Supergen Energy Networks Hub

ECR Seedcorn Fund: Women & Non Binary PI

Based on the mission of the Supergen Energy Networks Hub to enhance equality of opportunity, the hub works towards improving the balance of protective characteristics, including, but not limited to, increasing the diversity of PIs and research teams across our sector/project. Currently within the hub the proportion of women led research projects is 25%, we know that this is not a reflection of the skills,  knowledge and capabilities of women working in our sector and we’d like to address this.  The issue of women PIs was highlighted in a recent report published by EPSRC acknowledged that ‘women are under-represented in EPSRC’s Principal Investigator applicant pool’ and that ‘EPSRC receives consistently low numbers of applications from women’.

The ECR Seedcorn Fund team recently awarded 4 projects, to ECR's who identify as women or non-binary, working in energy networks research across the UK!

Funded Projects

Congratulations to our recently awarded project partners:

  • Mana Hosseinzadehlish, University of Bristol
  • Shivangi Sharma, Birmingham University
  • Olamide Jogunola, Manchester Met University
  • Amy Liu, Queens University, Belfast


The PI for the proposal must identify as a woman or non-binary. However, the remaining team members may be composed as required to achieve the project goals.
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

Awards were available up to a maximum of £5k per project.
Awarded funds must be spent by 30/09/2022 (the end of the Supergen Energy Network Hub project).

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 was Monday, 16 August at 12 noon.

Applications were blind assessed against the funding objectives and assessment criteria detailed below by a panel comprising SEN Hub researchers and ECR committee members. 
The portfolio of projects funded by the call was evaluated to ensure they cover the full breadth of the Hub’s remit

Eligible Costs

Costs that were eligible to be submitted as part of this call included:

  • 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?

If you have any questions or queries about this call, please contact