UNC Charlotte witnessed a grand celebration of its faculty, staff, and students, all basking in the limelight of their remarkable achievements in the realm of research during the 2023 Niner Research Reception. This prestigious event, hosted at the Popp Martin Student Union, served as a dazzling showcase of the remarkable accomplishments of hundreds of researchers across approximately 40 award categories. These accolades spanned a spectrum of fields, encompassing individual and collaborative work, both external and internal grant awards, published books and music, new patents, and more.
Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber enthusiastically lauded these accolades as a testament to UNC Charlotte’s strategic vision of ascending to the ranks of a top-tier global research university. She remarked, “The numbers speak for themselves. Over the past decade, Charlotte’s research expenditures have skyrocketed by a staggering 123%, firmly establishing us among the fastest-growing research institutions in the nation. Last year alone, we set new records with research expenditures exceeding $55.2 million, and we clinched new research awards. We continue to maintain our position among the top 10 in the U.S. for research dollars spent on filing new patents and launching new startups. All this remarkable work is just the beginning of our journey.”
Among the standout achievements for the 2022-23 period were:
- A remarkable 11 “large awards” exceeding $1 million in value.
- A total of 51 first awards received as principal investigators, along with a grand total of 122 PI awards.
- A noteworthy achievement of 6 National Science Foundation CAREER Awards.
- A commendable 43 collaborative awards, highlighting the spirit of teamwork in research.
- The distribution of 76 internal seed award grants, nurturing innovation at its roots.
- The emergence of 32 new patents, showcasing the university’s inventive prowess.
- The birth of 7 new startups, marking the inception of promising ventures.
- A staggering 66 published books and 51 edited books, a testament to academic contributions.
- Recognition in the form of 33 graduate and professional Student Government awards.
- 30 awards related to undergraduate research conferences, nurturing the next generation of researchers.
John Daniels, the Vice Chancellor for Research, emphasized the growing regional and national recognition of UNC Charlotte’s research endeavors. He reiterated the Division of Research’s commitment to support all facets of research across the university. Over the next three years, an impressive $9 million investment will bolster core facilities, postdoctoral programs, seed grants, and an expansion of the division’s staff by 25%.
Daniels remarked, “We stand at a pivotal juncture for research in all its diverse forms at UNC Charlotte. Never before have we received such generous support from major corporations, as well as national and statewide organizations. Notably, NC Innovation is poised to allocate funds of up to $30 million over the next 20 months for research commercialization. Simultaneously, we enjoy greater encouragement from the UNC System, our state, and federal delegations. They clearly recognize the promising direction we’re heading.”
In the academic year 2022-23, UNC Charlotte made a remarkable leap of 41 positions in the U.S. News & World Report’s overall rankings, securing a place among the nation’s top 100 public universities. Furthermore, according to the NSF HERD rankings, it stands proudly among the top one-third of all U.S. research universities.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Jennifer Troyer emphasized, “Research lies at the heart of UNC Charlotte’s mission. As North Carolina’s public research university, we are the epicenter of innovation and research that continuously transforms our city, region, and state.” The university’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and impacting the world remains unwavering.