Supergen Energy Networks Hub

ECR Seedcorn Funding Scheme



We are delighted to announce the first round of our ECR Seedcorn fund.  The ECR Seedcorn Fund team wishes to award a total of £30k of grant money to approximately 10 projects. 

Aims and objectives

The Seedcorn Fund aims to support ECRs to develop new research ideas within the remit of the hub or advance ECR career development. The objectives are to support proposals that are:

  • Able to demonstrate a strategic alignment with the ECR’s development within the Energy Networks field;
  • Provide an opportunity to develop new knowledge, ideas or skills that will lead to future work;
  • Can enable unusual and creative solutions to problems encountered by ECRs.


We take a broad view of what counts as an ECR, spanning from PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, through to academics at the start of their careers. Broadly, if you consider yourself an ECR then so do we.

  • The applicant must be based at a UK Higher Education Institution eligible to hold Research Council awards. Postgraduate students can apply directly as a PI, but will need to include their supervisor as a partner on the proposal.
  • We welcome applications on any relevant topic within the remit of the hub and the ECR committee, from all subject areas that meet the aims and objectives above.

Funding Available

Typically, awards will be up to a maximum of £5k available per grant. Awarded funds must be spent within 12 months of the award.

Application Process

To apply for the ECR Seedcorn fund, please complete the online application form, noting the word limits, and include a 2-page CV to demonstrate ECR eligibility. The deadline for applications for this first round will be on Friday 13th November 2020 at 12 noon.

These will be blind assessed against the funding objectives and assessment criteria detailed below by a panel comprising SEN Hub researchers and ECR committee members. Successful applicants will aim to be informed by Monday 21st December.

The portfolio of projects funded by the call will also be evaluated to ensure they cover the full breadth of the Hub’s remit

Eligible Costs

Costs that are eligible to be submitted as part of this call include:

  • Staff costs - researcher and technician time
  • Consumables - components, apparatus, data
  • Travel costs - travel, accommodation, subsistence
  • Career development - courses, networking events

Indirect costs at institutions will not be eligible


At the completion of the project, awardees will be expected to deliver a two-page report on the outcomes from the project, a one-minute video showing how the funding supported their work and development, and an impact blog post for the Hub website.

Assessment Criteria

  • Is there a clear rationale behind the project?
  • Does the proposed work fit with the aims of the SEN Hub and the ECR Committee objectives?
  • What is the overall quality of the proposed research?
  • What will this project produce that will add value to the wider research community in the hub?
  • How novel, exciting and creative is the proposed work?
  • How will the proposed work support the ECR’s career development?
  • Does the proposed project have the potential to lead to strong future developments?
  • Is the planned activity and expenditure realistic and achievable within the planned period?

Please use the online form to submit your application for seedcorn funding.

For further enquires please contact Sam Williamson