CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Rebecca Sandefur, a professor of sociology and of law at the University of Illinois, has been awarded a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a “genius grant,” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The fellowship carries an unrestricted $625,000 stipend to be used as the fellow sees best. Sandefur said her plan is to use the award “to help bring new attention and new energy to solving what has been so far an intractable problem, the critical issue of access to civil justice.”
Sandefur’s research has focused on how legal services are delivered and consumed, especially in low-income communities, and has sought to promote a new, evidence-based approach to increasing access to civil justice for those communities.
According to the MacArthur Foundation’s description of the program, fellows are chosen according to three criteria: “Exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.”
Sandefur is the eighth U. of I. faculty member to receive the fellowshipsince 1981 and the first since 2014.