Open Call

NERC-ESRC Unconventional Hydrocarbons in the UK Energy System Programme  –Open Call Awards Funded 

Newcastle University, on behalf of Challenge 1 of the Unconventional Hydrocarbons in the UK Energy System Programme (, is pleased to announce the outcome of the UKUH Open Call.
A total of around £400,000 has been made available through Challenge 1 and additional UKRI funding to:

  • maximise the legacy and impact of the existing UKUH programme by addressing new research themes which have emerged as a result of the evolving UK energy landscape;
  • provide increased opportunities for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to deliver their own research projects; and
  • increase the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion of the existing Programme.

Richard Davies, Principal Investigator of Challenge 1 welcomes the Open Call new projects.

“The UKUH research programme has provided crucial independent scientific evidence for enhancing and improving our understanding of the social and environmental aspects of using the subsurface and its role in meeting Net Zero. The funded projects within the Open Call address key emerging themes within subsurface energy research, such as effective environmental monitoring, understanding seismicity, and understanding public and community concerns.   The Open Call has provided career development opportunities to ECRs, presenting leadership opportunities and a chance to design and deliver their own research – an important step to meeting their career goals. I am delighted to welcome new researchers to the Programme, and I look forward to working closely with the new teams over the next 2 years.  Challenge 1 and the rest of the UKUH Programme is looking forward to supporting the successful delivery of all Open Call projects” 

As a result of the panel review, Challenge 1 will fund 10 projects (outlined below), through three separate funding streams:

Large Interdisciplinary Projects

Shake, quake or fake? Comparing BGS expected intensity modelling, felt reports, Tweets, and public perceptions
Lead Investigator: Dr Darrick Evensen, University of Edinburgh

Developing Deep Science Laboratories from the Shale Gas Legacy
Lead Investigator: Dr Mark Ireland, Newcastle University

Underground energy on-the-ground: risk perception, community engagement and lessons learned for geothermal energy in a post-shale energy landscape
Lead Investigator: Dr Melanie Rohse, Anglia Ruskin University

Small Projects

Perception Spillover Effects of Fracking 
Dr Emily Cox, Cardiff University

Testing the limitations of empirical traffic light systems used to manage the hazard of fluid induced seismicity
Dr Nicola de Paola, Durham University

Baseline seismic monitoring survey for UKGEOS Glasgow geothermal production using Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS)
Dr Joanna Holmgren, University of Bristol

Public engagements with induced seismicity: lessons for geothermal energy in the UK’s net-zero transition
Dr Owen King, University of Birmingham

Effective monitoring of the environment before, during and after sub-surface activities
Dr Kathryn Leeming, British Geological Survey

Numerical geomechanics study of the influence of injection scenarios to quantify seismic hazard at Preston New Road
Dr Robin Thomas, Imperial College London

EDI Ambassador, who will deliver initiatives to promote EDI and support ECRs
Dr Melanie Rohse and Dr Stacia Ryder will deliver a writing retreat and mentoring scheme for ECRs.