Progressing new voices and gender balance in energy research

05 Dec 2019

Diversity in research

Ensuring diversity in research and innovation is vital for effective delivery of the Government’s Clean Growth, and broader Industrial Strategies. As the Industrial Strategy argues, organisations with the highest levels of diversity are 15% more likely to outperform their rivals.

The Whole Systems Networking Fund

Over the past two and a half years, the UK Energy Research Centre has managed £1.5m of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding through the Whole Systems Networking Fund (WSNF). It has worked with stakeholders from universities, public-private partnerships, and NGOs, to pilot a model to diversify the UKRI energy portfolio through inclusiveness, encouraging gender balance and the nurturing of new voices and ideas.

Key findings

This report details the operation of the fund and provides an overview of the funded projects. It also summarises the key learning from the programme, grouping findings into the following categories:

  • Measures to broaden the talent pool: particularly around gender
  • Connecting disciplinary focused and whole systems energy research
  • Working with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Learn lessons from best practice within the UK and internationally

At the conclusion of the Whole Systems Networking Fund, 80% of the funding had been allocated to projects led by women.  Demonstrating that with the appropriate mechanisms in place mainstreaming gender balance
across the energy portfolio is achievable.

For a summary of all the projects undertaken please download the report below.

WSNF Project Highlights