NOW CLOSED: Call for Applications for Energy Council of Canada Energy Policy Research Fellowships

The Energy Council of Canada Energy Policy Research Fellowship will provide $500,000 over 10 years to graduate students engaged in energy policy research. Annual fellowships valued at $15,000 for Master's students and $25,000 for Doctoral students will be awarded to eligible full-time graduate students registered at the University of Waterloo. Students must demonstrate interest in energy policy research defined annually by the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) in conjunction with Energy Council of Canada.


NOTE: you must be admitted to the University of Waterloo as a graduate student to meet the eligibility criteria for receiving this award

The available energy policy research topics for the 2018 fellowships are:

1. Canada’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Economy


i. Are aspirational (or deep) carbon reduction targets feasible in the 2030-2060 time frame and do they create the possibilities of stranded carbon assets?

ii. What innovations are required to support an increasing share of non carbon sources of energy in the supply system?

iii. How can policy support for renewable – intermittent - supply sources be harmonized with the technical constraints for reliable operation of the energy system?

iv. What role for Distributed Energy resources, energy efficiency and ICT enabled smart energy networks for a low carbon pathway?

v. Disruptive innovations – social, business and technological – and their impacts on the energy supply chain and resilience of Canada’s energy infrastructure. 

2. Energy and Electricity Trade: Barriers and Benefits

Sub- thematic:

i. What approaches and strategies are required for enhanced inter-provincial and international trade in energy and electricity as an enabler of a low carbon energy future?

ii. Identify opportunities for regional networks linking jurisdictions through transmission and large interconnectors taking advantage of fundamental difference in the carbon intensity of the supply-mix of different jurisdictions.

iii. Policies and social strategies for reducing conflict to enable energy trade across provincial boundaries?

3. Energy Sector Regulatory Practices and Evolution


i. Research into the current regulatory practices, identification of the strengths and weaknesses of various regulatory models and identification of what’s needed by regulatory agencies as they become modernized, effective and responsive to current and emerging issues.

Note: Currently, regulatory agencies are finding it necessary to cope with issues and public concerns which are outside of their traditional areas of activity. Also, the government of Canada is reviewing the mandate and operation of National Energy Board in preparation for reforming the agency. Drawing from the lessons learned in other jurisdictions outside Canada can also be considered for insights that provides the context for this research initiative.


Current and prospective students interested in applying for this fellowship must complete the Fellowship application.

Send your completed application to with Subject: “ECC Policy Research Fellowship - YOUR FULL NAME”.

Applications are due by 5pm Thursday, May 31, 2018. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

A Selection Committee will review the applications. Successful applicants will be notified by July 15, 2018.

Selection is also based on academic excellence (minimum cumulative average of 80%)

Contact Iris Strickler if you have questions or require further clarification:

Fellowship generously provided by:



WISER: Women in Sustainable Energy Research

Written by Energy Council of Canada Energy Policy Fellows Bronwyn Lazowski and Stephanie Whitney


As two women scholars in the early stages of our academic careers, we were thrilled to take part in a Research Communication Workshop on February 26, 2018. This full-day workshop included a half-day of training on op-ed writing and a half-day of training on media interviews. The event was organized by the Women In Sustainable Energy Research (WISER) group, using funds from an NSERC Connection Grant, and run by Informed Opinions.

Energy, behavior, decisions: these are just 3 of dozens of important subjects that are significantly underrepresented in the Canadian mainstream media when women’s voices are missing as subject matter experts in newspaper articles and broadcasts. A new study, commissioned by Informed Opinions, reviewed over 1,400 articles and broadcast segments from seven Canadian newspapers and media outlets from October to December 2015, and found that men accounted for 71% of experts quoted or interviewed for newspaper articles and broadcast segments.

As our research focuses on the nexus of these subjects – Bronwyn researches smart grid technologies in the residential context, and Stephanie examines energy management decision-making in the commercial sector – we were keen to equip ourselves with knowledge and tools about how to promote our research findings to a broader, non-academic audience.

Here are five things we learned about each writing op-eds and preparing for media interviews. We hope that these tips are useful for our female and male colleagues alike.

Writing Op-Eds

  • Write your thesis statement
  • Identify at least 3 supporting pieces of evidence
  • Anticipate and concisely refute an expected counter-argument
  • Identify a hook that links your issue to the news
  • Pique curiosity with your opening sentence

Media Interview Skills 

  • Take opportunities to build relationships with media outlets that cover topics that you are interested in and can add value to with your opinion
  • If contacted for an interview, find out what the news story is about and what the interview entails
  • Pay close attention to what the reporter thinks he/she needs, and determine how your expertise can add value to the news story
  • Practice delivering your key messages in short sound bites, using simple terms and vivid examples or analogies
  • Learn to bridge away from irrelevant questions or statements that you don’t support

We both left the workshop feeling motivated, encouraged, and empowered to actively participate in local, provincial, and national conversations about energy, behaviour, and decision-making by policy-makers and other key stakeholders in this space. If/when our research is showcased in the media, WISE will make this information available to its membership.

Learn more about WISER on their website:

Join us for lunch!

We frequently host a lunch for WISE faculty and their students. This provides a terrific opportunity to meet other researchers in a relaxed setting.

Sign up for notices by filling out our online form.

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