Jefferson Lab Welcomes Next Generation of Nuclear Physicists

  • JSA Fellowship Program

Nine students selected for prestigious fellowship program

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – The U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility is proud to announce nine new graduate fellowships for the 2023-2024 academic year, thanks to ongoing funding from Jefferson Science Associates. These fellowships offer students a unique opportunity to collaborate with leading nuclear physicists at Jefferson Lab and pursue advanced studies at their respective universities.

Or Hen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology associate professor and JSA Fellow advisor for eight years, praised Jefferson Lab as an excellent place to conduct highly advanced scientific research and train the next generation of nuclear physicists. He said that the fellowships provide students with the resources and support they need to focus on their research and advance the field.

The fellowships are open to students enrolled in a physics, engineering, or other Jefferson Lab-related doctoral programs at a Southeastern Universities Research Association member university. Fellows will be paired with experienced advisors from their universities to work on cutting-edge projects at Jefferson Lab that explore the fundamental forces and particles that make up our universe.

“The JSA Fellowship Program has a long history of supporting students on their path to becoming scientists, and I am proud to have been involved with it for many years," said Sebastian Kuhn, chair of the Department of Physics at Old Dominion University and former chair of the Jefferson Lab User Group Board of Directors. "This year, I am particularly pleased to see that three of our own students have been selected for the program.”

The 2023-2024 Graduate Fellowship recipients and their advisors are:

• John Boyd, University of Virginia, Nilanga Liyanage, Advisor

• Justin Cammarota, William & Mary, Jianwei Qiu, Advisor

• Marco Carrillo, Old Dominion University, Raúl Briceño, Advisor

• Sean Jeffas, University of Virginia, Nilanga Liyanage, Advisor

• Pushpa Pandey, Old Dominion University, Sebastian Kuhn, Advisor

• Jason Phelan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Or Hen, Advisor

• Tommaso Rainaldi, Old Dominion University, Ted Rogers, Advisor

• Sara Ratliff, The George Washington University, Axel Schmidt, Advisor

• Abhyuday Sharda, The University of Tennessee, Nadia Fomin, Advisor

“The JSA fellowship award has been a turning point in my academic journey,” said Pushpa Pandey, a final-year graduate fellow. “It has not only provided financial support but also opened doors to collaborate with leading experts in my field, greatly advancing my research.” The JSA fellowships are funded by the JSA Initiatives Fund, a program provided by JSA to support projects, initiatives, and activities that further the scientific outreach, and promote the science, education and technology missions of Jefferson Lab in ways that complement its basic and applied research focus. Initiatives Fund also support projects, initiatives, and activities that benefit the Lab user community.


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).

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