Young Scholars Forum

Energy, Water and Climate Change – Building Bridges between Europe and MENA and between Generations

06 – 09 DECEMBER 2012


The region encompassing the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is characterized by strong environmental gradients, climate extremes and diverse economic, social and cultural identities. Adverse impacts of climate change throughout the 21st century are expected, and major challenges in energy and food security, threats to environmental integrity, as well as decreasing availability of fresh water are projected for the future in this region.

In addressing the many and growing challenges for humanity, scientific research based on international coordination and cooperation by the countries in the region is crucial to help finding sustainable solutions. A new European-MENA partnership on science and technology is needed, to be developed in close cooperation between research and higher educational institutions. These are the main themes of the high-level science conference “Energy, Water and Climate Change 2012 – Building Bridges” (EWACC 2012-Building Bridges) that is to be held on 10-12 December in Nicosia. The conference will result in science policy recommendations towards a common European-MENA research area.

To build a thriving research environment in MENA the strong involvement and active encouragement of the next generation of scientists is essential for the success of such a partnership. The EWACC 2012-Building Bridges conference will therefore include a dedicated program to engage young scholars and educators, particularly from MENA countries.

Young Scholars Forum

The “Young Scholars Forum” is a three-day event prior to the main conference “EWACC 2012-Building Bridges”. It will bring together in a very familiar atmosphere and in a supportive social environment about 30 young researchers mostly from MENA, but also from Europe to raise awareness of global challenges, to prepare the scientific basis and to stimulate scientific exchanges, cooperation and social networking among the regions and generations.

The forum will consist of topical lectures by established senior academicians and top-class scientists on topics related to the pressing challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean area. A close contact between the senior and young generation will ensure an interactive, supportive and stimulating learning environment. There will also be the possibility for young scientists to present their results of their PhD thesis or Postdoctoral research in short presentations (oral or poster) to stimulate interdisciplinary scientific discussions among the group. A special mentoring session will round up the Forum with individual advice and consultation on career options for MENA researchers who would like to enrol in academic exchange programmes and/or research visits at European research institutions and universities.

Involvement of all participants of the Forum in the subsequent international EWACC 2012-Building Bridges conference comprises an integral part of this unique school format. To build bridges across regions and generations a spokesperson elected from the Young Scholars Forum group will actively contribute in the final plenary of the international conference to represent and to speak on behalf of the future generation.

This young scholar forum is novel and a truly unique event dedicated to the engagement of the young research generation from MENA. It will offer an excellent opportunity to establish interdisciplinary scientific contacts and networks, advance their research careers and collect first experiences in the context of an international high-level scientific conference.

Finally, we aim for a wider dissemination of the topical lectures to students at their home institutions in MENA by providing webcasts of the talks in cooperation with our MENA academic partners.

Tentative Program

Day Date Time Topic
Thu 06 Dec Afternoon Arrival in the afternoon
Thu 06 Dec Evening Welcome, Student Presentations and Discussions Part I
Fri 07 Dec Morning Topical Lectures on: Climate Change and Health, Weather Extremes, Air Pollution
Fri 07 Dec Afternoon Topical Lectures on: Water Availability, Food Security, Hydro Conflicts and Human Security
Fri 07 Dec Evening Student Presentations and Discussions Part II
Sat 08     Dec Morning Lectures on Renewable Energies (PV, CSP, Wind)
Sat 08 Dec Afternoon Field Excursion
Sat 08 Dec Evening Social Program
Sun 09 Dec Morning & Early Afternoon Building Bridges/Mentoring Program

  • Building Bridges Theme
  • Career Options/Mobility Program
  • Discussion how to better involve the young generation
Sun 09 Dec Late Afternoon Excursion in Nicosia
Sun 09 Dec Evening Participation in Welcome Reception of EWACC 2012/Building Bridges
Mon-Wed 10-12 Dec Full days Participation in EWACC 2012/Building Bridges Conference

Participation and how to apply

The maximum number of participants is limited to 30. We expect the participants to be excellently qualified senior graduate students or young postdocs with proven academic background and personal qualities that ensure participants are good representatives of their respective country. Students and young researchers wishing to participate must first apply and will be nominated by an international selection committee (based on their academic accomplishment, research and education experience, and with careful consideration of gender and regional/national representation). If the nomination is accepted, the recipients will receive an invitation to attend the Young Scholars Forum and the EWACC 2012/Building Bridges Conference.

The Forum offers 20 full scholarships (travel, food and lodging) for accepted participants from MENA and 10 partial scholarships (food and lodging) for accepted participants from Europe.

Interested participants are requested to electronically submit a CV, a one-page motivation letter explaining why he/she would like to participate and how this might benefit his/her on-going or planned research and at least two reference letters. All documents should be submitted by 30 September 2012. Please be advised to submit your application as soon as possible.

Please email all application documents to


Organizing institutes are The Cyprus Institute (CyI) together with Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) and with the support of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Climate Campus Hamburg and the German Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) as well as partnering institutions from MENA. The Young Scholars Forum is supported by grants from the DAAD academic exchange service and from the World Climate Research Program WCRP.

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Pictures the Young Scholars Forum

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YSF Lectures

Ghassem R. ASRAR – Climate and Society: Challenges and Opportunities Aris BONANOS – Renewable Energy Technologies: Overview of Energy Situation and the Role of Solar Energy Wolfgang EBERHARDT  – Rising to the Challenge of a Secure, sustainable, and economical Energy System Panos HADJINICOLAOU – Climate Change – Concepts and Projection Stephan HAID – Energy from …

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YSF Presentations

Rana Samir ElGhonaimy Mutaz A Al-Muhtaseb Zeinab Abdmouleh Amr El-Sayed Fleifle Azzam Nedal Hamad Hamaideh Fayez Musallam Fayez Abu-Hilou Mahmoud Said Ahmed Nasr Mike Safadi Mohammed Allani Mohamed El Zayat Mhd Taher Alrajoula Mostafa Shaaban Rasha Mohamed El Azab Dounya Barrit Manel Baizig Hamdoun Ronza AL Marji Mostafa Kamal Ahmad Liqreina Anas Fareed Zyadin Nagi …

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