Newswise — NEWPORT NEWS, VA – The Electron-Ion Collider Center at the Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (EIC Center at Jefferson Lab) has announced the winners of six international fellowships to help advance the science program of the Electron-Ion Collider (EIC).

The EIC is a one-of-a-kind nuclear physics research facility funded by the federal government, primarily through the DOE Office of Science. It will be built in partnership with Jefferson Lab over the next decade at DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. The project was recently granted Critical Decision 1 (CD-1) approval. CD-1 provides the authorization to begin the project execution phase, starting with preliminary design.

The EIC Center at Jefferson Lab has awarded six new one-year fellowships to help support early-career scientists who are working to enhance the research goals of this unique collider. Now in its fourth year, the program supports efforts to advance the EIC theory, accelerator design, detector design, experimental design or computing environment.

This year’s awardees are pursuing a wide range of R&D toward benefitting the EIC.

2021 postdoctoral research fellows:

  • Salina Ali, University of Virginia. Ali will assist with construction of a prototype micro-RWELL, a new micro-pattern gaseous detector technology that could be ideal for the EIC, and will conduct parasitic tests of the detector’s performance at Jefferson Lab.
  • Alexander 'Sasha' Bylinkin, University of Kansas. Bylinkin will work on the optimization of the proton and photon detectors in the EIC far forward regions and work to further develop the physics case for these systems.
  • Francesco Celiberto, European Centre for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas (ECT*) in Trento. Celiberto will perform twist-two calculations for extracting transverse momentum distributions and then study phenomenological applications of the research to spin-dependent observables.

2021 graduate student fellows:

  • Christine Ploen, Old Dominion University. Ploen will work to reduce backgrounds in the EIC detector beamline by first characterizing the expected background caused by synchrotron photons and then by evaluating mitigation schemes.
  • Jackson Pybus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Pybus will study tagged semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering from polarized helium-3 nuclei and determine the requirements of the far-forward detectors for these measurements. 
  • Richard Trotta, Catholic University of America. Trotta will work on the optimization of the second far forward EIC beamline for the extraction of pion and kaon structure functions.

Funding for the fellowship program is provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Fellows typically spend at least half of their fellowship at Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Virginia.

The fellowship supports one-half of a postdoctoral or graduate student’s time on EIC-related research. It provides a $36,000 stipend to each postdoctoral fellow’s home institution and a $13,000 stipend for each graduate student fellow. Limited travel support is also available during the fellowship period.

Further Reading:

EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Fellowship Awards (2018)

EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Fellowship Awards (2019)

EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Six New Research Awards (2020)

Electron-Ion Collider Achieves Critical Decision 1 Approval


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. and PAE, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

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