UNCP to receive $1M for research, fight COVID-19


UNC Pembroke will receive $1 million in a research grant through a partnership with the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNCP was among the UNC System’s six historically minority-serving institutions (HMSIs) to be awarded a total of $6 million, according to a UNC System announcement today by Governor Darrel Allison, chair of the Board of Governors’ Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions.

UNCP’s College of Health Sciences will lead a project to utilize the $1 million to develop an epidemiological transmission-dynamic model of COVID-19 in rural settings, such as Robeson County.

A team of researchers from the university’s College of Health Sciences, School of Education, and College of Arts and Sciences will examine the unique challenges these areas face in terms of disease transmission and mitigation efforts, including extended family and rural cultural dynamics; the need to travel beyond county boundaries for employment opportunities; strained health care resources; and the lack of industry and infrastructure that reliably support remote employment.

The university’s researchers will also study the cognitive and affective influences on prevention practices, including vaccination. 

The Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions was established in 2018 to support six UNC System institutions – Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, N.C. A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Pembroke, and Winston-Salem State University.

UNCP’s research team will be available for a virtual press conference and conversation once the project commences in July.