Monthly Archives: July 2012

IPCC Scholarship Program 2012

IPCC Scholarship Program is to build capacity in the understanding and management of climate change in developing countries through providing opportunities for young scientists from developing countries to undertake studies that would not be possible without the intervention of the Fund.

Applications from students from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) researching topics with the fields of study chosen for the call for applications are given priority.

Scholarship Details: A scholarship award will be for a maximum amount of USD 20,000 per year.

Eligibility Criteria: The Call for Applications is open to candidates fulfilling the following requirements:

* Post-Graduate students at PhD level, accepted at a recognized educational institution to start studies in 2013, or currently enrolled on continuing PhD courses

* Applicants must be younger than 30 years of age at the time of application

* Applicants must be nationals of developing countries

How to Apply: Register to upload your completed application and requested supporting documents via the following link:

Deadline: 30 September 2012

Click here for more details and information:


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Israel’s bSolar Designs Promising Double-Sided Solar Cell

Researchers have been trying to develop double-sided solar cells that can capture both direct and reflected sunlight for the last forty years, and now an Israeli startup believes they have come up with the winning formula. bSolar, a venture-backed project founded in 2007, showcased their bifacial solar cells at a trade show in Germany last month. According to Yossi Kofman, co-founder and CEO, their cells could produce up to 20% more energy than conventional cells. But it won’t be easy.

Bifacial solar panel can boost energy yield by 50%.

The challenge of double-sided solar cells:

As Bhushan Sopori, a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory told GigaOm, there’s a reason that bifacial solar cells have not been successful to date. Boron is the main component of the bSolar bifacial cell that allows the silicon wafers to capture reflected light on both sides. Although aluminum has historically been used to prevent the loss of electrodes when convert sunlight into electricity, boron won’t bend or break increasingly thin silicon wafers. Plus this chemical element increases efficiency.

But boron is hard to source and hard to use in production. For help understanding why, we’ve included a little clip from our friend Wikipedia:

Because boron is produced entirely by cosmic ray spallation and not by stellar nucleosynthesis,[8] it is a low-abundance element in both the solar system and the Earth’s crust. However, boron is concentrated on Earth by the water-solubility of its more common naturally occurring compounds, the borate minerals. These are mined industrially as evaporites, such as borax and kernite.

Perseverance conquers:

If bSolar can find a way to source boron, which creates a strong, lightweight and refractory compound that is resistant to thermal shock, then they might be successful. But they have to make their efficiency gains cost competitive as well. More


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Fully funded fellowship opportunity – United Nations-Nippon Fellowship call for applications

United Nations – Nippon Fellowship Programme

The United Nations – Nippon Fellowship Programme is now accepting applications. Successful applicants will benefit from a 9-month fully funded research fellowship which includes a 3-month placement at the United Nations in NY. Please disseminate widely to government and non-government individuals from developing states working in any ocean-related discipline. Information and application files can be found on the fellowship website: and the alumni website is here: Application deadline is 15 September 2012.


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