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2015 Hands-On PV Experience Workshop

Photograph of 13 students standing in front of a building.

Pictured are doctoral students who have participated at the 2015 HOPE Conference at NREL.

The 2015 Hands-On PV Experience (HOPE) Workshop was held in Golden, Colorado, the week of July 19–25, 2015. The event is designed to strengthen photovoltaic (PV) research at universities in the United States. HOPE is designed primarily for students, but also requires participation of the professors leading the research and overseeing each student's thesis.

HOPE provides opportunities for professors and graduate students to:

  • Interact with scientists and engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and others from across the United States
  • Learn about PV technology in a hands-on, small-group research setting
    • See solar cells fabricated
    • Perform hands-on measurements.
  • Build a network of research connections with other researchers, professors, and students from across the United States.

PV-related technical topics for HOPE 2015 included growth, measurements, and modeling of CIGS, CdTe, GaAs, and perovskites. Module construction and testing were also demonstrated. Both students and professors helped to customize the specific program details for HOPE 2015 to best meet their collective needs. Students participated the entire week; professors participated for one or more days.

Eligible Applicants

HOPE targets professors who are leading PV-related research programs who would like to send a Ph.D. candidate to learn more about fabrication, measurement, or study of photovoltaic materials and devices. A joint application (for both the professor and student) is required.


  • Applications for HOPE 2016 are due March 1, 2016.
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance on April 1, 2016.

The workshop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.