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Undergraduate Research Program Award

In 2023, the Council on Undergraduate Research Issues offered the following definition of undergraduate reserach:
A mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a schoalrly or artistic contribution to knowledge (

Research is integral to many of our students’ educational experience. All UNC System undergraduates interact with faculty members whose scholarship is nationally and regionally acclaimed. Sometimes these collaborations generate original research and creative activities that can lead to publications, presentations, creative works, and other outcomes. This work benefits our universities, our students, and the communities we serve.

Research projects large and small provide high impact learning opportunities. Studies show that undergraduate research experiences positively affect academic performance, critical thinking, satisfaction, and persistence. In addition, research opportunities can influence a student’s academic and career choices and other outcomes. The discoveries students yield in our science labs, in fields, and abroad prepare undergraduates to be innovative problem solvers and creative thinkers when they enter the workforce.

Undergraduate Research Program Award


  • March 4, 2024: Solicitation release
  • April 5, 2024: Proposals due by 5 pm
  • June 4, 2024: Awards Announced (updated)
  • July 1, 2024: Earliest funding start

FY 2025 Undergraduate Research Program Awardees:

Advancing the Global-ready Research and Equitable Education in Teaching (GREET) Center

PI: Dr. Erik Jon Byker
Primary Focus Area: Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience
Institution: University of North Carolina Charlotte
Collaborating Institutions: Fayetteville State University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Western Carolina University, Winston-Salem State University

Chemistry, Conservation, and CURE: Pigments and Dyes of Antiquity

PI: Dr. Jade Fostvedt
Primary Focus Area: Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience
Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Basics: A Guide to Undergraduate Student Health and Wellness Research Success

PI: Dr. Kacey Hopson
Primary Focus Area: Digital Learning
Institution: Elizabeth City State University
Collaborating Institutions: Appalachian State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Western Carolina University

Expanding the Undergraduate Research Capacity of Interdisciplinary Chemistry Project Lab with Sustainable Energy Materials

PI: Dr. Pin Lyu
Primary Focus Area: Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience
Institution: University of North Carolina Asheville 

Collaborating Institution: North Carolina State University


Developing Research-Based Projects to Address NC State’s Carbon Neutrality Initiatives in the First Year of Engineering

PI: Dr. Julio Terán
Primary Focus Area: Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience
Institution: North Carolina State University

Game Changers: Inclusive Excellence & Undergraduate Research via Sport

PI: Dr. Stacy Warner
Primary Focus Area: Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience
Institution: East Carolina University
Collaborating Institution: Fayetteville State University, Winston Salem State University


Previous Undergraduate Research Program Awardees:

YearLead InstitutionProject TitleLead PICollaborating InstitutionsNumber of Undergrad Students Involved
FY 2024North Carolina A&T State UniversityDIVERSIFY-NANO: Driving Inclusivity and Versatility in Education and Research through Synergistic Fusion of Innovative Nanotechnology, AI-Enhanced Research Design, and Communication for UndergraduateDr. Jeffery Alston and Dr. Dennis LaJeunesseUNC Greensboro
FY 2024Appalachian State UniversityA First Year Seminar to Help Students SOARDr. Carol Babyak, Dr. Vicky Klima, Dr. Katrina Palmer, and Dr. Michael Reddish
FY 2024Winston Salem State UniversityFault Tolerant Zero ForcingDr. Mark Hunnell and Dr. John Hutchens
FY 2024UNC Chapel HillEstablishment of an Undergraduate Microscopy Learning Laboratory

Dr. Steve Rogers
FY 2024UNC AshevilleEnhancing the Science Core Curriculum at UNC Asheville by Incorporating Skynet Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences in AstronomyDr. David Wake, Dr. Christene Lynch, and Dr. Britt LundgrenSkynet Robotic Telescope, Network Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
FY 2023Developing a Community-Engaged Undergraduate Research Track in Public Health EducationMichelle Martin Romero64
FY 2023Fostering Critical Thinking in Human Motion AnalysisJennifer J. BrownWestern Carolina University
FY 2023Establishing the Global-ready Research and Equitable Education in Teaching (GREET) CenterErik Jon BykerWinston-Salem State University, Western Carolina University201
FY 2022Partnering CUREs and Community Engagement to Provide Undergraduate Students Research Experiences in Citizen ScienceAnderson BeanNorth Carolina State University; East Greensboro Now; North Carolina Disaster, Survival, and Resiliency School; Southern Vision Alliance4
FY 2022ASCEND - Appalachian State CURE for Enzyme DiscoveriesMichael ReddishUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill52
FY 2022Integrating Data Science into the Homeland Security (HMLS) Course (IDSHSC)Shyamal Das43
FY 2022Applied Public Policy Research on Race and Economic Opportunity: Connecting Senior Capstone CUREs at NC Central University, UNC Asheville, and UNC Chapel Hill to Inform Reparations Initiatives in Durham and AshevilleKathleen LawlorNorth Carolina Central University37
FY 2022Project UR-BADGED (Undergraduate Research - Badging and Developing Global Educators)Adriana Medina98
FY 2022Computational Chemistry for Undergraduate Research Students (CCURS)”Robert GotwalsNorth Carolina Central University13
FY 2021“Preparing Teachers as Researchers: Equitable Quantitative Analysis through a Culturally Responsive
Erik BykerNorth Carolina A&T State University82
FY 2021Project REACH: Research Engagement Addressing Community HealthCynthia Williams BrownNorth Carolina A&T13
FY 2021Continued Development and Expansion of Afterglow Access: An Innovative Digital Learning Tool for Use in Introductory Astronomy CUREs and CURIEs by On-Campus, Online, and Blind and Visually Impaired StudentsDan ReichartAppalachian State University, NC State University, Winston-Salem State University, NC School of Science and Mathematics, Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM3000/yr
FY 2021CURE-DEAL: A Tri-institutional Collaboration for Equity-Focused
Digital Engagement of Adult Learners
Geleana AustinFayetteville State University
FY 2020Inclusive Excellence through Digital Learning: An Undergraduate Research Experience to Pilot Cross- Institutional Collaboration between a Historically Black University and a Predominantly White InstitutionJennifer Richmond-Bryant6
FY 2020CURE-M: A Novel Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) Institute with Culturally Responsive Mentor TrainingMulumebet WorkuElizabeth City State University1
FY 2019Empowering students to combat poverty through community action: Undergraduate research on The Poverty SimulationDr. Callie Schultz200/yr
FY 2019Novel Mentoring Assessment for Undergraduate Research OpportunitiesStephanie M. GeorgeEast Carolina University30 for pilot data, projected 150 for large scale data collection
FY 2019Recognizing the Value and Educational Impact of Research Experiences: Identify and Market the Transformative Skill Development in High Impact Learning OpportunitiesSarah ShoemakerEast Carolina University, Appalachian State University, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Charlotte145
FY 2018Using e-portfolios for Mentoring and Assessment of Underserved Undergraduate ResearchersDeanna Dannels15 directly involved in mentoring initiative; 40-50 more indirectly involved by being in mentoring relationships with faculty who were trained.
FY 2018Using a Citizen Science Project to Incorporate Research into Non-science Majors Courses at Multiple North Carolina UniversitiesHeather Vance-ChalcraftEast Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University900
FY 2018UNC System-Wide Undergraduate Research Development SummitPreston Lee Phillips JrEast Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T, UNC Pembroke900+
FY 2017Scholars Planning InstituteDeanna DannelsWinston Salem State University10 faculty created materials, each teach a full load of 50-70 students/year; future Scholars Program that will use materials will include 20 students/year
FY 2017Enhancing Instructor Support and Reaching More Students in a Mentorship-Based Summer Research ProgramChris ThomasNC State University, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, Lenovo, RTI International, and Engineering World Health.68
FY 2017Collaboration, Diversity, and Inclusion in a Tri-Institutional CURE / IURE Service Learning Research ProjectKelsie M. BernotGuilford College80 students who previously participated in our CURE/IURE; cannot anticipate number who will be impacted by future assessments developed as a result of this study
FY 2017University of North Carolina System-Wide CURE Development and SummitPreston Lee PhillipsNorth Carolina A&T, NC State University, UNC Asheville, UNC Pembrokeminimum of 400 students/year