Bristol Sustainable Energy Research Fund opens for round 2

Applications are invited for research proposals on the topic of ’people and energy’

30 April 2020

More detail about the fund, guidance for applicants and application forms can be found on the BSERF website here.


Academic researchers are invited to apply for grants of up to £5,000 to support research that contributes to the development of a more sustainable, equitable and democratically accountable energy system in the South West of England.

The Bristol Sustainable Energy Research Fund (BSERF) is now open for applications as part of a second round of funding, awarding between £500 and £5,000. The deadline for submissions is 14 June 2020 and successul recipients will be announced in early July.

Bristol Energy Coop and CSE, the organisations behind BSERF, are particularly interested to hear from researchers with proposals that support practical steps to building a more sustainable economy.

"We're delighted to partner with Bristol Energy Cooperative in launching another round of BSERF” said CSE's Graham McGrath.

"The research published in the first round made significant contributions to the discourse around energy system participation. We’re excited to see what further research activity can be supported on the topic of 'people and energy', which can range from research into fuel poverty policy to sparking community energy action and anything in between".

Further information and an application forms can be found on the BSERF website www.bserf.org.uk.

Previously funded projects include:

  • Energy Publics: mapping public participation in Bristol's energy transition, Dr Jake Barnes.
    It is increasingly recognised that the process of transforming energy systems will require the increased engagement and involvement of 'the public'.

    This project explored key patterns and trends within regional energy participation and revealed how participation is being led by various organisations from across all sectors; employs multiple formats (consultations, talks, protests etc.); covers a large variety of issue spaces (community participation, fuel poverty, housing, nuclear etc.); and spans all three areas of the energy system (supply, distribution and use) to various extents.
  • Fuel Stories: a community energy engagement model, Dr Elaine Ford. 
    This project developed a model for community engagement that sought to involve marginal or disadvantaged groups in locally-owned community energy projects. The project ran a series of engagement workshops in some of the most disadvantaged areas in Bristol and used visual elicitation techniques to encourage people to reflect on how energy has shaped their lives and to share their own 'fuel stories'.

The full research reports and presentations can be found here.

The fund is open to experienced researchers at postdoctoral level and above and applicants do not have to be based in South West England, so long as their research outcomes are relevant and applicable in that region.

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