UNC: Carolina and N.C. A&T researchers partner to tackle critical issues in our state with new award

The inaugural winning teams of the Looking Forward funding program – co-created by Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Chancellor Harold L. Martin of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – have been announced. The program was established to incentivize collaborative teams that represent and leverage the strengths of each institution equally, with the goal of providing solutions to complex issues facing the citizens of North Carolina and beyond.

“Our goal with this partnership is to expand the research capabilities of both our university and N.C. A&T and to build a foundation for the future,” said Guskiewicz. “We are proud of our culture of collaboration across the UNC System and these researchers embody that practice. Their projects will tackle critical challenges facing our state.”

“Looking Forward builds on many years of partnering with our colleagues at UNC-Chapel Hill and substantially broadens our commitment to find solutions to important societal problems that directly affect the lives of people in our communities,” said Martin. “We expect this initiative to have far-reaching impact and continue to enhance opportunities for collaborations in the future.”

Launched earlier this year, the Looking Forward program sought proposals in four priority areas where meaningful improvements on issues faced across North Carolina can be made: Data Science and Society, Environment and Environmental Justice, Health Disparities, and Cancer and Cancer-Related Research.

“This program is a true collaborative partnership, and itʼs through that same spirit we solicited input from research teams,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Penny Gordon-Larsen. “We looked for teams that equally represented each institution through intellectual contributions and investigative teams, and that demonstrated a desire to have impact on the citizens we serve as leading research institutions in North Carolina.”

One team was selected from each priority area to receive $200,000 in award funding over a two-year period.