Ex-IITians earn the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for 2016

Aditi Gupta updated on : 23 Sep 2016

Two Indian-American Scientists win the "genius grant" and make it to the 'Class of 2016' for their exceptional work in their respective fields. Read more.

MacArthur Fellowship

Manu Prakash, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University and Subhash Khot, a theoretical Computer Scientist at the New York University are among the 23 recipients of the  MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the "genius grant") 'Class of 2016'.

The two Indian-American MacArthur Fellowship recipients are alumni of Indian Institute of Technology. While Manu Prakash is an IIT Kanpur graduate, Shubhash Khot is from IIT Bombay. They will be awarded a stipend of USD 625,000 over a period of 5 years in order to provide them with flexibility in their activities without any specific compulsion.

Manu Prakash has been recognised for his work that combines wide variety of technologies, to curb his curiosity about the life forms on Earth and his deep interest about the experience and joy of science globally. He is working towards using his expertise to improve global human health. He wants to solve tangible human and scientific problems. He dedicated all his ideas to his travel experiences and his childhood while growing up in India.

Subhash Khot, on the other hand, has been being rewarded for his work in the field of Computational complexity. He is using his skills and persistence to explore the potential of 'Unique Games Conjecture'. If this conjecture is proved true, then the importance of this fruitful area of research will help in future.

What is Macarthur Fellowship Programme?

MacArthur Fellowship also known as "Genius Grant" is a prestigious grant awarded annually to 20 to 25 individuals to residents or citizens of United States for their extraordinary and exceptional work in any field. The fellowship is less of an award and more like an investment, given to an individual on the basis of their creativity, originality and potential.

Currently, the fellowship stipend is USD 625,000 and it is given to the recipient over a period of five years in the form of equal quarterly instalments. Since 2013, the prize money has been increased from USD 500,000.

There is no application for this fellowship programme. Anonymous and confidential nominations are invited b y the foundation and the selection of the fellowship recipients is also done by an anonymous and confidential selection committee.

India and MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur's grantmaking in India has been active since 1990, and their office was established in New Delhi in 1994. In India They focus on population and reproductive health work at the national-level.

In 2015, another Indian American, Kartik Chandran won the MacArthur fellowship and had made it to the 'Class of 2015'. He is an Associate Professor of earth and environmental engineering at Columbia Engineering. Kartik Chandran is an IIT Roorkee graduate and he won the fellowship for his work in "transforming wastewater from a pollutant requiring disposal to a resource for useful products such as energy sources, fertilizers and commodity chemicals." He was one of the 24 talented people who were selected in 2015.

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