UKERC Interdisciplinary Review: Research Report

31 Mar 2015

In an uncertain political and economic outlook for energy research, a commitment to independent, holistic and interdisciplinary research becomes ever more salient. Yet there are powerful ‘transaction costs’ and barriers to interdisciplinary research, and the resonance of UKERC’s experience with other similar research initiatives suggests that some rather well-reported challenges have yet to be adequately addressed.

This report presents the results of a project which reviewed UKERC’s interdisciplinary research capacities and achievements, in terms of strengths, weaknesses and scope for improvement. The project included a review of the literature on interdisciplinary energy research, a review of the experiences of other similar interdisciplinary energy and climate change research initiatives in the UK, a facilitated group discussion, an online survey, and a number of semi-structured interviews. As well as this report, ongoing analysis of the project findings is linking the UKERC interdisciplinary experience to other developments in energy and climate change publicly-funded research, and to wider, more conceptually-informed issues in the interdisciplinary studies research literature.