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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.


  • Aerial picture of Center of Galapagos Studies

    Center for Galapagos Studies Celebrates 10 Years

    Saving tortoises, mapping agricultural areas, and monitoring water quality. The UNC Center for Galapagos Studies has been busy in the 10 years since its creation.

  • computer chip

    Reshaping Cyberinfrastructure

    For more than 10 years, the Network Research and Infrastructure Group at RENCI has been helping scientists use large amounts of data to make new discoveries and have enabled important new advances in distributing computing networks, cloud-based systems, and software-defined … Continued

  • michelle hernandez

    Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

    In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, WRAL-TV recently featured UNC’s Michelle Hernandez, highlighting her work in underserved communities. At UNC Health, Hernandez is breaking down barriers as a pediatric allergist and immunologist. The Puerto Rico native calls the work her … Continued

  • blue whale

    Blue Whales in the Galápagos

    Galápagos Science Center researcher Dani Alarcón and her team are the first to successfully tag blue whales in Galápagos Islands. This will enable a variety of data to be collected to better understand migratory patterns of the largest animal to … Continued

  • Increasing Protection of the Galápagos

    Researchers at the Galapagos Science Center have been working tirelessly for months as part of a multi-national and multi-institutional team, to provide technical input to increase protection around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso announced the new marine … Continued

  • Jet taking off

    Alternate Jet Fuel Reduces Deaths

    A new study by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment and the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health finds that sustainable alternative jet fuels decreases premature death rates … Continued

  • Classroom with kids sitting on floor listening to presentation

    Re-examining Foundational Research

    UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute-affiliated researchers Elizabeth Pungello Bruno and Iheoma U. Iruka reexamined the Carolina Abecedarian project, a 40-year-old study often cited in childhood research. They found its purposeful colorblindness a detriment which current researchers should keep … Continued

  • a dock in morehead city

    Salt Marshes and Coastal Resilience

    In this News and Observer article, Michael Piehler of UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences shares insight into the importance of salt marshes and living coastlines in building sustainable coastal resilience to preserve one of the state’s most valuable ecosystems.

  • Antibiotic-Resistance in the Galápagos

    As a microbiologist studying antibiotic-resistance in bacteria, conducting research at one of the most pristine places on Earth provided the perfect environment for Alyssa Grube, a UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health graduate student, to understand how humans introduce … Continued

  • Seagull squawking

    Plastic in Seabirds

    UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Galápagos Studies was one of 18 institutes to study 32 species of seabirds. Up to 52% of the birds ate plastic and accumulated plastic’s chemical compounds in their bodies.

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