Encouraging physical sciences research to meet energy needs (EPSRC)

The need to encourage the physical sciences to support energy research

As highlighted in the published Physical Sciences Portfolio, there are multiple research areas within the physical sciences that have the potential to contribute to the energy agenda. Examples include Materials for Energy ApplicationsCatalysisChemical reaction dynamics and mechanisms,Computational and theoretical chemistryElectrochemical sciencesPhotonic materials and metamaterialsSuperconductivitySynthetic coordination chemistry and Synthetic supramolecular chemistry.EPSRC wishes to encourage the physical sciences research community to realise the potential of the disciplines to contribute to the energy agenda. We are looking to researchers to come up with challenging, speculative ideas that go beyond the current research supported by the energy programme whilst addressing the identified needs for energy research.

EPSRC wants to encourage physical sciences researchers to engage with the challenges of energy research. The RCUK Energy Programme has set out the challenges and they include:

  • securing energy supply by funding world-class, speculative research to define future energy supply options, including hydrogen and renewables;
  • low carbon innovation;
  • reducing energy consumption through technological advances informed by a whole system understanding.

Research grant applications wanted

We are looking to the Physical Sciences research community to come up with speculative research ideas to be submitted as a standard research grant applications in areas that offer promise to tackle some of the issues identified by the RCUK Energy Programme.

This is not a special initiative with earmarked funding, rather an encouragement to the community to respond to a need. Applications received will be considered as standard research proposals, but will be ranked in a separate list.

Application content

Applications should address the usual points we require in a grant application including  National Importance which for this area should also include reference to the Government’s 2050 targets where appropriate.

Applications should include the phrase Energy and the Physical Sciences as part of the title (eg “Energy and the Physical Sciences: Characterisation of new energy storage materials” and should follow the guidance for standard research proposals.


Proposals can be submitted at any time, but before 30 September 2012 at the latest to ensure funding decisions are reached before the end of the 2012/2013 financial year.

Further information

For further information please contact: