Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Research office announces seven Creativity Hubs semi-finalists

The top two teams will be selected as recipients of up to $500,000 in funding from the research office to execute their proposals over the next two years.

Researcher examines water sample.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research has chosen seven research teams to develop comprehensive proposals as part of the first round of the Creativity Hubs initiative, launched in October in support of the University’s Blueprint for Next strategic framework.

Creativity Hubs are evolving virtual research networks that concentrate talent and resources on bold ideas for defined periods of time—free from typical organizational boundaries, with the goal of moving new discoveries and ideas into practice.

The seven semi-finalists will publicly present their proposals in March. In April, two of the seven teams will be selected as recipients of up to $500,000 in funding from the research office to execute their proposals over the next two years.

In all, the research office received 38 Creativity Hubs proposals, involving 194 Carolina researchers representing 35 departments across 10 schools and the College of Arts & Sciences.

The seven semi-finalist proposals address a range of challenges:

  • Applying novel statistical models to drive healthcare predictive analytics, inform decision-making and optimize chronic disease treatment;
  • Addressing “how epigenetics contribute to life” by using chemical biology tools to empower researchers to gain insights in epigenetics to advance fundamental understanding in biology and pathways to treat disease;
  • Collaborating intra-institutionally to examine the long-term effects of environmental exposure on health;
  • Investigating heterogeneity of the etiology of obesity and its clinical health consequences and responses by conducting integrated science across basic, clinical and population research;
  • Bridging humanists and data scientists by providing better access to data tools and methodologies and developing interventions that correct or limit misinformation to improve social media exchanges and influence public policy on science and health;
  • Creating a data-driven platform for designing and making biomimetic materials to be used in individually tailored medical devices and implants; and
  • Developing novel, affordable and scalable graphene-polymer nanocomposites as membranes for water purification, energy generation and energy storage applications.

Creativity Hub awardees are guaranteed proposal development assistance from the Office of Research Development to pursue large-scale, follow-on awards that spring from the program’s funding. This office also will work with the teams behind the excellent pre-proposals that were not selected to further build their projects and connect to other funding opportunities.

Please visit the program website to learn more about these innovative projects and creative teams.