Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is the practice of ensuring fair treatment for all. At UKERC, we aim to foster an inclusive culture that values diversity and maintains a working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of our staff, researchers, students, partners and stakeholders are respected. As an interdisciplinary research consortium, we are committed to involving diverse groups in the conversation around our future energy system.

The sections below outline our EDI policies and key contacts. It is important to note that, as we are a consortium, we cannot enforce policies regarding training or recruitment at our participating institutions. However, we fully expect our partners to have undertaken diversity training, particularly in unconscious bias (and allyship if available), and to ensure that recruitment panels are diverse.

We are also committed to providing opportunities that advance diversity in energy. For example, in November 2023 we delivered an inclusive writing retreat to help build capacity and develop skills so that attendees could take advantage of authorship opportunities in the sector.

EDI Plan and Goals

These documents lay out our approach to EDI within the consortium. It has been approved by UKERC’s Co-Directors and UKRI. It will be reviewed annually by our EDI Champion and relevant HQ staff.

However, we recognise that UKERC is not as diverse as it should be. The Plan is therefore a ‘living document’ and we invite the wider community, particularly underrepresented groups, to provide feedback. We will consider all comments received. Please contact Jessica Bays with any suggestions.

Our EDI Goals represents a mix of pre-existing goals and goals that have been added following the writing of the EDI Plan and our Mid-term Review Action Plan, as well as on suggestion from members of the EDI SubCo to date.

You can read UKERC’s EDI Plan here and the EDI Goals here.

Useful resources

We are keen to ensure that UKERC outputs are as open as possible and do not exclude based on the format or language used. We have therefore compiled a list of resources that can be used to help in the development of activities and outputs:

Inclusive language resources:

Accessible events guidance:

Key contacts


UKERC’s EDI activities are managed by our Operations Manager, Jessica Bays, with support from our Engagement Officer, James Curwen. James also helps manages the Whole Systems Networking Fund.

Research Programme

Four of UKERC’s Co-Directors sit on our sub-committee for EDI. Their role is to advise HQ on EDI activities. They are Jason Chilvers, Jianzhong Wu, Jillian Anable and Ronan Bolton. Recognising that we needed to bring more diversity to this group, we opened up membership to the wider consortium in September 2022. The sub-committee now has several new members from across UKERC’s research programme.

Xinfang Wang is UKERC’s EDI Champion, a representative from the research programme who advocates for EDI across the consortium. Her primary role is to hold UKERC accountable to the pledges made in the EDI Plan and she works closely with HQ on EDI issues. If you have any concerns related to EDI in UKERC’s research programme, please contact Xinfang.


Our complaints process is outlined in the EDI Plan under ‘Bullying and Harassment’. Complaints must be made via host institutional processes, but where the complaint arises from UKERC activities, please contact the Co-Director at the relevant institution for support. In their absence, or if they are involved, UKERC’s Director Rob Gross and Operations Manager Jessica Bays will ensure appropriate support.

Flexible and remote working

Our commitment to EDI extends to flexible working. We aim to enable all staff and participants with caring commitments to join our events and fully engage with our activities.

If staff or participants require additional care arrangements to attend UKERC meetings or events, we will (within what is permissible under the constraints of our grant) seek to reimburse any expenses that go beyond ordinary care. This will be done in line with EPSRC’s guidelines for supporting carers. Please contact Jessica for more details.

Many of us have been working remotely since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. While remote working has its benefits, we recognise it also brings many challenges (outlined in more detail in the EDI Plan). We therefore aim to model best practice in remote working by encouraging our staff to:

  • Only log on during their contracted hours.
  • Schedule meetings/events at inclusive times, i.e. during UKERC’s core hours of 10:00-15:00, being mindful of external circumstances like school holidays and religious festivals.
  • Be mindful of meeting/event length and include regular breaks to combat Zoom Fatigue.
  • Turn their cameras on while speaking/presenting so attendees can see their face, as well as use captions if possible, as this is inclusive for participants with disabilities or who are neurodivergent.
  • Blur their backgrounds or use virtual ones (provided images are appropriate for a work context) if it makes them more comfortable.