SOLVING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: MacArthur fellow Vonnie McLoyd's research combines concepts in socioeconomics, psychology, and anthropology.
This year's John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowships will help six scientists advance their cutting-edge, multidisciplinary projects that extend from the ocean depths to distant stars and planets. With grants of about $250,000 or more, the newly named fellows will be able to finance innovative-even maverick-research ideas that might otherwise go unfunded.

Thomas Daniel, a zoologist from the University of Washington in Seattle, says the windfall from the Chicago-based philanthropy will allow him and his graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to engage in "fringier and riskier" projects than they normally could.

"I think that's the real spirit of the MacArthur fellowships," adds Daniel. "This is a grant to help people who may have some promise, and [the foundation] knows it's a risk."

There are no calls for proposals or application deadlines for the...

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