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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R007071/1
Title: UKERC Whole Systems Networking Fund
Principal Investigator: Watson, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Magee, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Research Office
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 May 2017 Ends: 31 December 2019 Value (£): 1,548,306
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Mar 2017 Whole Energy Systems Networking Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Despite the increasing attention paid to interdisciplinarity and whole systems research within the RCUK energy research portfolio, the Scientific Advisory Committee has 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, specific research on a particular technology or within a particular discipline to take into account more fully how their research relates to the whole energy system. Equally, whole systems energy research could make better use of insights from more detailed research. Within this, there is a desire to provide greater opportunities for early career researchers to get involved, and to ensure that any activities to address this problem encourage diversity.

This proposal for a Whole Systems Networking Fund has been developed to meet this need following a request to UKERC from the Research Councils. It has benefitted from consultation with senior energy academics funded by the RCUK energy programme.

The Fund's activities will be delivered in three main phases over two years:

1. An engagement phase. This will involve promoting the objectives of the networking fund to the research community, consulting them about potential themes, and laying the foundations for calls for proposals. This phase will also involve some activities led by the UKERC HQ team including a review of best practice on integration of specific and energy systems research; mentoring and training on research communication; and activities to improve the articulation between communities working on decision making tools and those working in more specific and specialist energy fields.

2. A delivery phase that will involve a series of calls for small and large networking grant proposals. A steering group composed of leading researchers from across the energy research community will advise on the calls and on the selection of projects for funding. Clear criteria for funding will be developed and applied, with an emphasis on promoting inclusion, interdisciplinarity, innovation and impact. Once commissioned, these projects will be actively managed by UKERC's expended HQ team to ensure that they meet their objectives and maximise their impacts.

3. An analysis phase which will involve work to learn lessons from projects, to maximise the impact of the Fund as a whole, including through a final event for academic, policy, industry and other stakeholders.

To deliver the Fund, the UKERC HQ team will be expanded with an additional two people to engage and advise the energy research community, and to ensure effective administration, management and communication of project activities. The governance of the Fund will be via a new Fund Committee comprising leading energy academics. A number of candidates have already agreed to serve on this committee.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk