Public Release: 

JSA awards graduate fellowships for research at Jefferson Lab

Southeastern Universities Research Association

Jefferson Sciences Associates announced today the award of eight JSA/Jefferson Lab graduate fellowships. The doctoral students will use the fellowships to support their advanced studies at their universities and conduct 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 Applied Technologies.

The 2016-2017 fellowship winners include:

    Abha Rajan, University of Virginia; Simonetta Liuti, Advisor

    Kurtis Bartlett, College of William & Mary; Wouter Deconinck, Advisor

    Oleksandr Koshchii, The George Washington University; Andrei Avanasev, Advisor

    Caryn Palatchi, University of Virginia; Kent Paschke, Advisor

    Sebouh Paul, College of William & Mary, Keith Griffioen, Advisor

    Holly Szumila-Vance, Old Dominion University; Larry Weinstein, Advisor

    Nguyen Ton, University of Virginia; Xiaochao Zheng, Advisor

    Xuefei Yan, Duke University; Haiyan Gao, Advisor

The students' research proposals cover a broad scientific spectrum, including experimental and theoretical physics.

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 Lab.

JSA/JLab fellowship recipients attend universities that are members of SURA, a consortium of more than 60 leading research universities. SURA built and operated Jefferson Lab, before becoming a partner of Jefferson Science Associates.

The SURA Board of Trustees first established the fellowship program in 1989. Since the program's inception, 200 fellowships have been awarded to students from 21 different SURA member universities. The program is now supported by the JSA Initiatives Fund. Each $12,000 fellowship award contributes to the student's research assistant stipend and is supplemented by support from the home institution. Additional funds are available for research-related travel for the student during the fellowship period.

Hugh Montgomery, JSA President and Jefferson Lab Director, commented about the importance of these awards: "In today's world with broadening opportunities in science and technology, there is fierce competition to attract the brightest and best students. While the Jefferson Lab community has enjoyed success in attracting young people, this is not a time to rest on our laurels. During the year, these young researchers will become fully immersed in their research and will tap into the capabilities of the Lab. JSA's continued support for the Graduate Fellowship Program contributes to the Lab's achievement of providing data to about one-third of the U.S. Ph.D.'s in nuclear physics each year. This is a key component of the education and training of the next generation of science leaders and the increase of science literacy in society."

The committee that reviewed and selected this year's fellowship winners was chaired by Christopher Newport University physics department chair Edward Brash. Other committee members included: Jefferson Lab scientists Hari Areti, David Richards, and Cynthia Keppel; George Lolos, University of Regina; Kent Paschke, University of Virginia; and, Julie Roche, Ohio University. The committee was supported by Elizabeth Lawson, JSA Initiatives Fund program manager.


About the JSA Initiatives Fund. JSA partners (SURA and PAE Applied Technologies) established the JSA Initiatives Fund to support programs, 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 awards are for those projects that benefit the Lab user community and that leverage commitments of others. The annual commitment is administered by SURA for the JSA Programs Committee. For more information, visit

The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) is a consortium of over 60 leading research institutions in the southern United States and the District of Columbia established in 1980 as a non-stock, nonprofit corporation. SURA's mission is to advance collaborative research and education and to strengthen the scientific capabilities of its members and our nation. For more information, visit

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