Research

NC State is a top research university that overcomes global challenges. We work with industry and government to make the world a better place.

We Solve Problems

An undergraduate student at work in NC State's Constructed Facilities Laboratory.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 cancer-killing nanodaisies.

We’re a leader in big data, biomedical engineering, materials science, food safety, translational medicine and more.

Our research gets results.

$334 Million in New Sponsored Research

2018 was another banner year for NC State research.

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, an award-winning national model for public-private research campuses, houses more than 70 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 roll out the smart power grid, 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 — and create resilient societies.

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, whether it’s through our interdisciplinary faculty clusters or state-of-the-art facilities designed to foster collaboration.

We Engage Students

I’ve learned so much from hands-on research.

A portrait of Jessica Hatcher in her graduation robes.

Jessica Hatcher,
2016 English graduate
with a concentration
in teacher education

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, clean water, secure computing, human health and a range of other topics. In their own research projects, NC State students have developed solutions to problems small and large, from speeding potential innovations with quantum dots to helping future space explorers access the surfaces of asteroids.

#2 in the U.S. for Licenses and Options Executed

Our commercialization consistently ranks among the top 10 universities without a medical school.

We Create Prosperity

A young woman carries vegetables at the N.C. State Farmers Market.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.