UCL Grand Challenges


How can we improve South-North collaborations in energy and development research?

Creating an inclusive forum for discussion on energy and development research.

Row of solar panels

1 September 2021


Grant: Grand Challenges Small Grants
Year awarded: 2021-22
Amount awarded: £4,999


  • Prof Yacob Mulugetta, STEaPP, Engineering 
  • Jennifer Cronin, Institute Sustainable Resources, Bartlett

Energy and development are intrinsically multi-facetted challenges and there is clear evidence that inclusive, interdisciplinary research is needed to in order to deliver a just transition, and to avoid unintended negative consequences of well-meaning efforts. 

While much research is collaborative between research insitutions in the global North and the global South, and many involve a space for reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the projects, there is a missing dimension to these discussions: An open conversation is needed on how we can better achieve this diversity in a situation where there is uneven funding and access to resources, and differing research priorities. To address this, this project will be embedded within the UCL-based Energy and Development Group (EDG).

The project aims to: 

1.Create an inclusive forum for open discussion between researchers in the global South and global North, examining experiences of collaborations in energy and development research, including when it works best and how they should be improved.
2. Co-create recommendations for improving collaborations, including how to overcome any structural barriers, targeted to researchers and funders.
3. Establish a network of researchers that will develop a strategy for improved South-North collaborations. This will build on the work of intiatives such as the LCEDN, fully centering the voices and views of global South researchers in this conversation. 

Image credit: Pixaby/andreas160578

Outputs and Impact

  • Awaiting outputs and impacts.