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Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe


“For thousands of years, humanity and science have contemplated the origins of life in the Universe. While today’s scientists are well-equipped with innovative technologies, humanity has a long way to go before we fully understand the fundamental aspects of what life is and how it forms." Carl Zimmer, columnist, The New York Times and author of “Life’s Edge: The search for what it means to be alive".


The Origins Federation is a research consortium with the goal of facilitating efficient multidisciplinary and innovative collaborative research to advance our understanding of the emergence and early evolution of life, and its place in the cosmos.

It is established by the following centers:

The Origins of Life Initiative (Harvard University)
Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life (ETH-Zurich)
Center for the Origins of Life (University of Chicago)
Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe (University of Cambridge)

The Origins Federation will pursue scientific research topics of interest to its founding centers with a long-term perspective. It will strive to create opportunities for creative and innovative ideas, and to enable young scientists to make a career in this new field.

The Origins Federation is open to new collaborators, both centers and individuals, and is committed to working together to build the platform for a vibrant community.

2024 Origins Federation Conference, Cambridge, UK

In 2023 the Origins Federation Conference took place at Harvard University on September 12 – 15, 2023. This year we are pleased to announce that the meeting will take place in Cambridge, 10-13 September 2024, at the Møller Institute, Churchill College, University of Cambridge.

For inquiries and questions, please email:

Further details will follow in due course.