UNCG Research

Centers and Institutes

UNCG centers and institutes strengthen and enrich programs around our core missions of research, service, and instruction.  They provide our faculty, staff, and students with greater research opportunities, facilities, and assistance, as well as enhance their involvement in public service and educational activities. Centers and institutes also have a strong positive impact on the economic development of the state by providing job opportunities, supplying technical assistance and training, fostering community development, and enhancing the transfer of new technology.

The campus-wide, interdisciplinary centers listed below are housed within the Office of Research and Economic Development.

Center for Housing and Community Studies

The complexity of social, economic, and structural factors that have created such lasting social problems as substandard housing, segregation, homelessness, and sustainable community development demand a multidisciplinary, multi-method, community-engaged approach. The Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS) brings together faculty from multiple disciplines and backgrounds to study these problems as well as to provide a point of contact for community partners. The Center for Housing and Community Studies will enhance UNCG’s capacity to serve the state on a regional basis with practical education and training of UNCG students, and program and community-based evaluation research in housing, and long-term regional sustainable planning.

Center for New North Carolinians

The Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) is committed to advancing the capacity of immigrants and refugees by building bridges between immigrant populations and existing communities throughout the state of North Carolina. This is done via community-based outreach and advocacy, educational programming, research and evaluation, immigrant and refugee leadership development, cultural brokering, and educational opportunities for faculty and students. The CNNC was established in 2001 and currently serves clients from over 31 countries including but not limited to Bhutan, Burma, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mexico, Sudan, Syria, and Vietnam. Several ongoing projects include: AmeriCorps ACCESS Project, Community Centers, Thriving at Three, Immigrant Health ACCESS Project, Interpreter ACCESS Project, Microenterprise for Refugees in the Triad, Latino Community Coalition of Guilford, and Research Fellows.

Center for Translational Biomedical Research

The UNCG Center for Translational Biomedical Research (CTBR) is housed in the UNC Nutrition Research Building at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, NC, about 70 miles southwest of Greensboro. Scientists at the Center are conducting studies to understand the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and progression, identify biomarkers for diagnosis, and discover novel interventions for disease prevention and treatment. The current research activities at the Center focus on metabolic diseases, including steatohepatitis and diabetes mellitus. These studies entail molecular biology, metabolomics and proteomics approaches. Graduate students who are interested in joining the Center are encouraged to apply through graduate programs of the Department of Nutrition and the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships

The Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships (CYFCP) is dedicated to building the capacity of families, service providers, researchers, teachers, and communities to promote the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of children. In partnership with colleagues from across the University and the community, the Center:

•     carries out basic, applied, and action research; •     translates research into effective programs and practice; •     infuses community perspectives into university research and teaching; •     facilitates strategic problem‐solving processes; and •     promotes programs, practices, and policies that are likely to yield positive outcomes for children and  their families.

With funding from federal, state, local, and foundation grants, the Center’s current initiatives focus on family-centered, system of care approaches to mental health service delivery and training of service providers, parenting, early childhood mental health and readiness, youth violence prevention and intervention, community health, and community-based evaluation.

Institute for Community and Economic Engagement

Collaborators working with the Institute for Community and Economic Engagement (ICEE) focus on infusing community engagement into the strategic goals of the university and issues of importance to communities across the Piedmont Triad, state, nation, and world. ICEE supports, elevates, and amplifies the efforts of faculty, staff, student, and community colleagues from across all sectors as they employ teaching, learning, research, creative activity, and service in pursuit of these goals.

The institute serves as a central communication hub for community engagement activities, relationships, resources, scholarship, best practices, and outcomes. ICEE works campus-wide with academic affairs, student affairs, and administrative offices to integrate community engagement into core academic work and systems to advance institutional and community aims.

ICEE activities fall into six strategic areas. 1) The institute enhances the pursuit of scholarly agendas and practices of community engagement. 2) It promotes community engagement as a strategy to achieve key institutional goals among departments, programs, offices and units that offer student teaching and learning opportunities. 3) It tracks and assesses the broad range of community-engaged activities, programs, and initiatives across the university; 4) It works to expand UNCG’s capacity to identify and establish mutually beneficial community-university partnerships. 5) It strengthens UNCG’s reputation as a collaborative, inclusive, responsible, and effective member of the communities of which it is a part. 6) It supports initiatives to grow community engagement relationships and community-engaged scholarship.

Institute for Data, Evaluation, and Analytics

The Institute for Data, Evaluation, and Analytics (IDEA), formerly known as the Center for Social, Community and Health Research and Evaluation, is a “virtual organization” developed to promote and support UNCG’s wide expertise in data analytics, evaluation, and research. It provides a visible and easily accessible point of contact for the external community seeking consulting services and technical assistance. IDEA is composed of university partners (faculty, departments, other centers) spanning a wide range of skills and supported by a comprehensive array of analytical software and technology as well as a robust computing environment with data security and comprehensive backup. By working collaboratively with personnel, units, departments, investigators, other UNCG Centers, and agencies on data collection and analysis efforts, IDEA provides technical assistance to the UNCG community and to outside agencies and programs and allows UNCG and community, institution, state, national, and international partners to meet their accountability goals and objectives and to increase their capacity to serve their constituencies.

North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center

The North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) is a campus-wide, cross-disciplinary center that has community engagement, building student and community connections as its primary focus.

Our mission is to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, and to serve as a catalyst for the creation of sustainable and globally competitive enterprises in the Piedmont Triad, North Carolina, and beyond.

NCEC offers a range of outreach, instructional, and research opportunities including seminars, workshops and conferences featuring entrepreneurship education for students and faculty. It also offers extra-curricular entrepreneurial opportunities including public forums to educate the campus and community about entrepreneurship; lectures by visiting experts in various types of entrepreneurship; and business idea competitions and programs that create diverse opportunities for growing the entrepreneurial mindset.


The SERVE Center at UNCG is an educational research and evaluation, technical assistance, training, and dissemination center. Since 1991, we have worked with educators and policymakers in the Southeast and nationally on improving educational outcomes. Our research and evaluation projects have ranged from large-scale experimental designs to small-scale qualitative studies on topics extending from early childhood to high school reform. We have conducted over 200 program evaluations for states, districts, schools, and other organizations. Our work is funded by a variety of sources including contracts (with federal entities, states, districts, schools, and others) and competitive grant awards. Key aspects of current work are:

  • Services for at-risk students:A cornerstone of SERVE’s work in helping to improve services in this area is the operation of the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE funded by the U.S. Department of Education). NCHE at SERVE Center operates as a national information clearinghouse and technical assistance provider to support the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act (Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act). SERVE Center also operates the North Carolina state homeless education program.
  • Evaluating high school reform.Through funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, SERVE is conducting a seven-year experimental study of the impact of early college high schools in North Carolina. We are also evaluating the scale-up of this reform model nationally (serving as project evaluators for two U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation projects that seek to apply early college high school principles to traditional high schools).
  • Program evaluation services. SERVE provides a variety of research and evaluation services to states, districts, higher education institutions, and nonprofit agencies. For example, we currently have contracts to evaluate the Read to Achieve and the 21stCentury Community Learning Programs in North Carolina and various other K-12 curriculum and teaching enhancement projects.

UNCG is also home to several other prestigious centers and institutes, listed below.

Center for Business and Economic Research

CBER performs high-quality applied research in economic policy and business practice, drawing on the expertise of the faculty of the Bryan School of Business and Economics. CBER’s goal is to use sound and objective research to serve the Triad community and to assist in the economic development of our region.

CBER’s work includes economic-impact analyses, industry studies, regional economic profiles, feasibility studies, opinion surveys, program assessments, and updates of current economic conditions. CBER produces the DHG Triad Business Index, a monthly report on the regional economy, available at http://dhgtbi.uncg.edu/, as well as the Guilford Business Index available at http://www.uncg.edu/bae/cber/. In addition, CBER researchers write frequent articles in newspapers and magazines and give numerous speeches in the community.

Center for Community-Engaged Design

The Center for Community-Engaged Design is an interdisciplinary research center that fosters community/university partnerships for meaningful research and design of the built and natural environments.  Housed in the Department of Interior Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, CC-ED collaborates with community partners, non-profit organizations, and municipal departments to address design-related projects in underserved areas and for underrepresented populations in the Piedmont-Triad area.  Through community-engaged processes of research, service, visioning, teaching, and learning, CC-ED brings innovative design thinking and methodologies to bear in areas where resources are most limited.

Center for Health of Vulnerable Populations

The mission of the Center for the Health of Vulnerable Populations (CHVP) is to improve the knowledge of health disparities and vulnerable populations through research, collaboration and education. This includes initiatives to alleviate those disparities, thus improving the health, access, quality of care and quality of life of vulnerable populations. Strategies are designed to address the NIH Roadmap, Healthy People 2020, and Healthy Carolinians 2020 through partnerships with community stakeholders. To fulfill the mission, the Center 1) promotes and enhances research on aging, culture, disease processes, ethnicity, health care delivery, disparities, health education, health policy and health risks and behaviors; 2) fosters collaborative research within the School, across the University and state, and involving community and international partners; 3) disseminates research information to teachers, researchers, business leaders, health care providers, policy makers, the public and the international community; and 4) develops new knowledge that contributes to better health, fewer health disparities and improved health care for vulnerable populations. The CHVP activities include research training, research studies, grantsmanship, and outreach health education community partnerships.

Center for Women’s Health and Wellness

The mission of the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness is to help bring about a world where adults and children, of all gender identities and expressions, are able to live safe, healthy, productive and meaningful lives at home, school, work, and in their communities. We are particularly interested in advancing the health, wellness and quality of life of girls, women and LGBTQI individuals. Our goals are to: (1) develop an interdisciplinary program of research and community-engaged scholarship; and (2) connect research to practice through research dissemination, community education and service. The Center’s work is organized to provide interdisciplinary, community-informed solutions to specific social issues that build on the strengths of our university, faculty, students, and community partners. The Center is currently comprised of programs that focus our work in four areas: preventing and responding to gender-based violence; advancing girls and women in sport and physical activity; advancing breastfeeding and reproductive health; and advancing the health, wellness and quality of life of LGBTQI populations. Administratively the Center is housed within the School of Health and Human Sciences.

Institute to Promote Athlete Health and Wellness

The Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness is at the forefront of excellence in health promotion for athletes of all ages and levels of competition. The Institute’s vision is to improve the health and wellness of athletes through the translation of prevention research to effective policies and practices. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to (a) alcohol and other drug education/prevention, (b) the prevention of interpersonal violence, (c) the promotion of effective stress management, decision making, and communication skills and (d) the promotion of healthy relationships and emotional health. Their mission is to work collaboratively with a variety of organizations to provide educational resources and support through evidence-based programming, training, research, and evaluation to effectively promote athlete health and wellness thereby fostering lifelong athlete development. The Institute accomplishes this by providing valuable technical and research/evaluation support for organizations that serve athletes.

Natural Products and Drug Discovery Center

Natural products research examines plants, microorganisms, and other elements of the natural world to identify potentially beneficial chemical entities, such as anticancer agents, antibiotics, and agrochemicals. Studying the activities of these substances allows researchers to optimize their effectiveness and develop similar materials (analogues) with ideal biological properties. Natural products research provides insight into the effectiveness of herbal remedies, basic biological processes, and more. By leveraging expertise across disciplines, the Natural Products and Drug Discovery Center looks at the larger picture and pursues richer and more fruitful discoveries.

North Carolina Sales Institute

The North Carolina Sales Institute provides world-class sales education and research, carried out by two separate entities within the Bryan School: the Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism (MEHT) and the Office of Executive Education. The NCSI is a coordinating mechanism that works actively to integrate the elements of credit- and non-credit teaching, as well as research focused on sales. The target audiences are undergraduate and graduate students, current or aspiring sales professionals, and organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, in the Piedmont Triad Region, the state of North Carolina, and beyond. The combination of undergraduate and graduate education and ongoing faculty scholarship, in conjunction with the membership opportunities for executive education through the Bryan School Office of  Executive Education and the NCSI Sales Leadership Roundtable is unequaled by anything currently in existence in the state. For more information, contact Dr. Jim Boles, NCSI Director and Department Head, Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism at jsboles@uncg.edu or (336) 334-4413.

Forming a Center

Access general guidelines, procedures, and forms regarding UNCG Institutes and Centers here.