Energy

EPSRC recognises that many research disciplines within its remit may have applications in energy that may not always be obvious and that interdisciplinary research is often required for major advances in energy. We therefore welcome Fellowship applications in Energy from candidates with a strong research track record within an individual EPSRC discipline. A willingness and ability to work across disciplines will also be necessary for many energy applications. We do not expect all candidates, particularly those at post-doctoral and early career stages, to have experience in applying their research to energy challenges. However, your Fellowship proposal should clearly lay out the importance of your proposed research to one of the areas detailed below.

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.

Please note the following areas will close on the 14 August 2017

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (Early and Established Career fellowships only)

This research area covers the study of electrochemical devices which generate electron flow through an internal redox reaction. It includes the materials, fuel and utilization of such devices. These devices combined with new low-carbon fuel sources, such as hydrogen, are vital if the UK is to decarbonise its domestic heat and transport sectors.

Applicants should demonstrate how their proposed research relates to significant RCUK Energy programme investments in this area such as the SUPERGEN Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Hub.

Marine Energy research (Early Career and Established Career fellowships only)

Research relating to the following areas:

  • Wave and/or tidal devices
  • Wave/Tidal arrays
  • Marine energy systems
  • Interaction of devices/arrays with the marine environment

Offshore Wind research (Early and Established Career fellowships only)

Research relating to the following areas:

  • Offshore wind devices
  • Offshore wind arrays
  • Offshore wind systems
  • Offshore device/array/systems interactions with the marine environment

Applicants should show an alignment with our leading centres in their individual research areas and be based at departments who conduct multidisciplinary research in the context of the wider energy landscape.