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Hands On Photovoltaic Experience

The 2017 Hands-On PV Experience (HOPE) Workshop will be in Golden, Colorado, July 23–29.

Group of 13 people standing outside in front of a building.

Pictured are doctoral students who participated at the 2017 HOPE event at NREL.

The HOPE Workshop 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 2016 included growth, measurements, and modeling of Si, CdTe, tandem and perovskite solar cells. Module construction and testing were also demonstrated. Both students and professors helped to customize the specific program details for HOPE 2016 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. To ensure the quality of the program we are unable to accept all applicants, but encourage application in a second year for those who are not accepted the previous year.


  • Applications for HOPE 2017 closed on March 1, 2017.
  • Applicants were notified of acceptance in April.

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


Sarah Kurtz