Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences and leads the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy programme on behalf of all research councils, bringing strategy to UK energy research in support of government targets. It is also the largest public funder of the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). The EPSRC is the RCUK representative on the LCICG.

EPSRC invests in the fundamental research that informs policies and offers major economic opportunities. EPSRC’s support also generates the skilled researchers and business leaders required to drive the transition to a low carbon future.

The RCUK Energy programme brings together the work of EPSRC, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

The programme aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. Its vision is for its research to help solve some of the most serious challenges facing the UK today and in the future. It is investing over £625m in skills research, and knowledge transfer. This includes £543m for research grants and £82m for doctoral training and builds on an investment of £839m over the past eight years.

Priorities are:

  • Securing energy supply - By funding world-class, speculative research to define future energy supply options, including nuclear fusion, hydrogen and renewables.
  • Low Carbon Innovation - Working through the Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group, to ensure deployment of alternative energy technologies is informed by physical, economic, social and natural sciences research.
  • Enhance Understanding - Enhancing understanding of the social, environmental and economic implications of future energy options
  • Reduce Energy Consumption - Helping to reduce energy consumption and demand through the development of behavioural, governance, market and technological advances informed by a whole system understanding.
  • Generate New Skills - Building capacity of skilled people to deliver new energy futures through training and development of new researchers, policymakers and business leaders.
  • Build International Partnerships - Continuing to build and sustain international links with key countries.