University of New Mexico graduate student Jacek Ksawery Osinski was one of 52 students across the nation selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science for its 2017 Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.

The SCGSR research projects are expected to advance the graduate awardee’s overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories.

“This DOE award will allow me to deepen my understanding of theoretical particle physics in an environment that is more focused than a university,” said Osinski.

Osinki’s project discovers the production mechanisms of dark matter before the universe existed. Scientists currently do not have any observational probe of this period, but the once the specific properties of dark matter are detected they can be used to probe the conditions of the early universe.

The SCGSR Program is established to support graduate students to do part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory with a DOE scientist for three to twelve months. The award provides support for inbound and outbound travel to the laboratory along with a monthly stipend of up to $3,000 for general living expenses while at the host DOE laboratory during the award period.