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.
This report explores the current state of gender balance in UK energy research. Researchers looked at the data and talked to female energy researchers about their experience of securing research funding.
UKERC researcher Caterina Brandoni shares some lessons learned in the one-year project Women Buying Green.
In this blog, Zoya Pourmirza describes the workshop they hosted on Heat as a Service (HaaS) bringing together Energy System Catapult, Bristol Energy, Citizens Advice, UKERC's Heat Network, EPSRC and more.
by Long Seng To 03 Oct 2019
Many low-income countries are vulnerable to natural hazards, long-term processes of ecological degradation, and global climate change. Project lead Long Seng To, of Loughborough University, writes, with an accompanying short film.
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 has now been launched.
Networking Fund Event, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, 24 October 2019
Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Ulster University, Belfast, United Kingdom
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, 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