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Research and Innovation Fellows Projects of Interest

Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives 

Interdisciplinary collaboration is key to the future of research and scholarship. These – often large and complex – research initiatives support the university’s mission of solving the world’s pressing problems while also providing our students valuable, hands-on education and research training. At NC State, we have made tremendous progress toward facilitating interdisciplinary research and scholarship, through programs like the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program (“cluster hiring”) and the Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP). However, there are still many unsolved issues around space, resources, processes, policies, and infrastructure to support interdisciplinary research. This fellowship will focus on benchmarking peer institutions and organizations for best-practice models/mechanisms for launch and supporting interdisciplinary research initiatives. 

National Laboratory Initiative

The National Laboratory Initiative helps facilitate engagements between NC State and the national laboratories, including joint faculty and staff, internships, postdoctoral and graduate fellowships, workshops, seminar series, and capstone projects. A recent study prepared for Sandia National Laboratories describes best practices in academic-national laboratory partnerships, including ideas around establishing talent pipelines, joint activities and events, and developing research collaborations. This fellowship will focus on working with current NC State national laboratory leads to evaluate current and best practices, formulate strategy, and support implementation of new initiatives to strengthen and expand NC State’s national laboratory partnerships.

National Security

A strategic priority for the Office of Research and Innovation is expanding NC State’s research portfolio in defense and national security. While there is some basic science research in defense and security, many of the projects expect more focus on mission and operational concerns, prototyping, and technology transition that is seen from other sponsors. This fellowship will focus on helping ORI develop and implement strategies to help NC State researchers be more successful and competitive for defense and security research funding.

Research Entrepreneurship 

The specialized expertise NC State researchers develop through their university scholarship often has value to industry. Sponsored projects, collaboration agreements, personal consulting, and small business development all are appropriate and encouraged ways to partner with the private sector. Each provides a mechanism for solving local and global challenges while contributing to economic development. 

Managing these complex relationships, balancing synergy and separation, and determining appropriate engagement or protection of students, fellows and staff, all while navigating the pitfalls of conflict of interest, conflict of commitment and use of university resources, demands a lot from university entrepreneurs. This fellowship will focus on creating pathways to successful entrepreneurship for a range of industry engagement, from the occasional consultant to the serial start-up founder.