A woman in a lab coat and purple latex gloves prepares a sample for NC State research.

Research

NC State is a pre-eminent research enterprise that faces global challenges and overcomes them. We work with leading partners and use cutting-edge technologies to develop world-changing solutions.

We Solve Problems

Wherever it starts — in a lab on campus, in a field in rural North Carolina, on an island in the Pacific — NC State research finds the same destination: the real world. Our faculty and students engage with real problems, and they find real solutions. Our researchers have developed energy-saving smart transformers and life-saving bomb sensors, handheld radiation detectors and tissue-regenerating bandages. Our research gets results.

NC State researchers and students prepare for a test at the Constructed Facility Laboratory.

1,500+ International Patents 400+ Consumer Products

Our research gets results — discoveries and products that change lives each day.

Learn what we've brought into the world. 

We Build Partnerships

Innovation is a team sport. That’s why we reach out to partners across the public and private sectors in our search for global solutions. NC State’s Centennial Campus, a national model for public-private research parks, houses more than 60 government, industry and nonprofit partners along with more than 70 NC State research and academic units.

We’re working with the National Science Foundation to develop self-powered medical sensors, and we’re collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy and private partners to build a clean-energy manufacturing industry. In every partnership, we work for more than our own interests: We seek solutions that will serve all of society.

We Bring Minds Together

The grand challenges facing the world don’t mimic the neat organizational structure of a traditional university. Take hunger, for example: As the climate changes, population grows and arable land shrinks, it’s going to take a collaborative approach to ensure reliable access to plant-based food sources.

NC State researchers in biology, computer engineering and environmental engineering are merging botany and big data to determine why some plants wither under stress while others thrive. We’re finding new ways to bridge the disciplines every day, from hiring faculty in interdisciplinary clusters to launching a new College of Sciences to make collaboration easier.

We Engage Students

To truly grasp an idea, you have to apply it. Research plays a central role in refining our students’ understanding of what they learn from our world-leading faculty. Research is inherent to the NC State experience, for the freshman studying sociology as well as the postdoctoral researcher in a biomedical lab.

Our students support faculty research on sustainable energy, secure computing, human health and a range of other topics. In their own research projects, NC State students have developed solutions to problems large and small, from improving sanitation in the developing world to making a better peanut butter jar for your kitchen.

I came to NC State because I knew I wanted to do research.”
Matthew Draelos dressed for work in an NC State lab.

Matthew Draelos,
2014 chemistry and biochemistry graduate

100+ Startups and Spinoff Companies

Companies founded on NC State research are improving electronics, preserving fresh food and developing lifesaving medical treatments.

See who got their start at NC State. 

We Create Prosperity

A smiling young girl in NC State red holds up root vegetables.

When faculty, students and partners work across disciplines to solve serious problems, the result of their work benefits everyone.

That’s the net effect — and the constant goal — of NC State research: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity.