SUN-ERGY Photo Contest

March 2020

SUN-ERGY is an upcoming joint initiative for the conversion of renewable energies into alternative fuels and chemicals, that comes out of the merge of the coordination and support actions (CSAs) SUNRISE and ENERGY-X. It will officially begin in March 2020, when both CSAs will have pursued their own roadmapping actions, to reach a big community compromised with a climate-neutral EU by 2050.

SUNRISE and ENERGY-X are two out of the six CSA projects that were selected for the Horizon 2020 call “FETFLAG-01-2018” within the research area of Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Both initiatives received €1 million from the European Commission to develop a detailed proposal for a large-scale research initiative during one year, from March 2019 to February 2020.

Both SUNRISE and ENERGY-X aim to develop sustainable approaches for the storage of renewable energy (solar and wind) through its conversion to fuels and commodity chemicals using abundant molecules such as carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen. The two projects bring together 30 committed organisations, backed by an initial supporting community of approx. 300 stakeholders from academia, industry, and society.


On the occasion of the SUN-ERGY kickoff event, which will be on February 5-6, 2020 in Brussels, SUN-ERGY kicks-off a photo contest with the scope of promoting the young researchers’ work on renewable energies’ conversion and storage into clean fuels and chemicals.

By launching this photo contest, SUN-ERGY aims to engage young talents into the discussions around the importance of sustainable energies towards a clean-energy planet. Pictures related to the following (non-exhaustive) research areas, sent by young researchers, will help illustrate the importance of the transition from a linear to a circular economy by 2050:

  • Research on light-converting/harvesting, catalytic, electrode, membrane, etc. materials
  • Investigating mechanisms of catalysis and/or light harvesting for (photo)chemical conversion of small molecules
  • Heterogeneous (photo)electrochemistry/(photo)catalysis
  • (Photo)Catalytic water splitting
  • (Photo)chemical or (photo)electrochemical CO2 reduction
  • Reaction engineering
  • Conversion by living organisms and biocatalysts (enzymes, etc.), as well as biocatalysts used in combination with a synthetic catalyst
  • CO2 capture and conversion technologies
  • Environmental studies and life cycle analysis
  • Economic studies and life-cycle cost analysis
  • Social and ethical studies


Who can participate?

The contest is open to all PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, as long as their PhD title has been awarded no more than four years before the contest deadlineJanuary 15, 2020 (12am CET).


How to participate?

  • Participants will have three weeks to submit one picture along with an abstract by completing this registration form.
  • Pictures must transmit the potential, contribution and importance of your research in the field of renewable energies’ conversion and storage into clean fuels and chemicals.
  • Both color and monochrome images will be accepted.
  • File size: entries should not exceed a file size of 20MB.
  • File format: JPEG / 150 dpi recommended.
  • Abstracts should be written as a “stand-alone” text, in a language easily understandable by a broader public and must not contain any confidential data.
  • Text length: 250 words max.


Evaluation criteria:

  • All the photo entries will be posted along with their respective abstracts on SUN-ERGY Instagram account (to be created) on January 16, 2020. Instagram users will be able to vote for their favorite picture by “liking” it, until January 22, 2020 (12am CET).
  • The 3 most- “liked” pictures will undergo an award panel’s selection formed by members of the SUN-ERGY board.
  • Originality, creativity and research excellence will be the main criteria to evaluate both pictures and abstracts.
  • In addition, impact of the research will also be evaluated.



  • The winner will be awarded one travel grant of €500, in order to give a talk and present his/her work at the SUN-ERGY kickoff event on February 5-6, 2020 in Brussels. This grant is intended to cover travel, subsistence allowances, etc.
  • All the photo entries along with their respective abstracts will be showcased in form of a photo exhibition, during the SUN-ERGY kickoff event in Brussels.



  • Applications that are not complete or not complying with the eligibility criteria will be automatically rejected.
  • The winner and 2 reserve-list participants will be announced both on SUNRISE and ENERGY-X websites and social media channels by January 24, 2020. The awarded candidate will have 3 working days to present any required supporting documents (e.g. PhD certificate, etc.).
  • If a successful applicant fails to provide all the required documents, the award will automatically be transferred to the next candidate in the reserve list (under the same approach).


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