unrestricted support to Carolina’s world-renowned research teams. The new fund will eliminate roadblocks and cut through barriers to deliver the resources needed to mitigate this pandemic and prepare us for the next one.

New OSR research tools from Operational Excellence

During a February Town Hall, the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) introduced their collaboration with the Operational Excellence team and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research on efforts to streamline the management of externally sponsored research programs at the university. Several research-focused initiatives are underway, including an engagement partnership to inform communications for research administration and a research playbook to provide guidance on proposal management.

The intent of the engagement partnership is to add structure to interactions between central research offices, such as OSR and the Sponsored Programs Office, and school or unit research administrators. The research playbook for proposals will guide administrators through the pre-award process for federal, nonclinical industry, and nonprofit awards.

UNC cancels Elsevier subscription

Despite more than a year of sustained negotiations, the publisher Elsevier has failed to provide an affordable path for UNC to renew its bundled package of approximately 2,000 e-journal titles. As a result, this package expired on April 30. Moving forward, University Libraries will subscribe to a much smaller set of individual Elsevier titles.

Save the date: University Research Week 2020

University Research Week 2020 will be the week of November 9–13. Planned events include a showcase of UNC researchers sharing how they are battling COVID-19 and a keynote featuring researchers from across several disciplines sharing how their innovative work at UNC positively impacts the state of North Carolina. If your department would like to host an event during University Research Week, please email Layla Dowdy. A list of last yearʼs URW events can be found here.


April 2, 2020

ORD hiring research development manager

The Office of Research Development (ORD) is seeking a skilled and results-driven individual to join a dynamic team as the research development manager. This person will gain an understanding of the types of research being conducted across the university to enable the proactive identification of large grant opportunities, and will then build research teams to apply. They will work with a project coordinator to provide administrative support for assembling applications and networking with grant sponsors.

UNC Libraries: Access while working remotely

University Librarian Elaine Westbrooks provides this guidance about accessing UNC Libraries services and collections. If you need access to a book or resource, contact:

For UNC Libraries access to full-text articles:

Contact Lori Delaney with questions. You can also contact Davis Library circulation or Health Sciences Library circulation.


March 5, 2020

Anderson-Thompkins named interim chief diversity officer

On February 24, Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, who has served as director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) since 2007, began a new role as the special advisor to the chancellor and provost for equity and inclusion and interim chief diversity officer. In this position, Anderson-Thompkins will advise the chancellor’s and provost’s leadership teams; develop systems that emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion across a breadth of university functions; and work with diversity officers to develop and implement opportunities under “Build our Community Together,” the first initiative of the university’s strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good.

OSR update on science and security

Recent updates were made to the Office of Sponsored Researchʼs Science and Security web page concerning the NIH and NSF policy statements, the FAQ section, and other information.

NCDHHS fringe rates for FY 2020

Updated NC Department of Health and Human Services fringe rates for fiscal year 2020 have been released and are available via the Office of Sponsored Researchʼs information sheet.

Reminder: COI disclosure ≠ Research COI Training

The Conflict of Interest (COI) Program would like to provide some clarification for investigators: each research project must include a COI disclosure and Research COI Training. COI disclosures are required annually for each project, whether it’s a grant or human study, while Research COI Training is completed one time and valid for four years. When a person is listed on a grant application, the system will automatically check to see if the person has completed both items.