Gravitational waves provide an exciting new way of studying the Universe. They were detected for the first time in 2015, when a gravitational-wave signal (GW150914) from two colliding black holes was detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Since then 10 signals have been detected from merging black holes, as well as a signal originating from the coalescence of two neutron stars. This latter signal, called GW170817, was spectacularly observed across the EM spectrum, providing the first observation of an astronomical source with both EM and gravitational waves.

The gravitational-wave group at the ICG is part of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC). The LSC is made up of more than 1200 scientists, in over 100 institutes in around 18 countries. As part of the LSC we are searching for gravitational waves from colliding black holes and neutron stars, as well as other sources. In addition to detection, the group’s research focuses on developing techniques to detect gravitational waves from new sources, detecting gravitational waves from continuous sources, estimating the equation of state of neutron stars, and characterising the LIGO detectors. Our research also looks at extracting astrophysical and cosmological information from the observed gravitational-wave signals to learn more about our Universe.

In addition to the LSC, we are also involved with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) consortium as well as working on the science case for a future ground-based gravitational-wave detector called Einstein Telescope.

The gravitational-wave group at the ICG is led by Ian Harry, Andy Lundgren and Laura Nuttall. David Keitel is a Dennis Sciama Research Fellow, and Oliver Edy, Connor McIsaacand Simone Mozzon are currently researching their PhDs.

If you would like to come and study your PhD with us, apply for an open position or submit a Royal Society Research Fellowship, a STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship, a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, a Marie Curie Research Fellowship or a similar fellowship, please do not hesitate to contact Ian, Andy or Laura.

Our current research

Research at the Institute covers theoretical and observational cosmology and astrophysics, and their interface, and is supported by STFC, Royal Society and European Union grants. The ICG is a member of the South East Physics network (SEPNet), and is a member of a number of projects which are listed on the ICG website for you to view.

Our research covers:


Researchers at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation study the physics of the Universe, from gravity to galaxies. Our members are involved in a wide range of outreach activities focused on engaging the wider community with our research and science in general. These activities range from school visits to public lectures, street astronomy to expert TV appearances. You can find out more by following the links below, or alternatively follow us on twitter (@UoPCosmology) and like us on facebook to be kept up to date.

If you would like to contact the ICG about an outreach event then please email Dr. Jen Gupta, the ICG SEPnet/Ogden Physics Public Engagement and Outreach Manager on jennifer.gupta ‘at’

Outreach and public engagement at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation is supported by the South East Physics Network (SEPnet) and The Ogden Trust.