Energy

Fellowship priority areas will be changing as of 30 October 2019 - for the Energy portfolio this will result in a reorganisation of priority areas.  Please see below for upcoming and current priority area details.

Opening 30th October:

Future Electricity Generation (Postdoctoral, Early and Established Career fellowships)

This priority area focuses on the challenges of electricity generation in the context of the UK 2020 and 2050 carbon commitments. We welcome applications concerned with understanding, improving and/or monitoring ways of producing electricity in a clean and sustainable way. This includes both renewable and nuclear power sources. Proposals considering issues around energy transport and storage in this context will also be considered. We recognise the importance of the electricity generation mix in order to achieve these ambitious goals and thus we would like our communities to bear a whole systems approach in mind when developing their proposals.

Energy for Transport (Postdoctoral, Early and Established Career fellowships)

In the context of the UK clean growth strategy, the UK must reduce current emissions from transport sources by 30% by 2032 and by 80% by 2050. It is clear that this challenge will require action in different forefronts, including increasing the efficiency of heavy good vehicles, modernising the aviation, rail and shipping sectors and incorporating alternative fuels into the mix. Applications in the Engineering and Physical Sciences space concerned with understanding, improving and/or monitoring ways of aiding and decarbonising the UK transport system are welcome under this challenge. This area also welcomes applications focusing on alternative fuels and storage of energy for transport purposes, as well as those focused on ways of reducing the impact of the transport emissions.

Energy for Heat (Postdoctoral, Early and Established Career fellowships)

Over a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions originate from the production or removal of heat. Meeting the UK’s emission commitments by 2050 will require a significant decarbonisation of heat from buildings, industrial processes and other sectors. To support underpinning technologies that help achieve this challenge, we welcome applications looking at ways of decarbonising heating and cooling, in terms of enhancing efficiency, improving and understanding heat production, use and extraction, heat storage and alternative ways for heat generation and extraction.

Energy for Industry (Postdoctoral, Early and Established Career fellowships)

Decarbonising and increasing the energy efficiency of UK industries will be key to meeting climate change commitments. In line with the UK government’s proposed plan to support the development, commercialisation and deployment of technologies to address the industrial emission and efficiency challenges, this priority area welcomes proposals concerned with research to underpin and develop the technologies necessary to secure this pathway. We would like to encourage our communities to think creatively around how to address this challenge, which includes energy use and efficiency, but also innovative ways of producing, storing and reutilising energy within industry. Additionally, proposals concerned with ways of reducing the impact of industrial emissions will also be considered.

Current priority areas (closing 30th October):

David Clarke Fellowship (Postdoctoral fellowships only)

The David Clarke Fellowship is co-funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC). Each year at least one fellowship will be awarded.

Applications are invited from researchers applying to post-doctoral fellowships in one of the Energy priority areas. Applicants should meet the specifications for a person at post-doctoral stage and criteria defined for this fellowship. The fellows will benefit from a mentor and will meet annually with a dedicated Advisory group.

Further criteria and benefits of the fellowship can be found at the resources section of this page. 

Bioenergy (Postdoctoral and Early Career fellowships only)

Applications are invited from researchers who fit the post-doctoral or early career person specifications. Applications for fellowships should show that they are aligned with the Energy Programme’s major investments such as the SUPERGEN consortia.

Research topics in this area may encompass: Combustion of biomass, biomass to liquid fuels, gasification of biomass and co-firing.

End-Use Energy Demand (Postdoctoral, Early and Established Career fellowships only)

This embraces energy efficiency measures, reduction in demand for energy, and reduction in demand for energy services / mobility - all of which will contribute to reducing carbon emissions from energy use. It includes research extending from the built environment to industrial processes and products, from materials to design and from markets and regulation to organisational and individual behaviour. Fellows should be engaged in multidisciplinary research embracing engineering (including ICT), social science (behaviour, practices, policies, economics) and involve any sector (buildings, transport, whole systems, industry).

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) (Early Career and Established Career fellowships only)

Research regarding the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from power station and other sources, including air capture, transportation of the CO2, engineering aspects of storage, and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) systems. Proposals should be related to multidisciplinary aspects of CCS. The majority of the research proposed should be in the engineering and physical sciences aspects of CCS and fellows are expected to work closely and engage with the new UK CCS research centre. Please note that in general EPSRC leads on the capture, transport and systems aspects of CCS whilst the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) leads on storage and environmental aspects, with some common ground. If you are unsure whether your proposal fits within EPSRC please use our remit query service.

Offshore Renewable Energy research (Postdoctoral, Early and Established Career fellowships)

The ‘offshore renewable energy’ fellowship  covers the individual technology and common challenges which face the instillation (device and array level), operation, maintenance and decommissioning of technology that uses the natural resource of wind, waves or tide to produce energy. The research can address themes, including:

  • Sustainable use and characterisation of the natural resources
  • Cost reduction ( Edit LCOE , CAPEX reduction, increased yield and reduced OPEX)
  • Site planning, optimised array design, spatial planning, including modelling and design tools
  • Installation and design of static and floating platforms
  • Power systems and transmission technology
  • Anchoring, moorings, cables and umbilical’s – including environmental impact
  • Condition monitoring and remote sensing
  • Array decommissioning
  • De-risking at all stages of project development cycle design and planning
  • Safety of personnel and minimised human presence in hazardous areas

Whilst the majority of the research must cover EPSRC space, applications can be multidisciplinary in nature and not only address technological challenges but also environmental and socio-technical aspects. Applicants are encouraged to engage with the Supergen hub(s) in the area before submitting an application, to enable maximum impact from the research.

Energy Networks (Postdoctoral and Early Career fellowships only)

Applications are invited from researchers who fit the post-doc or early career person specifications. Applications for fellowships should be adventurous in nature and show that they are aligned with the energy themes major investments such as HubNet and the networks grand challenges. Applicants should also aim to network with the wider community.

This research topic focuses on the effect of increases in the use of renewable energy sources on the existing energy supply network and how future network technologies will deal with these challenges. It includes small and medium scale generation networks. This also encompasses optimisation and adaption of the existing system as part of a pathway towards 2050. Power electronics research into the fabrication and engineering of circuits for high power and high voltage applications are included.

Energy Storage (Postdoctoral, Early Career and established career fellowships only)

Energy Storage has recently been highlighted as one of the Eight Great Technologies and EPSRC is seeking to grow our support for the area. Applications for fellowships should show that they are aligned with the energy programmes major investments such as the Energy Storage SuperGen hub, the Storage Grand Challenge projects and the recent capital awards. Applications should show how the research fits within the whole energy system and should seek to link with the energy research community. Where appropriate industrial collaborators should be included.

This topic includes electrical and heat storage as well as other forms such as kinetic energy storage, providing the research also addresses the role within the whole energy system. Synthesis, characterisation and production of new and existing energy storage materials and devices together with their subsequent applications and any socio-economic implications of their use is also covered. Studies related to coupling of energy storage and intermittent sources of energy is inside this area. Hydrogen storage is not covered here as is it covered in Hydrogen and alternative energy vectors.

Energy Systems Integration (Postdoctoral, Early and Established Career fellowships only)

In the context of an ever-changing energy systems landscape where the energy trilemma presents many complex and interconnected challenges such as decarbonisation, an ageing infrastructure and shifts in societal expectations, EPSRC seeks to encourage researchers to address integration across the energy system, using a whole systems perspective to better understand sub-system interdependencies. This area incorporates socio-economic and environmental analyses, with an emphasis on technology to enable future energy systems integration, from the supply of fuels for generation of energy through to the transportation and use of energy.

Hydrogen and Alternative Vectors (Early and Established Career fellowships only)

This fellowship covers generation, storage and utilisation of synthetic chemical energy carriers and synthetic fuels (e.g. hydrogen), including the materials and devices used for their generation and storage and any socio-economic and environmental issues related to these technologies. In particular, applicants should focus on:

  • Hydrogen production at scale, incorporating hydrogen into current infrastructures and linking hydrogen to renewables and whole energy systems
  • Consideration given to the economic and social implications of incorporating hydrogen into the national gas grid  and to specific consequences of hydrogen use at a domestic level
  • Work carried out to understand the impact of hydrogen’s incorporation into the gas grid, from its use in gas turbines to its transmission via the grid both as a pure gas and as an addition to natural gas

Please note, this area replaces “Hydrogen and Fuel Cells” which will remain open until 14 August 2017. 

Nuclear Fission (Postdoctoral and Early Career fellowships only)

This research area covers all aspects of nuclear fission power generation including waste clean-up, decommissioning, regulation, public acceptability, existing operations, new nuclear build, advanced reactor technology, fuel cycle and geological waste disposal.

The UK’s nuclear renaissance is underpinned by a high-quality, vibrant academic base. EPSRC has invested in training the next generation of nuclear science and engineering postgraduates and there is a need to ensure an attractive path into an academic career.

Solar Energy (Postdoctoral and Early Career Fellowships only)

Applications are invited from researchers who fit the post-doctoral or early career person specifications. Applications for fellowships should show that they are aligned with the Energy Programme’s major investments such as the SUPERGEN consortia.

This research topic covers development of devices to harness incident solar radiation and conversion to other vectors or direct use, including solar heating/cooling and all Photovoltaic technologies. This could also encompass areas in socio-economic and environmental issues related to solar technologies eg the public acceptability of large scale deployment of solar cells in the built environment.