Aims of the fund
Funded by EPSRC, the Whole Systems Networking Fund aims to improve equality, communications and collaboration between those working in the field of whole systems energy.
The fund is helping to develop best practice around networking, fostering better representation of UK capacity in whole systems energy research, encouraging fresh voices and building new working relationships within the community.
Watch our animation below to find out why we think this fund is so important.
Energy funding in the UK
The Research Councils currently invest £775m in an extensive portfolio of energy research, encompassing a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, natural science and social science. A key aim has been to support interdisciplinary research that addresses real-world energy challenges. There has also been an increasing emphasis on research that explores important connections between technical, social, environmental and policy dimensions of energy systems.
Despite the increasing attention paid to interdisciplinarity and whole systems research within the UKRI portfolio, the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) have identified the need for further action to ensure that a whole systems approach is more clearly reflected in the portfolio as a whole.
There is a need for those conducting detailed research on a particular technology - or within a particular discipline (e.g. sociology, engineering or materials science) - to take into account more fully how their research relates to the whole energy system. Equally, whole systems energy research (e.g. energy systems modelling or research on energy governance) could make better use of insights from more specific research.
The fund supports projects that are collaborative and cohesive, developing connections across interdisciplinary and disciplinary research and with industry and policy makers. The awarded projects bring new, diverse voices to the table and are moving beyond ‘business as usual’ approaches, tackling some of the geographical and/or social imbalances found in energy research in the UK.
Successful projects also address gender diversity in the UK energy sector. UKERC research has shown that women are significantly underrepresented in grant applications for energy projects. Despite the gender imbalance across the sector, our research shows there is no shortage of qualified female academics in UK energy research.
The fund is now closed to applications, read about the successful projects below.
A collaboration between charity 10:10 Climate Action and professors at Manchester Metropolitan University, a game based on the real life challenges involved in heat decarbonisation is on the horizon.
Blog 09 May 2019
In one of the latest Whole Systems Networking Fund events, the IVUGER network hosted a writing retreat. With the network growing, it was a resounding success...
by Grant Wilson 28 Mar 2019
As we approach the end of this year’s teaching, we are counting down to the inaugural TeachEnergy workshop to start to create a community of practice around teaching energy.
Decarbonising heating systems in the UK presents a major challenge. UKERC and University of Exeter researcher Richard Lowes offers 10 steps to make it a reality.
A UKERC-funded workshop brought together researchers with expertise in energy, environmental and behavioural economics, stakeholders and industry to understand the role of age, latency, gender and how to empower the next generation of elderly women for a transition to low-carbon technologies at the household level.
Networking Fund Event, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM, 9 July 2019
Regen, House of Lords, Houses of Parliament, Parliament Square, London, United Kingdom
Networking Fund Event, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM, 12 June 2019
Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Ulster University , Loughview Suite, Floor H, Block 8 Ulster University Shore Road, Newtownabbey, United Kingdom
Networking Fund Event, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, 21 May 2019
University of Birmingham, Murray Learning Centre, Building R28,University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
9:30 AM 2 May - 2:30 PM 9 May 2019
10:10, Museum of London, United Kingdom
Networking Fund Event, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM, 30 April 2019
10:10, Museum of London, United Kingdom