Updates and Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Quarterly Research Report Q3 FY20: July 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Beginning with the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 (Q3 FY20), the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture data are included in quarterly reports. For this reason, data points reported prior to Q3 FY20 may not be directly comparable to the corresponding numbers in this quarter and future quarters.
Fiscal Year 2020, 3rd Quarter Research Activity Report (cover)


During the first two quarters of the fiscal year, proposal dollars requested lagged behind FY19, but the third quarter saw an increase in dollars proposed, with January, February, and March surpassing the proposed dollar amount during the same timeframe last year, even with slightly fewer proposals being submitted this year.


Award amounts have consistently remained higher in FY20 than in FY19, with $165 million awarded by the end of Q3 FY20, compared to $146 million awarded by the end of Q3 FY19 (approximately 13% increase).

Federal agencies remained the largest source of awarded dollars at 62%, or $102 million so far, this fiscal year. Of the federal agencies, the Department of Energy remains the largest source of federal funding, followed by the National Science Foundation. A majority of colleges were awarded more funding by the end of Q3 FY20 than they had by the end of Q3 FY19. Notably, the Space Institute received double the amount by the end of the third quarter this year as they had by the same time last year; up to $5.5 million from $2.7 million. The College of Communication and Information also received nearly double the awarded dollars; up to $3.2 million at the end of the third quarter this year, as compared to $1.7 million at the end of last year’s third quarter.

Notable awards include:

  • David Ader, Sharon Thompson, Sheri Pugh, and Tom Gill have been awarded $613,000 from USAID for a Sustainable Intensification Farmer-to-Farmer program in Cambodia, a program which plans to increase agricultural sector productivity and profitability, improve conservation and sustainable use of environmental and natural resources, and strengthen agricultural sector institutions.
  • Hao Gan, Maria Prado, Shawn Hawkins, and John Wilkerson have been awarded $350,000 from the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research to develop a comprehensive sensing system that collects and synthesizes vision- and motion-based data to automatically assess KWI broiler gait score and flock activity. Completed system design will be ruggedized for deployment in commercial broiler houses as a welfare management tool, enabling farmers to monitor welfare indicators in real-time, measuring gait scores and flock activity levels, providing producers with quantitative feedback on bird and flock management performance.
  • $7.6 million has been awarded to Jack Dongarra, Jakub Kurzak, and Stanimire Tomov in the Innovative Computing Lab for CLOVER (Computational Libraries Optimized Via Exascale Research) by the Department of Energy. The high-level objective of CLOVER is to provide scalable, portable numerical algorithms that facilitate efficient application simulations on exascale computers.
  • The Tennessee Department of Education awarded $2.7 million to Shandra Forrest-Bank, Chris Hadjiharalambous, and Deidre Ford in the Office of Research and Public Service to conduct program evaluations and design, host, and maintain web-based database applications for the TN 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Lottery for Education: Afterschool Programs.


Expenditures have remained consistent with FY19, at $208 million spent by the end of March 2020 compared to $207 million spent by the end of March 2019. While the expenditure increases were less drastic than the increases seen in awarded dollars, nearly every college had similar or slightly higher expenditures at the end of Q3 FY20 as they did at the end of Q3 FY19.