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Digital illustration of a house as part of a landscape

Energy SHINES (Energy Social sciences and Humanities Insights for Non-Energy Sectors) is funded by the UK Energy Research Centre to bring social sciences and humanities insights to bear on the energy-related challenges faced by ‘non-energy’ sectors as they transition to net-zero, and to do so by foregrounding the voices of women SSH researchers.

Energy SHINES will focus exclusively on the work of women working within the social sciences and humanities. Research on energy transitions is almost exclusively centered  on technical disciplines, mostly dominated by men. We’ll bring new voices and perspectives to bear on real-world energy challenges in water, buildings, housing, local and national government, product safety and standards, digital health and travel.

Energy SHINES is a partnership led by Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, working with five external stakeholder organisations: the UK government, the National Health Service, Yorkshire Water, Cambridgeshire County Council, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Each of these ‘non energy’ organisations faces significant energy-related challenges as it transitions to net-zero. Each organisation brings a particular challenge to the project. Women doctoral researchers will contribute insights from the diverse range of social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines, towards addressing this challenge.

We will hold a one-day Policy Challenges Workshop in February 2023, to bring around 30 women SSH doctoral researchers into conversation with our partners. We will have facilitated brainstorming around each of the partners’ specific challenges, and groups of workshop attendees will report back with SSH insights, approaches and useful resources. This will form the foundation for more focussed work on each challenge, undertaken by six researchers who will be offered placements for five weeks within partner organisations.


A report will be produced in 2023 outlining how SSH insights have contributed to meeting our partners’ energy-related challenges, and a series of targeted briefs (two per placement) containing challenge-specific recommendations for our partners and the sectors they represent., to be shared as the project progresses.

Energy SHINES will generate capacity building and insights for other non-energy organisations targeting a transition to net zero, the multidisciplinary energy SSH community, who will benefit from these industry-academia partnerships tackling real-world challenges and women doctoral researchers in energy SSH.

Project team