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Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018

Cover image for FY18 annual reportFISCAL YEAR 2018 saw significant increases in several research performance metrics for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, research community.

UT reported its most impressive research year on record, with $260 million in total research expenditures. Federal funding accounted for $117.8 million, or 45 percent, of TREs, with the remainder coming from institutional, state and local government, business, nonprofit, and other funds. The federal agencies that invested the most in UT research were the Department of Energy with $58.9 million, the National Science Foundation with $25.6 million, and the Department of Defense with $10.8 million. Research outside of science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing fields accounted for more than $42 million in expenditures

UT’s research community submitted 1,764 proposals with a total dollar value of $611 million. Researchers were awarded $158 million in external awards, a 3 percent increase over the previous five-year average.

Eight UT faculty members received NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards—the university’s second-largest number of recipients in a fiscal year. Six of the eight FY18 CAREER recipients were from the Tickle College of Engineering and two were from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Two faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences were awarded yearlong fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support their research. Since the start of the NEH Fellowship Program in 1967, UT faculty have been awarded 32 NEH Fellowships; 18 of those have been awarded since 2005, when the Office of Research and Engagement created a position to assist faculty in the pursuit of humanities awards. UT ranks ninth in the nation in the number of these prestigious awards received since 2005.

UT has seen continued growth in research engagement. More than 3,900 undergraduate students participated in research during the course of the year. The annual Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA) has grown steadily since 2014, with 850 students presenting 628 posters in John C. Hodges Library. More than 500 engagement and outreach projects across the state show the impact of UT’s research enterprise on Tennessee’s communities and citizens.

Looking ahead, the Office of Research and Engagement continues to seek strategic opportunities for UT faculty and students and to diversify our sources of funding while growing our partnerships with industry and government agencies. We look forward to the future of research, engagement, and creative activities at the University of Tennessee!

Robert Nobles

Interim Vice Chancellor for Research