To address the challenge of decarbonisation and fully realise the aspirations of the Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth Strategy it is essential that the potential and expertise of all energy researchers is mobilised; including ensuring that women are not under-represented. The 1992 report 'Realising our potential: a strategy for science, engineering and technology', identified that there is ‘a widespread waste of talent and training, throughout industry and academia, due to the absence of women. Women are the country’s biggest single, most under-valued and therefore under-used human resource’. Data on gender equality in research & innovation (R&I) in Europe suggests that there has been limited progress since the report (European Commission, 2016).
In order to establish and explore if women are under-represented in energy research this project will carry out analysis of gender balance in the energy research portfolio, engage with female energy researchers across career stage regarding their lived experience and review current and potential solutions.
This will include creating a database of energy research funding over the last five years which identifies gender, PI/Co-I, career stage and value of funds. Funder policies and approaches to promoting gender equality, including membership of funding boards, will be analysed and a series of interviews and workshops will be conducted with female energy researchers from across the energy portfolio. The proposal is being developed collaboratively with UKRI and we will work with existing gender bids funded by UKERC.
A report will be produced which provides an evidence base to explore the issues, discusses the problems, reviews current solutions, highlights existing good practice, and makes recommendations. This report aims to support decision-making by funders seeking to progress gender balance in their portfolios.
This project aims to provide a rich (qualitative and quantitative) evidence base regarding the gender balance in the energy research portfolio. This includes analysis of funding allocated by UKRI, EU Horizon 2020 funded projects led by UK institutions and projects directly funded by BEIS; as well as analysis of grant giving bodies and panels. This will provide multiple lens through which to consider gender and funding decisions. The aim is to highlight any absence of gender balance in a way that drives change.
How findings will be used
The findings of the database, interviews and workshops, and the final report, will support decision-making by funders seeking to (1) progress gender balance in their portfolios; and (2) take steps to ensure all available expertise is deployed in advisory roles.
Ultimately the findings of this project aim to contribute to increasing the diversity of energy researchers, ensuring that the maximum amount of talent is realised. As well as the direct benefits to energy research, this has the potential to enhance the image of UK R&D as an innovative and open enterprise that inspires participation.
Related Publications (2)
Research Report 11 Jul 2019
Regen has run the Solar Commission, a project that has been set up as part of the UKERC Whole Systems Network Fund. This report presents the conclusions of the Commission.
Two weeks ago we published this report on the challenge of rapidly decarbonising our energy system can’t be addressed if only half of the population is involved.
Heating engineers are absolutely central to heating in the UK and are therefore going to be a huge part of the UK’s heat transformation (if it happens), writes Richard Lowes.
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.
Networking Fund Event, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 16 September 2019
IVUGER, London South Bank University, United Kingdom
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