This case study describes how, from small beginnings in two UK university hubs in 2012, the Low carbon energy for development network (LCEDN) evolved into an international, multidisciplinary, multisectoral programme in under a decade. Funding from four UK government departments and three research councils supported the network's three wide-ranging research programmes, spanning: Understanding sustainable energy solutions (USES), Transforming energy access (TEA) and Modern energy cooking services (MECS). The enduring aim of the network was to serve as a multidisciplinary intersectoral platform for academics, practitioners, policymakers and private sector organisations from across the UK working in partnership with global stakeholders on low carbon energy and international development. The case study critically analyses the process whereby the core team, with their shared interest in energy and development, sought to meet the requirements of different funders, while providing opportunities for less experienced researchers to learn how to manage complex interdisciplinary research programmes.

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