Control, Change and Capacity-Building in Energy Systems
European and worldwide energy policy and research are largely influenced by knowledge and disciplines from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Yet the challenges energy transitions entail concern social patterns as well, like individual or organisational behaviour and their management. These issues are covered by energy-related Social Sciences and Humanities (energy-SSH) disciplines. In fact, according to the European Commission (EC) Horizon2020 work programme on energy, knowledge from numerous fields of research is necessary to realise the ambitious goals of energy transitions concerning emissions reductions, renewable energy shares and the concomitant changes in social organisation. In what ways different energy-SSH disciplines design a research challenge related to overarching energy research problems is the objective of this call. Ultimately, it aims at inferring consequences for multi- and interdisciplinary energy-SSH research that serves both the academic and energy policy community.
Therefore, the SHAPE ENERGY platform, represented herein by the partner institution Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), invites European SSH researchers to take part in our ‘Research Design Challenge’. This challenge contains three sub-challenges framed as social science research problems on energy relating to control, change and capacity-building in energy systems (see below). The Research Design Challenge is an attempt to deepen our understanding of interdisciplinarity by analysing how different social sciences and humanities disciplines research the same scientific problem. Across multiple SSH disciplines, up to 15 teams of at least 2 researchers from at least 2 European countries will be selected and funded with up to 2.500 Euros to foster collaboration (funded to cover travel to meet up). In the wake of current EC initiatives, applications to this call for abstracts could be, among others, appealing for researchers who plan on follow-up applications with H2020 or EU-related programmes like COST or Marie Skłodowska-Curie, for instance. We seek your application for an eventual 3.000-4.000 words paper on one of these challenges if you are researching in one of the following SSH disciplines: Business; Communication Studies; Criminology; Demography; Development; Economics; Environmental social science; Education; Gender; History; Human geography; Law; Linguistics/languages; Philosophy; Planning (architecture); Politics; Psychology; Science/tech studies; Sociology; Social anthropology; Social innovation; Social policy; Theology. However we note that it is fine to include SSH disciplines from outside this list.
For the Research Design Challenge, we are interested in your theories, methods and approaches to an energy related research problem from your disciplinary point of view (see list above to qualify). The prerequisite is that you find at least one more partner (individual[s] from European academic institution[s]) from a different European country (H2020 eligible countries) to collaborate on the challenge. The challenge itself is kept relatively general in order for many potential researches being able to connect to it. They relate to the overarching research problems of control, change and capacity-building in energy systems from a social science and humanities perspective (concept and concomitant challenges based on: Büscher/Sumpf 2015, see website download for details). Please consider the following three sub-challenges to relate to:
- Challenge A: From your (disciplinary) point of view, how would you approach the (research and real-world) problem of control in future energy systems? What theories and methods would you apply to research this problem? What approaches would you suggest to act upon this problem?
- Challenge B: From your (disciplinary) point of view, how would you approach the (research and real-world) problem of stability and change toward future energy systems? What theories and methods would you apply to research this problem? What approaches would you suggest to act upon this problem?
- Challenge C: From your (disciplinary) point of view, how would you approach the (research and real-world) problem of capacity-building, i.e. fostering the actions necessary to realise consumer involvement? What theories and methods would you apply to research this problem? What approaches would you suggest to act upon this problem?
Deadline for applications is October 6th, 2017. Please send your application and any questions prior to submission to Patrick Sumpf, ITAS/KIT, Germany (email@example.com).
Eligibility: Please note that each abstract submission must include at least two collaborators, covering between them a single or multiple academic disciplines, and at least two Horizon 2020 eligible countries.
Further details are available here, including elaborate details on the challenges, an indicative timeline, full information on eligibility, and funding guidelines. Note also that the Research Design Challenges will be published online (open access), and that once completed the Collection will be submitted to the EC’s strategy unit for energy research and innovation.