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Physics Ph.D. Candidates Bouabid, Chen Selected for DOE’s SCGSR Program

Duke physics Ph.D. candidates Ryan Bouabid and Rebecca Chen have been selected for the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program

Through the SCGSR program, graduate students conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory and collaborate with a DOE laboratory scientist. This extended residency aims to prepare graduate students for STEM careers that are vital to the DOE Office of Science mission. Bouabid and Chen are among the 44 awardees from 36 U.S. universities. 

Here’s a look at the Duke recipients and the research they’ll be pursuing through the program: 

Rebecca Chen

Chen is a fourth-year physics Ph.D. candidate who works with Professor Daniel Scolnic on Type Ia supernova cosmology. Earlier this year, she published a first-author paper on three challenges for current and future cosmological analyses with Type Ia Supernovae. 

Chen will be carrying out a research project at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory titled “Applying Weak Lensing Source Galaxy Redshift Distributions to Cosmology with Type Ia Supernovae.” She’ll be working alongside Staff Scientist Eli Rykoff and other cosmologists. She plans to expand on her thesis work by using photometric redshifts for future Type IA Supernova cosmological analyses. 

Ryan Bouabid

Bouabid is a fourth-year physics Ph.D. candidate studying nuclear and particle physics under Professor Phillip Barbeau’s guidance. He is working on detecting rare physics events. He won the Mary Creason Memorial Award in 2020 and the American Association of Physics Teachers’  Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award in 2021. 

Through the SCGSR program, Bouabid will be carrying out research on fundamental symmetries at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Tips for Future Applicants:

A piece of advice that was given to me which I found useful was to emphasize how the proposed lab or expertise in the lab is uniquely suited for the project, as well as to give concrete deliverables or benchmarks in the proposal.” — Rebecca Chen