Three projects to receive $4.5 million for groundbreaking research at UNC System institutions

The University of North Carolina System has announced three major research awards totaling $4.5 million to be funded via the UNC System Research Opportunities Initiative (ROI).

The UNC System ROI program is funded by the North Carolina General Assembly to champion some of the state’s most innovative research projects. Designed to support strategically important research, UNC ROI grants are awarded annually to target game-changing projects in six priority areas: advanced manufacturing; data sciences; defense, military and security; energy; marine and coastal science; and pharmacoengineering. The awards are also designed to support multi-institutional projects that promote collaboration and emphasize the unique strengths of individual institutions.

The three awards are each in the amount of $1.5 million and will be distributed over three years.

“We’re grateful to state lawmakers for their strong support of UNC ROI’s important work,” said Dr. David English, UNC System acting senior vice president for academic affairs. “The research produced by our institutions continues to positively impact the lives of all North Carolinians through advancements in research areas such as security, energy and data science. We congratulate each of the winners and thank all applicants for their strong submissions.”

The award recipients for FY 2024 are:

Title: Next Generation Protective Materials for Soldier Empowerment (NextGen Promise)

PI: Dr. Sherine Obare

ROI Focus Area:  Defense, Military, and Security

Institution: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Collaborating Project Institution: University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Fayetteville State University, and Winston-Salem State University

Title: AMBI: Accelerated Molecular and Biological Innovation Enabled by Integrated Engineering & Sciences

PIs: Dr. Joshua Pierce, Dr. Milad Abolhasani, Dr. Caroline Proulx, Dr. Melanie Simpson, and Dr. Wentao Tang

ROI Focus Areas:  Advanced Manufacturing, Defense, Military, and Security, Pharmacoengineering, and Data Science

Institution: NC State University

Title: NC Research Capacity Building for a Secure & Reliable Power Grid 2050

PI: Dr. Meera Sridhar

ROI Focus Areas:  Energy and Defense, Military, and Security

Institution: University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Collaborating Project Institution: North Carolina A&T State University and NC State University