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Our stance on community and engagement is grounded in three core values: innovation, collaboration and translation.

  • Community drives innovation. Each person brings their unique talents and abilities, cultivated by their lived experience, to the process of solving engineering challenges. Because our particular field of engineering innovation focuses on medicine, representation is especially critical to support the health needs of North Carolinians and worldwide populations.
  • Finding health solutions for all communities requires that varying viewpoints join in the collaboration. We strive to promote an environment where each person feels valued for being their authentic self. Accordingly, we expect each person in our department to take personal responsibility for fostering an collective environment that generates connectedness and nurtures a sense of belonging.
  • It is only through this foundation that translation of ideas and discoveries from the department into the community can occur, and that knowledge of medical needs and concerns can flow from the community to inform research within the department.


If you would like to support our initiatives within the joint department, please consider contributing to our community-specific engagement fund. Support from this fund will go directly to promoting belonging within the department, including providing collaborative opportunities for students to integrate our engagement mission beyond the classroom.

Contribute to our engagement initiatives here.


Establishing a strong community in science and engineering will remove barriers that limit access to participation in biomedical sciences for potential innovators and those who could benefit from medical innovation. Undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty and staff are committed to translating our words into action through education, research and outreach. Our efforts are organized through our Community and Engagement Committee with three distinct subcommittees:

Ensuring a Community Environment Everyday
The Departmental Policies Subcommittee will work with BME leadership to create, review, revise and implement departmental policies to ensure our students and personnel are recognized and encouraged in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Broadening Access for Potential Innovators and Innovation Recipients

The Pipeline Subcommittee is committed to strengthening community and climate in the Joint Department across all levels by enhancing the recruitment of students, trainees and faculty. This will be accomplished through actively engaging and empowering individuals from all backgrounds to pursue and remain in the field. Collaborations with local K-12 schools, community colleges and minority-serving universities will be vital for achieving this mission.

*Check our BME UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH GUIDE, which introduces research to undergraduates.

Holding Ourselves Accountable
The Evaluation Subcommittee’s role is to assess the department’s progress on community and engagement within the department, along with providing evidence for the impact of initiatives implemented by the Departmental Policies and Pipeline subcommittees. Departmental surveys and census data will be compiled into an annual report summarizing the current standing and climate of the department. This will demonstrate our progress on department community issues and uncover areas that need further development.

* Interested in becoming a member of a BME Community and Engagement Committee? Sign up here.


Together, we will reach our benchmark of having a department that is reflective of the North Carolina population. We will accomplish this goal by harnessing the rich resources of both universities, seeking active partnerships with neighboring institutions and industries and constructing new programs to meet the needs of underrepresented socioeconomic groups.

Engagement within our own community is not a single pathway to achieving our goals, but requires a complex strategy to build a strong department with an enduring legacy of fostering a positive work environment. Together, we will secure that legacy and exceed the high expectations we set for ourselves.

We encourage you to find a BME Community that aligns with your identity here. The BME Communities are designed for our department to grow strong connections across campuses (UNC/NCSU) and across roles (student/faculty/staff) through our shared identities. These affinity groups are a support system for individuals who understand what daily life is like for you based on your identity and our shared interest in biomedical engineering.