The UN Sustainable Development Goals have stated the desire to achieve universal electricity access by 2030. With over 80% of those currently without access to electricity in rural and remote locations; of those it is estimated that 65% of these will require off-grid solutions to meet the 2030 target.

In Brazil, the Amazon region has large areas that have no access to grid electricity, with many communities isolated in the rainforest. According to some studies, one of the main inputs needed to improve the quality of life of the river dwellers in the Amazon, stimulating productive activities, preserving the environment, and increasing income, is electric energy. For these locations there is often no alternative but the use of locally available energy sources.

Under the Newton Fund sponsored Researcher Links programme through the British Council, we will be holding a workshop on Off-grid Microgrids for the Electrification of Remote Communities Workshop in Belém, Brazil from the 10th until the 14th September 2018. This workshop aims to provide a strong link between researchers in these academic communities in the UK and Brazil, with a common goal of rural electrification. This will be achieved through the presentation of individual’s research and the co-development of research ideas. We will aim to provide a career development structure for Early Career Researchers in Brazil and the UK, and support the development of collaborative research projects.



  • Off-grid renewable generation sources – photovoltaics, wind, hydropower, biomass
  • Microgrid technology and control – Power electronics and the associated control methodologies
  • Energy policy and economics for remote communities
  • Social impact of both electrification and no electrification on isolated communities
  • Environmental impact of electrification projects
  • Capacity building for remote communities

Key dates and Location

Application Deadline:  Friday 29.June.2018 (GMT)

Notification of Candidates:  Friday 6.July.2018

Workshop: Monday 10th – Friday 14th September

Location: The workshop will take place at the Federal University of Pará campus in Belem, Brazil, which is the capital and largest city of the state of Pará in the country’s north and also the gateway to the River Amazon.

Walking through the streets of Belém, you come to the Cidade Velha (The Old City) or Feliz Lusitânia, one of the major references of culture and history in the State. Between museums, small palaces and mansions, there are beautiful buildings from the time when the extraction of rubber paved the way for wealth and European luxury in Belém. The Forte do Castelo do Senhor Santo Cristo (the Lord Saint Jesus Castle Fortress of the Nativity Scene of Belém), known as the Forte do Presépio (Nativity Scene Fortress), can also be visited.

The religious complex has attractions such as the Sé Cathedral . From this cathedral, every second Sunday in October, one of the largest religious processions in the country begins : the Círio de Nazaré.

Belém is one of those complete cities, with beaches and forests; with cultural hotspots ranging from historical heritage to modern tourist attractions. All of it is harmonized with Pará’s intensity of smells, tastes, customs, sounds and the joy of its tropical people.

(More information about Belem can be found from

Eligibility criteria and application

We invite early and mid-career researchers (less than 10 years post-doctoral work) in universities, and those in the relevant governmental/non-governmental sector working in UK and Brazil in the area of off-grid electrification to apply for this workshop. They will have a research background in the field of rural electrification and microgrids, including the following subject areas: engineering, social science, policy, economics, law, finance, geography.


Participation in the workshop is free. All travel, accommodation and food expenses will be covered by the workshop organisers, supported by the Newton Fund Researcher Links programme, delivered by the British Council.

Application process

Applicants are requested to submit an application form, available here, and submit a short position statement (max 2 pages) along with the application form.

Review process

The applications will be reviewed by a team consisting of the workshop coordinators, mentors and other members of the organising team to assess for suitability for the workshop.

Selection criteria

Maximum 17 participants from the UK and 17 from Brazil will be selected for participation in the workshop. Selection criteria will include, but not be limited to:

  • Less than 10 years since being awarded a PhD – additional merit will be given to those with 5 years or less post-doctoral experience.
  • Experience and relevance of the applicant’s research area to the workshop
  • Motivation and contribution to the aims of the workshop.
  • Long term impact expected through the participation in the workshop.
  • Ability to disseminate workshop’s outcomes.


Image result for CONFAP brazil

The workshop will be hosted by the Federal University of Pará, Belém, in the Alternative Energy Development Group (GEDAE), and coordinated by Prof. Jianzhong Wu (Cardiff University, UK) and Dr Wilson Macêdo (Federal University of Pará, Brazil).