The IGNITE Network+ [Innovation and Growth Needs Inclusion and engagement of all Talent in Energy] is a four-year funded EPSRC project which was established in September 2022. It aims to support sustainable, abundant, clean and equitable energy for all by harnessing the talents of energy researchers from all backgrounds.
Research has shown that diversity in the workforce, if managed effectively, increases innovation, brings greater scientific impact and improves economic growth. Increased diversity in energy researchers will significantly improve our chances of successful transition to net zero by 2050. The current lack of diversity in energy researchers stems not from a lack of interest, talent or ambition in underrepresented individuals, but from systemic inequalities in UK systems and institutions. The IGNITE Network+ will address diversity issues by:
- collecting data that can expose systemic inequality;
- designing, testing and implementing disruptive initiatives; monitoring the success of interventions and activities;
- identifying, disseminating and encouraging good practice.
We will work to support individuals from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds through a mixture of organisational interventions, mentorship, advice and advocacy.
First Flexible Funding call EDI Challenges open:
The first flexible funding call on EDI challenges has now opened. We are inviting proposals for suggestions where data collection, support or interventions are particularly needed. Projects can range from £1,000 to £20,000 at 100% full economic cost (fEC). IGNITE Network+ will fund 80% of the eligible full economic cost (fEC). Projects from 3 to 12 months are envisaged, but other lengths can be considered as appropriate for the proposed work.
The mains aims and objectives of this funding call are to:
- Address an EDI challenge in the energy research sector;
- Generate, design and implement intervention ideas to combat systematic and organisational inequities;
- Collect data in less well researched EDI areas;
- Encourage research collaborations between interdisciplinary teams;
- Foster diverse and inclusive research teams;
- Develop principles and incentives to support EDI initiatives.