Growing UNC Charlotte's research enterprise

Monday, February 24, 2020

A lasting legacy. This story is part of a series demonstrating the achievement, impact and growth of UNC Charlotte under the leadership of Chancellor Philip L. Dubois.

Research is critical to the mission of UNC Charlotte. It drives innovation and results in new knowledge, and UNC Charlotte’s graduates have the advanced skills to address the most complex problems and challenges in an ever-changing global environment.

Since 2005, under the leadership of Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, Research and Economic Development has experienced unprecedented growth.

“Chancellor Dubois has established a strong research culture on campus, particularly through investments in research facilities and infrastructure, and the recruitment of distinguished and productive researchers and scholars,” said Richard Tankersley, vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development. “As North Carolina's urban research university, UNC Charlotte is well positioned to play an increasingly significant role in the innovation economy of the state and nation and continue to make lasting, positive contributions to the growth and prosperity of the Charlotte region.”

During the chancellor’s tenure, the University added 12 new doctoral programs, bringing the total number to 24. In fall 2019, a record number of 5,545 graduate students enrolled at UNC Charlotte, including 1,073 doctoral students. As researchers, scholars, and innovators, these students are making positive contributions to their fields and serve as the critical engine that powers the University’s research enterprise.

Research awards received by UNC Charlotte faculty have more than doubled since 2005, reaching over $51M in 2019. UNC Charlotte is third in the UNC System and fifth in North Carolina for research expenditures. The University’s achievements are consistently recognized among the top five in the U.S. for the number of patents issued and the number of new startup companies formed based on research dollars expended.