Launched in fall 2009, the Global Research Institute is envisioned at once as a center for scholarly research on key international questions and as a conduit through which generated knowledge can successfully be disseminated and applied to problems in the real world.

The Global Research Institute focuses on research areas in which UNC-Chapel Hill already has significant strengths as a way both to advance knowledge in these areas and to help attract world-renowned scholars to Chapel Hill.  Visiting distinguished scholars collaborate with UNC faculty members on targeted themes that rotate over time.  In addition to the inaugural theme, “Globalization, the Economic Crisis, and the Future of North Carolina,”  other potential topics include corporate governance and global financial markets; immigration and migration; work and economic development; and global health and the environment.  The Global Research Institute supports and supplements the University’s research, teaching, and public service missions, as well as extends and renders more visible UNC’s position on the international stage. 
Located at the heart of Carolina’s international enterprise on the fourth floor of the FedEx Global Education Center, the Global Research Institute will offer various means of engagement and unique opportunities for exchanges between scholars of different generations, informal and formal teaching possibilities, and interaction within a wider university and public community through a major annual conference.

In addition to a director, coordinator and senior research fellow, the Global Research Institute is served by an internal board, the UNC Executive Committee, consisting of university faculty and staff with global expertise, and an external Advisory Board, with members from all over the country working on global issues in the private sector.