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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.


  • Bryan Reatini

    Native and Invasive Species in the Galápagos

    UNC PhD candidate Bryan Reatini investigates the interactions between native and invasive species and aims to identify threats to local biodiversity in the Galápagos Islands. In this video, he shares how the Galápagos Science Center helped him achieve his goals.

  • drone flies in front of a tree

    Research from Above

    UNC recently launched Carolina’s Drone Lab to provide a hub for interdisciplinary research teams in need of innovative drone and sensing technologies to assist with a variety of projects — from characterizing floodplains, to mapping invasive species, to forest management.

  • an aerial photograph of flooded homes

    Computing Advances Make Waves for Flood Software

    The Coastal Resilience Center uses modeling software called ADCIRC, which was co-developed by UNC marine scientist Rick Luettich, to predict and evaluate hurricane landfalls and flooding hazards.

  • Studying Aging From Adolescence to Adulthood

    A study by the Carolina Population Center following the cognitive, mental, and physical health of participants from their adolescence into adulthood will continue into its sixth wave after receiving additional NIH funding.

  • COVID-19 Impacts on Teen Driving

    A new study from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center shows the number of teen related crashes has decreased during the pandemic because they’re spending less time on the road. How will less practice and the state waiving the road test requirement for provisional licenses impact future crash data?

  • Jill Stewart diving at kicker rock in the Galapagos

    Linking Ecosystems to Human Health

    UNC Center for Galapagos Studies Deputy Director Jill Stewart researches the linkages between ecosystems and human health through tracking pathogens in water. This feature is the first of many from the center this week in honor of International Women’s Day.

  • A Legacy of Precision Nutrition

    Dr. Steven Zeisel will be stepping down as the UNC Nutrition Research Institute’s director after 13 years, but he leaves behind the legacy of precision nutrition, an approach that recognizes eating as individualistic, not one-size-fits-all.

  • Family With Teenage Children Eating Breakfast In Kitchen

    Add Health Study to Continue at Carolina

    The UNC Carolina Population Center has received two five-year-grants, totaling $38.2 million, that together will fund Wave VI of Add Health — the largest, most comprehensive nationally representative and longitudinal study of the health of adolescents ever undertaken in the United States.

  • Lindsay Dubbs

    Promoting Women in Clean Energy

    Thanks to a recent award from the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Initiative, Institute for the Environment researcher Lindsay Dubbs plans to connect female professionals and students in renewable energy fields with opportunities and each other.

  • Galapagos Science Center (lower right building) and Community of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

    Saving the Galápagos Islands

    UNC Center for Galápagos Studies Director Stephen Walsh has developed the Galápagos Initiative to conduct research that shapes science and conservation strategies for the Galápagos Archipelago and could help conserve other fragile island ecosystems around the world.

Earlier News Stories