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Multiple images of researchers working in the field. The first image shows two student researchers, looking at a laptop by a stream in their high boots and weighters. The second image is a close up shot of a student researcher looking at creatures in glass containers. The third image shows two professors, wearing safety glasses, about to pour liquid nitrogen. The fourth image shows a researcher in the lab. The fifth image shows a group of researchers looking at foliage in plastic bags. The sixth image shows two researchers taking images for the library archive, one is standing on a stool while the other holds books open.

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.


  • Microbes and Marine Ecosystems

    In this video, UNC Center for Galapagos Studies researcher Scott Gifford explains his work to better understand the molecular biodiversity found in microbial communities and the role bacteria play in shaping ocean chemistry and ecology.

  • Preschool During the Pandemic

    This video series from the FPG Child Development Institute’s Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center shares the successes of practitioners and families across the country in supporting preschoolers during COVID-19 through technology.

  • On The Edge Of Discovery

    Carolina alumna Stacy Zhang first got her feet wet in marine ecology as an undergrad. Now a postdoctoral researcher with the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, she is on the frontlines of helping navigate challenges facing North Carolina’s coast.

  • Why Do Sea Turtles Eat Ocean Plastics?

    New research from a team of UNC Biology experts shows that plastics floating in the ocean build a coating of algae and microorganisms that smells edible to turtles. The findings raise questions about a number of long-term impacts plastics may … Continued

  • giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands

    Science and Conservation in the Galápagos Islands

    UNC Center for Galápagos Studies Director Stephen Walsh and Universidad San Francisco de Quito’s Carlos Mena explain the importance of protecting the Galápagos Islands through interdisciplinary science and conservation.

  • Expanding COVID-19 Vaccinations

    The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention is working to expand COVID-19 vaccination to primary care clinics in areas with low vaccination rates through coaching, data, and community partnerships.

  • Marine to Marine Scientist

    Graduating master’s student Jonathan Lucas traded his military fatigues and boots for wetsuits and waders to return to school and earn a graduate degree in marine sciences at UNC. During his time here, he worked on oyster reefs and coastline … Continued

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint With Oysters and Marsh Grass

    When it comes to helping in the fight against climate change, reducing your carbon footprint is a regularly suggested tactic. By burying carbon deposits into the sediment of a saltmarsh created by researchers, a project at the UNC Institute for Marine … Continued

  • HEAL (helping to end addiciton long-term) logo

    RENCI to Help Researchers HEAL Opioid Crisis

    Carolina’s Renaissance Computing (RENCI) Institute shares in a $21.4 million grant to provide data management and stewardship to an NIH-funded research project — the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative — focused on the opioid and pain management public … Continued

  • Seats in Capitol Building

    U.S. Census to Change Congressional Counts

    North Carolina is predicted to pick up a 14th seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to data from the 2020 U.S. Census. Learn more about what this means for the state in this Q&A with Carolina Demography Director … Continued

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