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FAQ about the Creativity Hubs

This FAQ page will be updated by November 15, 2024 for any additional questions from the research community.

Are we allowed to include an investigator from outside of UNC-Chapel Hill?

Yes, if the collaboration with the external/non-UNC investigators is critical to the project, they can be included in the application. While the program does allow requests for subawards for those collaborators, they should be minimized, as the focus of this initiative is to facilitate growth of the Carolina research enterprise.

Can we purchase equipment with funds from this award?

While discouraged, equipment purchase requests are allowable if they are essential to the project and must be strongly justified as such.

Our group has been collaborating on this idea for several years. Are we eligible to apply?

You may apply to this program if: (1) you have not already received extramural funding for your idea; (2) your idea is significantly different from previously funded projects; or (3) the advancement of you project is generally excluded from traditional funding sources, but successful project advancement would facilitate significant investment from external groups. Please contact for for clarification on specific projects. Additionally, please note that the purpose of the Creativity Hubs pilot award program is not to serve as bridge funding or to supplement existing funding.

My research does not clearly fit into one of the areas of strategic priority. Can I still apply?

Yes. The Creativity Hub pilot awards are designed to incentivize teams to generate innovative, groundbreaking ideas that solve important challenges. Any team proposing impactful, transformative projects are encouraged to apply.

How “multidisciplinary” does our team need to be?

Teams should be robust enough to match the ambition of the Concept Vision, and should self-determine the correct mix of individuals and expertise to be competitive.

What is the funding available for this program?

Award funds are used to concentrate ideas, relationships, and technologies into a core project team to establish the groundwork for lasting creative impact. Finalists will receive one-two years of direct financial and project management support, starting July 1, 2024. We intentionally do not specify a budget amount, but note that projects should support achievable metrics and goals within a one to two-year timeframe. We anticipate supporting 0-5 projects per year, with a maximum award amount of $250k per year. Consideration will be given to proposals that ensure proper alignment between the requested amount and the aims of the proposed project.

Are F&A costs included in the budget?

No. All of the budget will be direct costs.

How much detail must we provide about future funding extramural mechanisms for our idea?

During the Concept Vision phase, applicants are encouraged to briefly describe future directions, and will be given extensive opportunity to do so in the finalist phase of the competition.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions about the Creativity Hubs pilot award, please contact or the Office of Research Development.