Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 2 - ENERGY21 (UCD ENERGY21 International Training and Career Development Fellowship Programme)

UCD ENERGY21 is an International Training and Career Development Fellowship Programme at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. The Programme is managed by UCD and co-financed through the Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2013-COFUND Programme.
UCD ENERGY21 Fellowship Programme aims to provide excellent Experienced Researchers with a research training experience of highest international standards that will help them to advance their scientific careers within a chosen sector, across academia, industry or public sector, in the broad area of energy. To achieve this aim the Programme is set to:
• Implement an Evaluation and Selection process for the recruitment of ENERGY21 Fellows that is transparent, equitable and fully aligned with the principles of the Charter and Code.
• Provide an attractive and supporting working environment for the awarded Fellows.
• Deliver high quality tailored made training for Fellows that will equip them with skills and experience required to meet their career goals.
• Encourage and facilitate Fellows’ engagement with industry through outgoing host partnerships.
• Ensure that all research conducted by the Fellows adheres to best ethical practice.

The Programme was established to enhance and improve the internationalisation of the European energy research and development sector, support knowledge transfer, and strengthen partnerships between academic research and the private sector.
UCD ENERGY21 offers 21 prestigious two-year Fellowships across three Calls (2014, 2015 and 2016). All Fellowships are based in the UCD Energy Institute and include an outgoing phase to a research performing organisation in any country in the world. The Fellowships are offered to Experienced Researchers in three Fellowship categories: two Incoming (15) and one Reintegration (6). Applicants are free to choose their topic in the broad area of Energy Systems Integration field. Sub-topics include: economics, finance, regulation and policy; modelling; consumer behaviour; resources; built environment; data, sensors and security; water-energy nexus; electricity; gas; optimisation; forecasting; distributed energy systems and energy systems technology.
As part of their Fellowship, all Fellows are required to develop and implement a Career Development Plan together with their PI. UCD Research Skills & Career Development centre will provide Fellows with access to training and development opportunities across four competency areas: Research & Research Management; Personal& Professional Excellence; Teaching, Learning & Mentoring; and Innovation & Transferable Skills. Access to additional training, e.g. specific technical training, which may be required by a Fellow to fulfil their career development goals, will also be made available.
The ENERGY21 programme was officially launched on 12th June 2014 with the first Call for applications being launched on the same day. For the six positions available in Call 1, UCD received 13 applications.
The information about the Programme and its Calls is published on the Programme website ( and disseminated via range of channels: recruitment websites (at the time of Call launch), social media (LinkedIn and Twitter), media, UCD national and international networks, such as IUA and Universitas21, PIs professional networks and direct emailing of potential applicants.
In the first Call, out of total of 13 applications, 3 were ineligible. Applicants represented nine different countries (4 EU and 5 non-EU countries). A panel of expert evaluators from seven different countries and representing diverse sectors evaluated the applications remotely and then discussed and ranked them during the Consensus (Panel Review) meeting held in UCD. Eight applicants were put forward to the final stage of the recruitment – an interview. Three applicants, all Incoming Fellows Level 1 and Level 2, were offered fellowships.
Two Fellows started their Fellowships in October 2015 and one started in July 2016.
The Project Officer visited UCD on 2nd June 2016. The Project Officer met with Management from UCD Research and also had an opportunity to meet the three Fellows. Each of the Fellows presented on their own projects and discussed their expectations of their outgoing phase. The Fellows also met with the Project Officer without management present.
Although the number of Fellowships awarded in the first Call was lower than expected, it was expected that further 18 Fellows will be recruited in two remaining Calls. In October 2016 UCD advised the Project Officer that they would not be in a position to publish any further calls in respect of this award due to lack of cofounding available.
One Fellow cancelled their outgoing phase due to personal family issues, they subsequently secured an academic position in another institution and left their fellowship 8 months before its end date. One fellow completed their fellowship on 30th September 2017 and is employed in UCD as a researcher. The final remaining fellow commenced their outgoing phase with Industry in January 2018 and has recently advised us that they will leave their fellowship 3 months before their end date as they have secured a position of employment in Industry.
The main results of the Programme to date included the establishment of the Programme, the recruitment of three outstanding Researchers and the successful completion of one fellowship. In addition, the fellowships positioned the fellows for their future careers – all have secured further employment.

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