Dr Florian Beutler from the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation has been awarded a European Research Council grant to help further our understanding of the evolution of the Universe.
The funding helps individual scientists and scholars to build their own teams and conduct pioneering research across all disciplines. The grants, worth in total €603 million, are part of the EU' Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
The ERC will provide €1.3 million funding for Dr Beutler's work on two experiments: the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) and the European Space Agency mission Euclid.
Dr Beutler said: "The main focus of this research is to learn about what is driving the evolution of the Universe today (dark energy) as well as what drove the evolution of the Universe in the first second of its existence (inflation).
"I will use the distribution of galaxies to measure the expansion rate of the Universe, which can teach us about the nature of dark energy. I will also use these datasets to study the very early Universe, to test theories of inflation. Inflation describes an early expansionary phase of the Universe, which is essential for our current cosmological models since inflation is setting the seeds for later galaxy formation."
Dr Beutler is one of 408 early-career researchers who have been awarded ERC grants in this year's first completed ERC call for proposals.
Director of the University's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, Professor David Wands, said: "Funding from the European Research Council has been hugely successful in supporting world-leading research in the UK and has significantly contributed to raising the international standing of our institute here at the University of Portsmouth."