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About GRIP

The Office of Research and Innovation announced the new, large-scale seed-funding program to stimulate the growth of interdisciplinary research at NC State.  GRIP allocated more than $1,500,000 over three years to fund exceptional research teams and projects that span NC State colleges.  GRIP was intended to incentivize and support visionary research ideas that would result in large-scale extramural funding, award-winning research impacts, and first-class interdisciplinary graduate education and training.

The Award Process

GRIP awards followed a three-phase application process including a two-page pre-proposal, selection of up to 10 pre-proposals to submit eight-page final proposals, and an oral presentation round.  The response to the GRIP call was overwhelming: Research and Innovation received 59 pre-proposals that spanned all 10 NC State colleges, included more than 300 NC State faculty, and involved talented collaborators at RTI, Duke, and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Key GRIP Information:


GRIP Teams

On December 8, 2016, the Office of Research and Innovation announced the five teams who were selected as winners of GRIP awards.  Team information and project synopses are available, below.

Kickoff and Closing Meetings

The GRIP Kick-off meeting was held March 1, 2017 in The James B. Hunt Library, with presentations from each of the funded projects. RTI and NC State leadership shared their visions of the GRIP program and the impact collaborations such as these will have on the research community.

The teams have since completed their exciting work.  On February 26, 2020, a Closing meeting was held in The James B. Hunt Library to showcase some of the key findings. Team slide presentations, as well as a video recording of the presentations are available for viewing (Unity login required).

Water Sustainability through Nanotechnology: Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the Solid-Water Interface

Primary Investigator: Jacob Jones, David Berube, Douglas Call, Jan Genzer, Detlef Knappe, Yaroslava Yingling, Mohammed Zikry (NCSU); Young Chul Choi, Khara Grieger (RTI); Susan White (WRRI); and many other participants at NC State, RTI, UNC, and Duke

Synopsis: An interdisciplinary team assembled by the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN), the Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) of the UNC system, and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) conducted a fundamental and comprehensive research development effort in nanotechnology-enabled systems for water sustainability.

View the final presentation slides from this team.

Computer Science for All K-12 Students

Primary Investigators: Glenn Kleiman, Eric Wiebe, James Lester, Tiffany Barnes (NCSU); Kimberly O’Mally (RTI)

Synopsis: A partnership of NC State’s Friday Institute (FI), College of Education, Center for Educational Informatics (CEI) and Department of Computer Science, along with the RTI Center for Evaluation and the Study of Educational Equity, took a broad-based, systemic approach to addressing challenges and foster state-of-the-art educational innovations.

View the final presentation slides from this team.

3D Printing of Fibrous Tissue Engineered Medical Products: A New Paradigm for Tissue Biofabrication and Therapeutics

Primary Investigators: Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Frances S. Ligler, Benoit Maze, Matthew B. Fisher, Rohan A. Shirwaiker, Kyle G. Mathews (NCSU); Shawn D. Hintgen, Jeffrey T. Spang, Bruce Cairnes (UNC-Chapel Hill)

Synopsis: The team extended upon recent innovations in 3D printing and bioprinting by developing a fiber-based printing system that underpins the essential need for mass customization technologies, and open up new interdisciplinary areas of research for healthcare, engineering, and other applications.

View the final presentation slides from this team.

The NCSU/RTI Program In Genetic Discovery and Prediction (PGDP)

Primary Investigator: Fred Wright, Alison Motsinger, Jung-Ying Tzeng, Zhao-Bang Zeng, Yi-Hui Zhou, Marie Davidian, Spencer Muse, Siddhartha Thakur (NCSU); Carol Hamilton, Wayne Huggins, Rebecca Boyles, James Balhoff, Stephen Hwang, Michelle Krzyzanowski

Synopsis: This team compiled an unprecedented number of publicly available genome-wide association studies (GWAS, representing hundreds of thousands of patients). They re-analyzed the combined data using the latest methods for genetic analysis and quality control, combined with new linkages to standard measures for phenotypes, as well as data on clinical covariates and exposures.

View the final presentation slides from this team.

Electroluminescence Upconverstion

Primary Investigators: Felix Castellano, Franky So (NCSU); J. Lynn Davis (RTI)

Synopsis: The team developed the concept of electroluminescence upconversion in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) for applications in display technology and interior lighting.

View the final presentation slides from this team.

The Life-Cycles of Teams and 3D Team Leadership

As part of the Closing meeting, Dr. Bradley Kirkman provided the keynote address, discussing his new model for maximizing team performance.  His talk may be viewed in the Closing meeting video.

Dr. Kirkman’s newest book, “3D Team Leadership:  A New Approach for Complex Teams,” is available for purchase on Amazon and on a dedicated website.



Overall GRIP Outcomes

The GRIP program has proven to be a successful collaborative effort, resulting in:

  • $8.8M+ in extramural funding thus far, including three faculty scholar awards
  • 5 patents filed
  • 1 start-up company that has attracted $2.7M in venture capital
  • 16 publications
  • 51 posters/presentations
  • 4 large-scale extramural proposals under or pending review
  • Thousands of students and teachers impacted across the state of North Carolina


On the heels of the success of this flagship GRIP seed-funding program, a new program focused on NC State’s Plant Sciences Initiative, GRIP4PSI, was announced in early 2019.

Winners have recently been announced, and teams are now beginning projects.


GRIP Review Committee

The Office of Research and Innovation would like to offer special thanks to the scientific and administrative review panels for their participation in this program. Without their time and expertise, this effort would not have been possible:

NC State

  • Alan Rebar, Former Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Office of Research and Innovation
  • Ruben Carbonell, Director, Kenan Institute
  • Denis Gray, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Psychology
  • Pierre Gremaud, College of Sciences, Mathematics
  • Jon Horowitz, Associate Vice Chancellor, Research Infrastructure and Development, Office of Research and Innovation
  • Albena Ivanisevic, College of Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Frank Louws, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Plant Pathology
  • Denis Marcellin-Little, College of Veterinary Medicine, Clinical Sciences
  • Pradip Pramanik, Director, Proposal Development Unit
  • Coby Schal, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Entomology
  • Ron Sederoff, College of Natural Resources, Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • Mladen Vouk, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Office of Research and Innovation
  • Alyson Wilson, Associate Vice Chancellor, National Security and Special Research Initiatives, Office of Research and Innovation

RTI International

  • James Gibson, Chief Operating Officer
  • Terri Lomax, Executive Vice President, Discovery, Science, & Technology
  • Jaqueline Olich, Director of University Collaborations