The UNC Charlotte Division of Research has set a dynamic plan in motion with its Ignite for Centers initiative, which has bestowed grants upon 14 university centers. These grants, spanning two years and providing up to $50,000 annually, are designed to ignite stronger collaborative relationships among researchers from various colleges. The funding is further amplified by matching contributions from the respective colleges, empowering 12 pioneering pilot centers and two distinguished centers recognized by the broader UNC system.
Under the leadership of dedicated UNC Charlotte faculty and staff, these centers encompass a diverse array of research domains, and they exemplify the power of creative interdisciplinary partnerships in addressing practical societal challenges. Crucially, all of our university’s colleges are actively engaged in both leading and participating roles within these centers.
John Daniels, interim vice chancellor of the Division of Research, underscores the significance of these awards, which celebrate and invest in the exceptional research conducted by our faculty. He notes that UNC Charlotte’s faculty members are at the forefront of discovery and leadership in a wide spectrum of areas, from STEM education and artificial intelligence to pressing environmental issues and the arts, all of which are poised to shape the future.
The Division of Research’s strategic plan places a premium on accelerating the growth of the university’s research enterprise. According to Deb Thomas, interim associate vice chancellor of research, this involves creating a fertile environment that not only offers opportunities for newer faculty to participate in research but also broadens the horizons for seasoned professors to continue their scholarly pursuits.
The 2023-24 Ignite Awards have been allocated to the following centers:
- Center for Leadership Science (Lead: Belk College of Business)
- Center for the Environment and Health (Lead: College of Computing and Informatics)
- Center for Innovation, Translational Research, and Applications of Nanostructured Systems (CITRANS) (Lead: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences)
- Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CSTEM) (Lead: Cato College of Education)
- Charlotte Aviation Innovation and Research Institute (Lead: William States Lee College of Engineering)
- CIPHER (Lead: College of Computing and Informatics)
- AI Institute for Human Digital Twin and Computational Health (Lead: College of Computing and Informatics)
- UNC Charlotte Violence Prevention Center (Lead: College of Health & Human Services)
- Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies (Lead: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences)
- Center for Community-engaged Arts and Design Research (CADRe) (Lead: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences)
- Charlotte Center for Trustworthy AI for Model Risk Management (TAIM2) (Lead: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences)
- Center for Community, Heritage, and the Arts (CHArt) (Lead: College of Arts + Architecture)
- Center for Education Measurement and Evaluation (CEME) (Lead: Cato College of Education)
- Center for Geospatial Sensing and Analytics (GeoSAN) (Lead: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences)
This diverse range of centers represents the vanguard of research at UNC Charlotte, embodying the university’s commitment to fostering innovation and advancing knowledge across various domains.