Nature Middle East | House of Wisdom



The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) is a collaborative project set up in Jordan under the auspices of UNESCO.

The member states are Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine, and Turkey, with Iran and the UAE in the final stages of becoming full members too.

According to SESAME’s website, the project aims to promote international collaboration in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region using synchrotron light for basic and applied research in physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, environmental and medical investigations, archaeological studies and other research areas of relevance to the member states.

Seven Beamlines have been approved for the first operational phase of the third generation 2.5 GeV Electron storage ring of SESAME. These are:

1. Protein crystallography

2. X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) and X-ray fluorescence(XRF)

3. Infrared spectro-microscopy

4. Soft X-ray photoemission and photo-absorption spectroscopy

5. Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) / Wide angle X-ray scattering(WAXS)

6. Powder diffraction

7. Extreme ultraviolet (EUV).

SESAME is joining up with IAEA now to offer a “capacity building project” in the operation of SESAME to build local talents from the member states who can run and use the Centre in the future. As part of this project, they are offer fellowships to young scientists from SESAME member states to carry out research on any of the seven beamlines above in any of several well-established synchrotron radiation laboratories around the world.

To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must:

1) Be nationals of SESAME and IAEA members (Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority and Turkey)

2) Have a PhD or evidence of being engaged in research for a doctorial thesisis in any physicla or biological science.

3) Be able to work effectively in a multicultural environment with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and technicians.

4) Have excellent English – both written and oral.

5) Have good communication skills

6) Be willing to travel abroad (obviously!)

Interested applicants need to submit the following in English

1) A completed application form.

2) A detailed CV, detailing academic qualifications and major fields of training and research they were (and are) involved in.

3) A list of publications with an asterisk against the five most significant ones

4) At least two recommendation letters from experienced scientists who know the applicant’s work.

There are only four fellowships available right now for a duration of six months each during 2011. So if you plan on applying, you better hurry up because the deadline for applications is 15 October 2010.


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