Founded in 1924, the Odum Institute provides core research infrastructure for the social sciences to support the research, teaching, and service mission of UNC. We define social science broadly to include the health sciences, and we serve faculty and students from every corner of UNC’s campus. A recent survey of UNC graduate students found that 41% used Odum Institute services; 58% in the health sciences and 68% in the college of arts and sciences.

Our mission is to help grow and lead a world-class social science research infrastructure at UNC Chapel Hill to ensure that researchers can conduct scientifically rigorous research that contributes to better lives for the citizens of North Carolina and the world. The Institute enables researchers at UNC to produce important research, helps them broaden the scope and impact of their research, and contributes to the training of the next generation of leaders and researchers in social science.

We do this by providing:


We define social science broadly to include research linking traditional social science with other fields. We focus particular attention on fostering interdisciplinary research, and we frequently work in partnership with other scholars, centers, and organizations at UNC, in North Carolina, and across the world.

We are committed to being open, objective, diverse, transparent, interdisciplinary, collaborative, and respectful. We are guided by the highest ethical standards. We support faculty and students working at the cutting edge of social science and nurture those just starting out. We seek to be proactive, innovative, and flexible in our efforts. We strive to be responsive, trustworthy, and customer-driven.

We believe the work we do matters and that social science research can help make people’s lives better. We love and enjoy what we do, we are passionate about our work, and we are committed to working hard in order to make a difference. We lead by example; our values guide both our internal operations and how we interact with our clients, partners, and the public.





We seek a world where social science research and research methods inform scholars, policy makers, and the public about important problems facing individuals, communities, and society in order to make the world a better place.
As our world becomes increasingly complex, dynamic, and interdependent, the need for social science research has never been greater. The Odum Institute and the University of North Carolina serve this vision best by remaining leaders in the social sciences in our state, nation, and world.

As the Institute looks forward toward its 100th anniversary, it remains dedicated to providing core support for the research, teaching, and service mission at UNC. We constantly search for new ways to bring the best research support available to scholars across the UNC campus. A vibrant, healthy, and dynamic Odum Institute is essential for UNC to remain a leading public university in the social sciences.