Published: 13 February 2023 at 12:28
Project looks to expertise of women working in social sciences and humanities
Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) is helping some of the UK’s largest organisations meet the challenge of transitioning to Net Zero through a unique project focusing solely on the expertise of female researchers.
Funded by the UK Energy Research Centre, the Energy SHINES project is being led by ARU’s Global Sustainability Institute, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.
Until now, the majority of research carried out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and meet Net Zero targets, has focused on male-dominated technical disciplines. Energy SHINES will instead use the expertise of women working within social sciences and humanities, who will bring new voices and perspectives to help tackle the issues faced.
Energy SHINES is funding six women PhD researchers to undertake placements with partner organisations – the UK Government, the NHS, Yorkshire Water, Cambridgeshire County Council, and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) – which will see them work intensively on a specific energy-related challenge.
The placements will use social science and humanities expertise to explore issues ranging from how circular economy principles may impact a local authority’s waste disposal statutory duties and financial pressures, to understanding why some interventions are more successful in changing travel behaviours in certain circumstances, locations, or groups of people.
In addition to helping Energy SHINES’ partners, the project will produce reports and recommendations to assist other non-energy organisations as they target a transition to Net Zero.
Project lead Dr Zareen Bharucha, a Senior Research Fellow at ARU’s Global Sustainability Institute, said:
As part of Energy SHINES, ARU is running a policy workshop on 23 February at Homerton College, Cambridge. This event will bring together over 20 female PhD students from across the UK, who will hear from project partners and discuss solutions to problems being faced by organisations outside the energy sector.
Dr Melanie Rohse, a Senior Research Fellow at ARU’s Global Sustainability Institute, said: