LSU Physics Graduate Student Presented Prominent DoD SMART Scholarship

PhD candidate Margarite LaBorde

LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy PhD candidate Margarite LaBorde has received a Department of Defense’s Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation—Scholarship-for-Service, SMART, Scholarship. DoD’s SMART Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in STEM disciplines to receive a full scholarship and guaranteed civilian employment with the DoD upon degree completion.

“My sponsoring facility is the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Panama City Division in Florida,” said LaBorde. “This facility focuses on efforts that affect the surface or near-surface level of the ocean.”

LaBorde will receive full tuition, a monthly stipend, health insurance, a book allowance and a summer internship that will last between eight and 12 weeks.

While pursuing her PhD at LSU, LaBorde works with Dr. Jonathan Dowling in Quantum Science and Technologies Group.

“I’m really thrilled about the opportunities this scholarship provides,” said LaBorde.” Not only does it provide funding in graduate school, but it also guides me into a tailored job afterward with the facility. I especially like that the program has structured internships that allow me to familiarize myself with the facility over time. It’s a fulfilling, exciting award.” 

The 2014 valedictorian of Port Allen High School, LaBorde graduated Magna Cum Laude from LSU in 2018, earning a B.S. in physics and a B.S. in mathematics.


Learn more about the SMART Scholarship Program. which was established as a concentrated effort to enhance the DoD’s workforce with “talented, innovative, and brilliant scientists, engineers, and researchers.”

Mimi LaValle
LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy