Image of galaxy

Exploring the makeup of the universe

Our research covers galaxies and stars, large-scale structures, gravitational waves and dark energy

The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) is an international centre of research excellence in cosmology, gravitation and astrophysics.

Our Cosmology and Astrophysics research investigates the evolution of galaxies and their stars, the early universe and large-scale structure in the cosmos, as well as the energy content of the Universe and the nature of gravity. Through the work of the institute, we seek to understand the physics of the Universe and inspire the next generation of scientist through education, training and outreach. We also innovate using our advanced skills in mathematics and data science.

Scientists at the ICG play leading roles in major ongoing international collaborations and projects, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the European Space Agency Euclid satellite, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Follow the links below for more details about these and many other projects that we are involved in at the ICG

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Cosmology and Astrophysics research

Research at the Institute covers theoretical and observational cosmology and astrophysics, and their interface, and is supported by Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Royal Society, European Research Council (ERC) and European Union (EU) funding.

Within the 4 areas of expertise below, our work covers topics including the very early universe, dark energy, testing gravity on cosmological scales, large scale structure, gravitational lensing. supernovae, galaxy evolution, and stellar population modelling.


Researchers at the ICG are problem solvers, gaining an understanding of the science of the universe through the analysis of large datasets. Some of our leading scientists teach on our undergraduate and postgraduate maths and physics degree courses.

Undergraduate study

The University offers a range of undergraduate courses in mathematics and physics, including:

Postgraduate study

We also offer PhDs at the ICG – visit our Cosmology and Gravitation postgraduate research page for details of our current pre-approved funded and self-funded PhDs, and to find out more about our 2020 PhD studentships.

We welcome applications from all qualified applicants, but applications are particularly encouraged from traditionally under-represented groups in science. The University of Portsmouth holds an Athena SWAN bronze award and is an Institute of Physics Project Juno Supporter; these projects show a commitment to introduce organisational and cultural practices that promote gender equality in science and create a better working environment for men and women.

Our culture

Athena SWAN at the ICG

The Athena SWAN Charter was established by the Equality Challenge Unit to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

The University of Portsmouth has been awarded Athena SWAN Bronze as a Higher Education Institution, and the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation has been awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze award, in recognition of the good employment practice in place within the department.

Dignity and Respect in the ICG

We believe everyone has the right to work and study with dignity and respect, free from harassment and bullying. We're committed to widening participation in higher education, whether you are an undergraduate student, postgraduate student, postdoctoral researcher or staff member. It's essential we understand and accommodate everyone’s individual needs for our continued success.

Within the ICG, Laura Nuttall is our Dignity and Respect Champion – for more information on the work we're doing, email

Outreach, public engagement, and innovation

We're committed to inspiring the next generation of scientists through our programme of outreach and public engagement, working with local schools and online communities through citizen science projects.  

We're innovating by developing advanced techniques in data science, analysis and inference for astrophysical, medical and societal applications.

ICG leadership

Image of Professor Adam Amara

Professor Adam Amara

  • Job Title Professor of Cosmology
  • Email Address
  • Faculty Faculty of Technology
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor
Image of Dr David Bacon

Dr David Bacon

  • Job Title Professor of Cosmology
  • Email Address
  • Faculty Faculty of Technology
  • PhD Supervisor PhD Supervisor

Contact us

Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation
Dennis Sciama Building
Burnaby Road

Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 5151

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University Coronavirus Information Line

We're preparing to reopen the campus ready for the new academic year starting on 5 October 2020.

We have set up an information line to manage enquiries from students, parents and guardians, as university life will be a little different in 2020/21 due to the Coronavirus.


Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 5588

The phone line is open Monday–Thursday 8.30am–5.00pm, Friday 8.30am–4.00pm and Saturday–Sunday 10.00am-4.00pm.

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