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Research & Innovation

As a leading research university, Carolina has an audacious mission: to create new knowledge and discover innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

According to Chancellor Holden Thorp, “Our ‘to do’ list is nothing less than the greatest problems of our time. Cure diseases, and get those cures to all the people who need them. Find and invent clean energy. Inspire students in our public schools. Feed seven billion people. Describe the world, and replace conflict with understanding.”

The mission is audacious. The “to do” list is prodigious. And what are the keys that unlock the future? Research and innovation, on a grand scale.

Committed to Research

Carolina is consistently ranked among the leading research universities in the nation, according to the Top American Research Universities Report, and among the top 30 worldwide by Times Higher Education.

Carolina faculty secured more than $803 million in research support in 2010.  Across campus, faculty and students are hard at work identifying the causes of environmental change, uncovering cancer’s secrets, and devising new strategies for prosperity at home and abroad.

In 2010, Carolina research led to the filing of 125 U.S. patents (bringing the University’s total to 1,443), the licensing of 41 inventions, and the launch of five new companies. One of those discoveries was made by  faculty member Joe DeSimone, whose breakthrough development of new nanoparticle drug delivery technology could revolutionize cancer treatment.

Wired to Innovate

In October 2010, Chancellor Holden Thorp announced the Innovate@Carolina campaign, an initiative that will raise $125 million to make Carolina a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society.

Carolina’s liberal arts tradition, combined with excellence in scientific research and professional education, equips faculty and students to see the world broadly and think critically. They are wired to innovate.

Undergraduate Research

Honors Carolina provides nearly $150,000 in grant money each year to support students who are engaged in research projects and independent study. At any given time, half of all Carolina undergraduates are directly involved in research projects in everything from the performing arts to the laboratories of the School of Medicine. More than 90 percent of Honors Carolina students participate in undergraduate research – and many begin that work as early as their first year.