DOE Awards Support Three Graduate Student Researchers at Jefferson Lab

  • Rebecca Barsotti
  • Cameron Cotton
  • Daniel Kovner

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Three graduate students will receive support from the Department of Energy to conduct research at DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The students have been granted supplemental research awards from the Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program.

“The DOE Office of Science provides the scientific foundation for solutions to some of our nation’s most complex challenges, and now more than ever we need to invest in a diverse, talented pipeline of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs who can help us build a brighter future,” said Dr. Harriet Kung, Deputy Director for Science Programs in the Office of Science. “These outstanding students will help us tackle mission-critical research at our labs as this experience helps them begin a successful and rewarding career.”

All three awardees are involved in cutting-edge research at Jefferson Lab in pursuit of their Ph.D.s. in nuclear physics. They will each work with a Jefferson Lab staff scientist on their research. The awardees are listed here with their advisor and a description of their project:

•    Cameron Cotton is based at the University of Virginia. Cotton will work on two research topics with Experimental Physicist David Gaskell in Halls A and C. The first is an upgrade of the Jefferson Lab Compton polarimeter laser systems. Polarimetry is essential for future high-precision, parity-violation experiments, such as MOLLER and SoLID‘s PVDIS. The second is to prepare for a set of experiments that will run in Hall C in 2022.

•    Daniel Kovner is based at William & Mary. Kovner will work with Senior Staff Scientist David Richards in the Center for Theoretical and Computational Physics. He will use the computing resources at Jefferson Lab and several other facilities to numerically calculate the properties of subatomic particles from theory using lattice QCD.

•    Rebecca Barsotti is based at Indiana University Bloomington. Barsotti will be working with Hall D Staff Scientist Alexander Austregesilo in the GlueX Collaboration. Her studies entail teasing out the details of processes that contribute to the production of subatomic particles called exotic mesons.

The 65 program awardees were selected from a diverse pool of graduate applicants from U.S. institutions. Selection was based on merit peer review by external scientific experts. Since 2014, the SCGSR program has provided more than 765 U.S. graduate awardees from 153 universities with supplemental funds to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory. In this cohort of awardees, four are the first SCGSR awardee from their institution, and about 11% attend minority serving institutions (MSIs).

SCGSR awardees work on research projects of significant importance to the Office of Science mission and that address societal challenges at national and international scale. Projects in this cohort span the six SC programs and cover a wide range of topics.

The research projects are expected to advance the graduate awardees’ overall doctoral research and training while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories.

Further Reading
DOE’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program selects 65 outstanding U.S. graduate students

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office,


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