The NC Plant Sciences Initiative

A growing population. A reduction in farm acreage. Shifts in climates and water sources. The emergence of diseases, pests and herbicide-resistant weeds. Due to these and other grand challenges facing the global ecosystem today, significant increases in agricultural production are needed to feed, fuel and clothe the world in the coming decades. New varieties, methods, and technologies are needed across every sector of the agricultural industry, from food crops, to ornamentals and floriculture, turfgrass, forestlands and beyond. The NC Plant Science Initiative (PSI) was conceived by NC State and its partners to address these local and global challenges, and is envisioned to be a world-class transdisciplinary research initiative that will facilitate a convergence of research and development of innovative discovery tools across a wide spectrum of disciplines including plant sciences, engineering, economics, modeling and data analytics. It is the vision of the PSI that a productive and effective research and technology agenda will be the result of a portfolio of projects that are complex, highly integrated, driven by data and informatics, and that result in sustainable food and agricultural systems that are predictive and proactive.

A NC PSI Research and Technology Taskforce was created in 2016 to identify the core interdisciplinary research areas – called “research platforms.”


The GRIP4PSI project team held two informational/town hall meetings to share more information about the GRIP4PSI program as well as take questions from attendees. There were two presentations given at those meetings. The meetings were taped and videos will be available soon.

The team also held a Speed Networking Event. All those interested in identifying collaborators were asked to submit one slide describing their research.


The Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP) was originally initiated in 2016 by the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) to catalyze new, interdisciplinary research programs that are focused on societal grand challenges. ORI is now implementing GRIP4PSI initiative to encourage the NC State community to collaborate on integrated research/outreach projects that are focused on one or more of the Research Platforms that comprise the NC PSI.

The intention of this call for proposals is to attract a wide-breadth of disciplinary faculty to the field of plant sciences and catalyze the formation of effective and collaborative interdisciplinary teams that will challenge conventions, explore new ideas and open-up new avenues for sustainable research funding.  ORI envisions that GRIP4PSI project teams will span multiple colleges at NC State, include external partners, develop from the full range of technical capabilities at NC State and beyond, and will boast world‐class junior and senior faculty with clear potential for sustained success. Process learnings and research results from successful project teams should be game-changing for North Carolina’s agricultural needs as well as national and global agricultural challenges.

Award Information

Funding for GRIP4PSI has been committed by ORI, the Provost’s Office, the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Science and Technology, and the NC State Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), Engineering (COE), Natural Resources (CNR), Sciences (COS), Textiles (WCOT) and Management (PCOM). This program is intended to seed, incentivize and amplify visionary research that will result in a high return on investment in terms of extramural funding, award‐winning research impacts, and first‐class interdisciplinary graduate education and training. Proposals should focus on game‐changing research ideas that are well-aligned with the NC PSI and go beyond traditional plant disciplinary sciences to break new ground. Teams awarded GRIP4PSI funding will be considered, as a whole or in part, to be occupants of the new Plant Sciences Building to be constructed on Centennial Campus.

GRIP4PSI will provide up to $650,000 over 3.5 years to up to three project teams (each team will receive $50,000 for the first half-year for planning purposes, and $200,000 per year for a 3-year period to complete research and outreach objectives). It is anticipated that one award will be made for each of the three PSI research platforms.

Full RFP

Key Dates

  • Pre‐planning proposal due date: March 4, 2019
  • Planning proposal due date: May 15, 2019
  • Full proposal due date: September 16, 2019
  • Funding anticipated to commence: January 6, 2020



Contact the Office of Research Development at