JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

Nine graduate students have been awarded research fellowships

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Jefferson Sciences Associates (JSA) has announced the award of nine graduate fellowships to doctoral students for the 2019-2020 academic year. The fellowships will support students’ advanced studies at their universities and research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear physics laboratory managed and operated by JSA, a joint venture between SURA and PAE.

The 2019-2020 JSA/Jefferson Lab graduate fellowship recipients include:

  • Devaki Bhatta Pathak, Louisiana Tech University with Advisor Rakitha Beminiwattha, Advisor
  • Colin Egerer, William & Mary, with Advisor Konstantinos Orginos
  • Tanjib Khan, William & Mary, with Advisor Konstantinos Orginos
  • John Matter, University of Virginia, with Advisor Nilanga Liyanage
  • Joseph Newton, Old Dominion University, with Advisor Stepan Stepanyan
  • Amy Schertz, William & Mary, with Advisor Justin Stevens
  • Richard Trotta, The Catholic University of America, with Advisor Tanja Horn
  • Sajini Wijethunga, Old Dominion University, with Advisor Jean Delayen
  • Yunjie Yang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with Advisor Michael Williams

The students’ research proposals cover a broad scientific spectrum, including experimental, theoretical and accelerator physics. Yang is a repeat winner, having just concluded his 2018-2019 academic year at the laboratory.

“It is heartening to see the interest of talented young students in the 12 GeV science program as they continue their academic pursuit. These fellowships provide the opportunity for students to collaborate with scientists and mentors to make research contributions to the scientific program at Jefferson Lab,” said Jefferson Lab Deputy Director for Science & Technology Robert McKeown. “This year’s applicant pool reflects the excitement of Jefferson Lab’s science program for young researchers.”

Fellowship recipients are chosen based on the quality of their research proposals, their academic standing, and the references of their professors and senior scientists at Jefferson Lab. Students will continue their coursework while enhancing their academic experience with direct interactions and participation with mentors and scientists at the laboratory.

Christopher Newport University professor Edward Brash chaired the committee of scientists reviewing applications. He commented, “Jefferson Lab is the ideal training ground for the next generation of science leaders in our field, having produced about one-third of the Ph.D.s in nuclear physics in the United States.”

Other committee members included David Richards and Cynthia Keppel, Jefferson Lab; William Briscoe, The George Washington University; and Kent Paschke, University of Virginia.

The SURA Board of Trustees first established the fellowship program in 1989. The program, now supported by the JSA Initiatives Fund, contributes to the student’s research assistant stipend, and additional funds are available for research-related travel for the student during the fellowship period.

All fellowship recipients attend universities that are members of SURA, a consortium of 60 leading research universities. Since the program’s inception, 225 fellowships have been awarded to students from 22 different SURA member universities. SURA built and operated Jefferson Lab, before becoming a partner of Jefferson Science Associates.

Contact: Kandice Carter, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, 757-269-7263, kcarter@jlab.org


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science