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Research culture

Physicist looking in microscope

Our research culture is one of active and forward-thinking collaboration and contribution to scientific research, economy, and society.

Research collaboration

Our staff have established major roles in many large international consortia, missions and projects.

Read more about collaboration in our research groups.

International conferences

Recognising the importance of disseminating research activities and outputs to the scientific community, we ensure that we are prominent at international conferences, such as the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science 2015 and 2019, International Semiconductor Laser 2014 and Laser Electro Optics 2015-18, the American Physical Society meeting 2014, and the European Material Research Society and MRS conferences 2019/2020.

The numerous international collaborations we are part of hold regular meetings and active participation in those is of strategic importance to advance research collaborations and Cardiff visibility in them.

Our research groups run dedicated seminar series with esteemed external speakers from the UK and abroad and hold regular internal group meetings and journal clubs. There are cross-School, cross-College seminars and series with Bremen and Xiamen Universities.

Contributing to the sustainability of physics and astronomy

Maintaining vitality and high standards in research and teaching has led to 32% of our academic staff practising as external examiners, as well as being prominent in national and international advisory committees, policymaking, and panels across the physics and astronomy disciplines.

Academic staff play a major leadership role in collaborations proposing and developing new projects and facilities and helping research councils to establish future research priorities. Our researchers have contributed to current knowledge of the discipline and shaping future research panorama with textbooks and white papers.  All academics contribute to the fundamental process of peer review for scientific journals.

We run an active outreach programme, led by Dr Chris North, Head of Public Engagement, as we believe this to be of key importance for contributing meaningfully to our wider economy and society.

Notable awards

Many of 20 of our academic staff are members/fellows of international or learned societies including the Institute of Physics, the US National Academy of Sciences, the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, the American Physical Society, and the Learned Society of Wales.

Numerous researchers have received high-profile awards both as individuals and as members of consortia. These include:

International awards

  • Buchalter Prize in Cosmology 2020
  • Richard Isaacson Medal of the American Physical Society 2020
  • European Physical Society Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize 2019
  • MBE 2018
  • Honorary Doctorate, Aix-Marseille University 2018
  • Marcel Grossmann Award 2018
  • Gruber Foundation Prize in Cosmology 2016 and 2018
  • Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research 2017
  • Einstein Medal 2017
  • Bruno Rossi 2017
  • Special Breakthrough Prize 2016

UK awards

  • RAS Eddington Medal 2019
  • Philip Leverhulme Prize 2018
  • RAS Group Achievement Awards 2014 and 2018
  • RAS Winton Capital Award 2017
  • IOP Fred Hoyle Silver Medal 2017
  • RAS Fowler Prize 2015
  • RAS Herschel Medal 2015