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The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science provides consultation and education to enable, advance, strengthen, and accelerate
inquiry in the social, health, and data sciences, expanding UNC’s impact and improving the lives of people in North Carolina and around the world.



Odum will be the leading social research support organization, providing world-class services, facilities, and resources.

The Odum Institute will shape the future of social and data science in higher education through its innovations in research, education, dissemination, preservation, and discovery. Odum will equip the research communities at UNC and beyond to meet the demands of social science challenges and evidence-based practice in an increasingly data-rich future.

The Odum Institute will serve this vision best by remaining a leader in social science support in our state, nation, and world to promote:

Rigorous research:

  • the highest quality and most impactful social research possible;
  • data collection techniques using emergent technologies;
  • appropriate use of survey methodology and related techniques to collect quantitative data from and about humans;
  • strategic and innovative qualitative and mixed methods study designs;

Universal data fluency:

  • data fluent students, staff, and faculty, who effectively use well-established and novel methodologies to understand and conduct their research;
  • UNC community members who have access to the resources and training necessary to gain data fluency;


  • cohesive interdisciplinary research, where effective workflows among researchers eliminate barriers;

Open and reproducible science:

  • University community members understand and appreciate open science principles;
  • research projects universally adhere to standards and best practices of open science and research reproducibility;
  • appropriate use of survey methodology and related techniques to collect quantitative data from and about humans;
  • researchers regularly archive their data, thereby preserving the evidence base of the scientific record.


(Updated 4/13/23) 

The Odum Institute has long held a statement of principles, whereby:

  • We define “social sciences” broadly to include all aspects of research related to human behavior and interaction.
  • We are committed to proactively and meaningfully providing support to diverse communities, including members of underrepresented and marginalized groups.
  • We are committed to being diverse, transdisciplinary, and collaborative, while being respectful of different epistemologies.
  • We believe that diversities of researchers, techniques, theories, and technologies helps to improve our university and our world.
  • We are guided by the highest ethical standards.
  • We support faculty and students working at all stages of their research careers.
  • The Institute takes seriously our goal to serve all who need support regardless of their available resources.
  • We are devoted to promoting transparency and open access throughout the research lifecycle, including research data, materials, processes, and products.
  • We seek to be proactive, innovative, and flexible in our efforts.
  • We strive to be responsive, trustworthy, and client centered.
  • We believe the work we do matters, and that research can help make people’s lives better.
  • We are committed to creating research and educational partnerships that invite ongoing support, knowledge building, and generative skill-building.
  • We lead by example; our values guide both our internal operations and how we interact with our clients, partners, and the public.
  • We recognize that many challenges are global in scope and value partnerships with scholars, centers, and organizations at UNC, in North Carolina, and across the world.