Engaging with Energy Poverty in Early Career: Eaga Charitable Trust’s final grant awarded to the Fuel Poverty Research Network

Eaga Charitable Trust Logo

NEWS RELEASE 9th April 202

The Fuel Poverty Research Network (FPRN) has been awarded funding from the Eaga Charitable Trust for a 3 year project to support postgraduate students, early career researchers and early career practitioners. The project aims to contribute to efforts to tackle fuel and energy poverty through original research, publication and participation in events, conferences and symposia. Entitled ‘Engaging with Energy Poverty in Early Career’ (EPEC), it will see the FPRN award in the region of twenty small research grants across two rounds of funding and will also award up to twenty bursaries to enable those in their early career to engage with the international debate around fuel and energy poverty by attending and contributing to conferences and events. Opportunities to apply for funding under the EPEC project will be advertised in the autumn.

David Kidney, Chair of Eaga Charitable Trust, said “This will be the Trust’s final grant award before it closes in May. For many years we have supported academics and practitioners in the early stages of their careers, by co-hosting pan-European early career researchers’ symposiums, funding bursaries and awarding research grants. We are delighted that the Trust’s remaining funds will be allocated to developing work to support early career researchers, and the Fuel Poverty Research Network is uniquely placed to undertake this project.”

Dr Aimee Ambrose, Chair of the Fuel Poverty Research Network explained: “What’s distinctive about this project is that it will require academics and practitioners to work together to access the research funding. We hope that these partnerships between the academic and practice communities will create greater scope for policy impact and influence in connection with fuel poverty research.”

The project will be led and delivered by the FPRN Trustees and will be overseen by an Independent Advisory Committee comprised of fuel and energy poverty experts of international repute. 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Eaga Charitable Trust is an independent grant-giving trust that supports research which focuses on understanding and addressing the causes and effects of fuel poverty.  The Trust will close in May 2020 and, to ensure that its impact continues into the future, it has produced an online research archive and a range of resources directed at policy makers and practitioners which can be found at http://www.fuelpovertylibrary.info/.  For further information about the Trust, contact Naomi Brown, Trust Manager: e-mail eagact@aol.com; tel. 01539 736477.
  1. FPRN was created in April 2016 with the intention of fostering dialogue between research and practice. This has been realised through seven events around the UK and the creation of a lively email list (191 members currently). In 2020 we will deliver our first intentional event in Portugal with funding from the EU Engager COST Action. In 2019 the organisation became a registered charity and amongst its objectives is the provision of support to researchers and practitioners early in their career. For further information about the FPRN, please visit our website at: https://www.fuelpovertyresearch.net/. You can contact Aimee Ambrose, Chair of the FPRN at: aimee@fuelpovertyresearch.net; tel. 07771 615810.

Farewell to Eaga CT and new beginnings for FPRN

FPRN’s Aimee Ambrose speaking at the House of Lords event

On 16th October 2019, the FPRN committee headed to London en mass to help celebrate 25 years of Eaga Charitable Trust at the House of Lords. We were joined by esteemed colleagues from far and wide including representatives of the academic, policy and VCS communities.

This was a bitter-sweet occasion as it marked the closure of the trust, which has provided much needed dedicated fuel poverty research funding for a quarter of a century. I would imagine that when the Trust was established, the founding trustees imagined (and hoped) that fuel poverty would soon be consigned to history. However, it won’t surprise anyone within the FPRN community to learn that it has endured and evolved to become what can only be described as a wicked problem afflicting the UK (and many other countries around the world) winter after winter.

Together we celebrated the important and sometimes risky research that the Trust have funded when mainstream funders wouldn’t. We celebrated the new knowledge and breakthroughs created and the vital insights gained. We celebrated the important research careers that the trust has supported through bursaries and grants. We mourned the loss of the only dedicated fuel poverty research funder at a time when ~2.5 million households in England are in fuel poverty and when the (international) community of researchers willing to dedicate their work to the eradication of the problem is greater than ever. 

It was a big day for the FPRN committee as trustee Dr Graeme Sherriff launched the incredible resource that is the online Fuel Poverty Research Library. This makes available all the outputs funded by Eaga Charitable Trust over its 25 year life, in the form of a library structured by key themes, a set of guides for policy makers, and catchy animations. It also includes a new study on future directions for fuel poverty research and a survey of researchers who benefits from the support of Eaga CT.

Fuel Poverty Library themes
The online Fuel Poverty Research Library

FPRN Chair Aimee Ambrose gave a speech thanking Eaga CT for their investment towards the eradication of fuel poverty  and for their support for the individual careers of network members. She implored the audience, which included politicians, civil servants and many policy influencers, to finally consign fuel poverty to history. She talked about how the FPRN had been inspired by Eaga CT to champion early career researchers and practitioners working in the field to ensure that the brightest minds are brought to bear on the problem. 

The event marked an ending for Eaga CT but a new beginning for the FPRN as it enters its first year as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or CIO, gears up to its 7th event in Cardiff in November and it’s first international conference in 2020. At the event, we made an important pledge to help, in some small way, to fill the gap left by Eaga CT by fostering a new generation of professionals determined to consign fuel poverty to history and ensure it does not become a defining feature of their present. We also pledged to continue to unite academic, policy and practice in their shared commitment to end the misery.

Farewell to Eaga CT – we will do all we can to uphold your legacy and ensure your high standards live on. 

Dr Aimee Ambrose, Chair of Trustees
October 2019