Research Committee for Phase 4 Announced

29 Jan 2020

The Research Committee, encompassing a wide range of disciplines and skills will be responsible for overseeing the allocation of the funding via a flexible Research Fund. It will play an important role in developing the UKERC Phase 4 research programme

The Committee will be chaired by Joanne Wade of The Association for Decentralised Energy, and is comprised of nine members.

Operation of the Committee

The Committee will operate formally as a sub-committee of the UK Advisory Board. Their main tasks will be to:

  • advise on research strategy, and priorities for the fund;
  • advise the Research Coordination Team on the specification of the calls for research proposals;
  • assess the proposals - selected through peer review - against the objectives of UKERC’s overall research programme.

Members were selected according to criteria including a distinguished track record of relevant research with an international reputation; demonstrated experience and understanding of, interdisciplinary research; knowledge and experience relevant to the energy sector; and the desire to have a balanced set of expertise within the Committee.

Reflecting UKERC’s interdisciplinary approach, membership of the Committee reflects a wide range of disciplines including: physical science; biological science, environmental science; engineering; social science; and economics.

The members are:

Rebecca Ford - University of Strathclyde 

Geoff Hammond - University of Bath 

George Day - Energy Systems Catapult 

Sara Walker - Newcastle University

Jen Roberts - University of Strathclyde

Abhishek Asthana - Sheffield Hallam University 

Paul Brockway - University of Leeds

Xinfang Wang - University of Birmingham

Monica Giulietti - Loughborough University


The aims of the Fund
  • to allow the research programme to develop flexibility in the light of new scientific insights or external developments (e.g. in energy policy);
  • to bring a wider range of researchers and disciplines into UKERC’s research programme, including researchers from outside the ‘traditional’ energy community;
  • to promote integration in the UKERC research programme, and to fill gaps where needed;
  • to build collaborations between the UKERC research community and other research communities – including other energy researchers, groups and centres; and
  • to scope and develop new research agendas in partnership with funders, the research community and other stakeholders.


Operation of the Fund

The Research Fund will support research that is an integral part of UKERC’s overall research programme. UKERC will therefore issue targeted calls for proposals for interdisciplinary, whole systems research rather than general, responsive mode calls within the broad area of energy. The invitations will specify the objectives of the research, the extent to which it is expected to build research capacity and the contribution it is expected to make to UKERC’s research programme. Bids may be rooted within an individual discipline but will be expected to contribute to UKERC’s interdisciplinary research programme.

It is expected that there will be three rounds of funding for larger projects, starting in 2020, 2021 and 2022. This will allow UKERC to respond to changing circumstances and build on the analytical tools and approaches developed early in Phase 4. We would expect individual research projects to run from between one and three years. Consortium bids, as well as those from individuals or single institutions, would be considered. Bidders must be eligible to hold Research Council awards.


Have your say

During their first meeting the outcomes of the flexi fund workshop and the online survey will be discussed. In order to ensure as wide a range of views as possible, we are inviting individuals within the energy sector to submit their ideas online. If you would like to help shape our flexible fund, why not have your say by taking our online survey.

To take our online survey click here.