Welcome to the 2020-21 Annual Report on Indiana University Research

This has been perhaps the most extraordinary 18 months in the history of our university. Dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has demanded exceptional flexibility, patience, and endurance. Our faculty, staff, and student researchers have excelled at that challenge and, thanks to their efforts, research has continued strong at IU.

This report highlights only a sample of the achievements of the last academic year attained by IU researchers, the people who support them, and our many community, state, and international partners. You’ll find highlights of research and creative activities that are improving the lives of Hoosiers and many others, expanding the educational experience of IU students, and pushing the boundaries of discovery and innovation in areas from artificial intelligence and addiction to visual arts and world languages.

Fred H. Cate, Vice President for Research

At the same time, over the last year, our researchers, scholars, and artists have confronted constraints, ones that have long existed but have only recently been laid bare. As crucial issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access are being addressed with renewed vigor and commitment across our country, IU continues to support research in the areas of race, ethnicity, and racial justice through projects funded by the Racial Justice Research Fund, established jointly in 2020 by IU’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs and Office of the Vice President for Research.

And to address the acute and systemic issues surrounding the experience of women in academia exacerbated by the pandemic’s onslaught, the Office of the Vice President for Research formed a Gender Equity in Research Task Force at IU and established an Emergency Equity Fund for Research in 2020.

You will learn more about exceptional work going on in both these areas, and much more, on this website.

Although Indiana University’s world-class faculty and research staff have long been at the forefront of innovation and creative initiatives, the pandemic has revealed anew that research at IU never stops in its drive toward new ideas, new experiences, new discoveries, and new solutions for our state and the world. The spirit of IU researchers both humbles and excites me — the stories collected here are proof of that spirit, and I hope you will enjoy exploring them.

Fred Cate's signature

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