AXA Research Fund Fellowships – New Call on the Sustainable and Fair Transition to Renewable Energy

Funding available for promising young researchers on specific priority topics in the areas of health, climate and environment, and socioeconomics. The 2023 call concerns the sustainable and fair transition to renewable energy.

AXA Group is a multinational investment banking firm based in Paris, France, that engages in global investment banking, investment management, insurance and other financial services. The AXA Research Fund was established in 2007 as a scientific philanthropy initiative and funds projects in the areas of health, climate and environment, and socioeconomics.

AXA Fellowships support young, promising researchers on specific priority topics that are aligned with AXA and the AXA Research Fund. Support should be transformative for the researcher and the advancement of their field of research. Funding is allocated through specific annual calls for proposals.

The 2023 call is Renewable Energy: Ensuring a Sustainable and Fair Transition. Investment in renewable energies is one of the primary answers to achieving net zero. However, their development is not a just and fair transition, with around 785 million people still having no access to electricity. In this context, AXA is seeking to support postdoctoral research geared towards building a more sustainable and inclusive route to net zero by 2050 based on renewable energies. AXA will support innovative and transdisciplinary research projects, at local, regional or global scale, which will notably focus on:

  • Environmental challenges
    • Sustainable vision of facilities notably to achieve climate neutrality, reduce pollution and restore biodiversity.
    • Transformative approaches to waste management and development of circular economy around renewable energy facilities.
    • Ways to build a resilient and sustainable supply chain around renewable energy including the impact of metals and minerals used in facilities with new ways to reduce negative impacts of mining on the planet and people.
  • Socioeconomic challenges
    • Innovative solutions to provide access to renewable energy for all, including emerging countries, lower income communities and indigenous populations.
    • Long term vision of facilities to minimise impact on local livelihoods and populations.
    • Sustainable and ethical policies notably regarding the trading of energy.
    • The impact of net zero policies in local, national and international economies and society at large.

This call excludes projects focusing on development of engineering/material to harness or stock energy, except if it may help to answer one of the above challenges.

Fellowship calls are open to academic institutions in any country worldwide. Institutions can present only one candidate for the whole institution (ie not one per department, faculty or laboratory). Candidates should be early career researchers, defined as no more than five years past the completion of their PhD, on a topic aligned with AXA’s priorities and societal challenges. Candidates must be awarded their PhD before they submit their Expression of Interest and must have already defended their PhD certification before applying.

The maximum award is €140,000 for a period of two years.

There is a two-stage application process consisting of a mandatory Expression of Interest proposal followed by an invited full application. Expressions of Interest must be submitted by the deadline of 15 May 2023.

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)