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Cosmology wins £2 million grant to help with research

Astrophysicists and cosmologists at the University of Portsmouth have been granted £2 million funding to support their research into supernovae, galaxies, dark matter and dark energy, gravity and the very early universe.

The grant, received from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is 20% more than their previous consolidated grant.

Professor of Astrophysics and director of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation Bob Nichol said the team was delighted with the news just before Christmas.

“It’s terrific to receive such a ringing endorsement of our work, particularly in these difficult times,” he said.

“This was a real team effort and took many months of preparation. Our success is also due to past university investments in the ICG, including involvement in projects like Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Dark Energy Survey.”

In addition to STFC funding, the Institute’s nearly 50 researchers have received funding from the European Union, Leverhulme and the Royal Society. Their work was rated as 96 per cent as internationally excellent or better in the latest Research Excellence Framework, an independent audit of UK research quality.

Professor Nichol said: “The Institute addresses fundamental questions in cosmology and astrophysics, from the very moment of creation – the ‘Big Bang’ – to the populations of stars that makes up the billions of galaxies we see in our surveys of the sky.”

This couldn’t have come at a better time for the sciences at UoP after alumni and astronaut Tim Peake recently raised the profile amongst the greatest of the university’s achievements.

The total award will be given over three years (2016-19) and helps fund new and existing research staff, support staff as well as computing.

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