REF2014 Impact Case Study: High Impact Public Engagement in Cosmology

Impact: Educational Impacts (beyond UoP)

Description of impact

The Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) runs a successful programme of community engagements with local schools, science centres and tourist attractions to influence public awareness and understanding of the world-class research we perform. Our outreach activities regularly reach thousands of people per year (4858 in 2012-13; 6424 in 2011-12). In addition, the ICG has invested resources in a dedicated programme of “high impact” sustainable events that optimize our public engagement that draws upon our leading cosmological research above, thus ensuring our impact is topical, well-informed and inspiring.

Who is affected

General Public; Schools.


Over the last decade, the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) has grown to become a centre of research excellence in astrophysics and cosmology. We have broadened and strengthened our research base to include a deeper involvement in large international cosmological experiments and study the details of how galaxies have evolved over the lifetime of the Cosmos.
In 2012-13, ICG engaged with 4858 people, including 2412 school children. Through our “Cosmology Masterclass”, we have inspired hundreds of A-level students from across the region; 60% said we had increased their interest in university. In 2012-13, staff engaged with 50 different schools across the UK. For the last 3 years, we have interacted with thousands of people running BBC Stargazing Live partner events, receiving almost unanimous praise from the public via our feedback.
Impact statusOpen
Category of impactEducational Impacts (beyond UoP)
Impact levelBenefit (delivered impact)


  • Cosmology
  • public engagement