Welcome to the 2019-20 Annual Report on Indiana University Research

Each year, I look forward to highlighting the remarkable accomplishments of researchers at Indiana University.

While the 2019-20 fiscal year concluded like no other in our lifetimes, in the end, for research at IU, the year told a story of achievement in the face of extraordinary hardship. As businesses shuttered and quarantine began in the face of the epidemic, IU faculty, staff, and students doubled down on research, redirecting expertise across the university to focus on our shared fight against COVID-19. Thanks to our committed researchers and to the leeway granted us by Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, essential research on IU's campuses never stopped. And researchers who had to work from home took the opportunity to continue their important work, share results, and submit new grants. 

Fred H. Cate, Vice President for Research

As a result, in 2019-20, IU set new research records, submitting and receiving more grants than ever before in IU history and attracting more than $854 million in external support for sponsored research as well as creative and other activities. More importantly, IU researchers applied their remarkable skills to protecting our state and communities through testing, vaccine development, COVID-killing masks, and other health innovations; understanding and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the young, the elderly, the poor, and underrepresented groups; evaluating the effectiveness of executive orders, quarantine restrictions, and public safety communications; and bringing the arts and humanities, folklore, and culture to homebound Hoosiers.

IU researchers are also helping our communities fight another pandemic, one much older and more pernicious than COVID-19—the pandemic of racial discrimination, inequality, and injustice. In June 2020, James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and dean of The University Graduate School, and I launched the IU Racial Justice Research Fund. The fund provides funding and fundraising support to help IU faculty imagine and execute innovative research to understand the conditions that generate racial inequalities, develop and assess tools for fighting those inequalities, and set us on a course to someday achieve lasting racial justice throughout our state and nation. I look forward to sharing stories in the coming academic year about the critical impact of projects selected for funding.

George Floyd memorial painting on a brick wall surrounded by flowers.

As I write this, IU researchers are also at the forefront of research in many other areas, including as part of our three Grand Challenge initiatives addressing the addictions crisis, the myriad impacts of environmental change, and diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

I hope you will read on to discover more about the exceptional achievements of the last academic year made possible by IU’s remarkable researchers, the people who support them, and our many partners.

 Fred Cate's signature

Fred H. Cate
Vice President for Research
Distinguished Professor and
C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law

Dedicated researchers respond to crises abroad and at home

For 200 years, IU has been at the forefront of invention, research and discovery. So when a worldwide pandemic hit, Hoosier nation answered the call.

Description of the video:

[Drone shot, a female Indiana University student wearing a red shirt and a backpack walks outside through the Sample Gates area of IU Bloomington campus.]

For 200 years IU has been at the forefront of invention research and discovery

[A male IU student wearing a white lab coat and suit and wearing a mask walks through Medical School building.]

So when a worldwide pandemic hit, Hoosier nation answered the call.

[Female and male School of Medicine researchers work at a lab workstation computer wearing a face masks and lab coats]

Our researchers work around the clock to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

[An animated computer model appears on screen, then transitions to screenshot of video showing graph related to model of COVID-19]

Data scientists are developing more accurate COVID-19 models

[Inside engineering lab an engineer pulls out and sets on table 3D printed face shield

Our engineers and artists are 3D printing face shields.

[Woman’s hands fold an origami face mask]

And creating protective equipment

[A researcher examines a prototype of a face mask made with electroceutical fabric]
to reduce the spread of the virus]

[A man has a telehealth appointment with a medical professional on his cell phone.]

We are studying human behaviors

[A woman listens to a man speaking on a laptop]

and social media to help understand mental and emotional impacts during this time

[A large server room with Big Red 200 computer in it appears]

We are helping safeguard against

[A rack of wires and computer equipment appears]

increased cyberattack risks

[A screen showing output work from a computer]

due to the coronavirus pandemic

[Campus fountains seen from aerial shots]

And so much more.

[Female student walks outside campus building, taking her backpack off and reaching into it]

After 200 years of invention research and discovery IU is preparing for the future

[Student puts on a face mask] How will you push forward?

[Student walks off screen and screen fades to black]

[INDIANA UNIVERSITY, #IUstrong, research.impact.iu.edu fade in. Music fades out. Animation fades out.]


IU trident


See IU research by the numbers

See the 2015-19 VPR Bicentennial Report