Physics Researcher Lands Energy Department Grant
3-Year Fellowship Aids PhD Student’s Quest to Explain Cosmic Acceleration

Doctoral physics student Jason Dossett has received a U.S. Department of Energy Science Graduate Fellowship to further his  research on cosmic acceleration, or the appearance of galaxies speeding up as they move apart. 

The three-year fellowship pays up to $50,500 per year to help cover living expenses, tuition, research, travel, conference expenses and other costs.

Dossett said the funding will allow him to split time between lab research and professional conferences, where he can interact with and learn from other career cosmologists.

“The fellowship will allow me more time to study one of the most puzzling problems in cosmology today and give me the ability to do the maximum amount of research as a graduate student,” Dossett said.

Graduate research fellowships contribute to the University’s external research funding, a benchmark of quality research.

“Funding for fellowships highlights the quality of our PhD students and is a strong indicator that we are on the right path to reach Tier One,” said Dr. Bruce Gnade, vice president for research.

Sponsored in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the fellowships are to prepare scientists and engineers for discovery-driven careers that address national concerns such as energy, the environment and national security.

“The fellowship is highly competitive, with only about 80 awarded annually across all fields of science,” said Dr. Myron Salamon, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  “We can be justly proud of Jason’s accomplishment.”

Dossett is working on developing tests to distinguish between two possible causes for what appears to be cosmic acceleration.

“I’m developing and testing methods we can use on current and future data to tell us if we are in the presence of modified gravity on cosmological scales or a dominant dark energy component of the universe,” Dossett said. 

Dossett studies cosmic acceleration at UT Dallas’ Astrophysics, Cosmology and Relativity Group under the leadership of Dr. Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki, assistant professor of physics.

“This is a well-deserved fellowship for Jason, as he had a sparkling start in research and publications,” Ishak-Boushaki said.  “I enjoy supervising and interacting with Jason and am sure he will become a solid member of the scientific and academic community.”

Dossett earned a bachelor’s in physics at UT Dallas in 2008 and followed up with a master’s in physics from the University in 2009.

“I really want to make an impact in science, in particular, in the field of cosmology, and I feel the benefits of this prestigious fellowship will help me achieve that goal,” Dossett said.

“The fellowship will allow me more time to study one of the most puzzling problems in cosmology today,” said physics doctoral student Jason Dossett.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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