From 23rd of May until the 27th of May 2022, the Smart-BEEjS ESRs have found themselves in Nottingham for their last Winterschool seminar of the project. The seminar, delivered in a workshop style by CENEX, focused on how to “compile and submit successful applications for research and development funding and consultancy”. The first two days of the workshop focused on consultancy, where Steve Carrol, Head of Transport at CENEX, introduced the world of consultancy to the ESRs. After sharing his experiences, the ESRs structured a consultancy proposal as the CENEX workshop aimed to provide the ESRs a full ‘learning by doing’ experience. The ESRs were given a case study brief, which they needed to understand, then develop a methodology to address it, plan work packages accordingly, and round the proposal with an estimated budget, risk assessment, and a pitch on their experience which would contribute to the consultation task.

Furthermore, the group visited Nottingham City Council, which is known as one of the most progressive and innovative UK Councils with the ambition to decarbonise the city by 2028. Based at the Eastcroft depot in the city centre, the Council’s representative Matthew Rafle presented the Smart-BEEjS group the Council’s successes with regard to their EV fleet and charging infrastructure as well as future plans. Their local Nottingham Electric Vehicle Services (NEVS), wireless charging and Vehicle2Grid projects are great examples on the diversity of technologies, infrastructure, and salient investments needed for the decarbonisation of transport. The excursion was a highly appreciated ‘roundup’ for the workshop, as the ESRs were able to see how collaborative research and innovative proposals can contribute to local energy transition pathways.

The ESRs are eager to finish their PhDs and are looking forward to putting their knowledge into practice. Keith concluded that “there is lots of creativity in this room” of students. They are all curious and motivated for their future careers and will certainly soon put their new grant writing skills into practice.

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