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Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe

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“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.


We are only able to host a finite number of delegates, we regret that the conference is open only to delegates who have been invited by the Scientific Organising Committee, or who are part of the participating members of the Origins Federation (i.e., The Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe, COPL, Harvard’s Origins Initiative, and the University of Chicago). 

To participate please respond to the registration form sent to all invited delegates and members of the Origins Federation through the Origins Foundations Network by 12pm, 3 May 2024.

If you are affiliated with an institution that is not currently part of the Origins Federation, but are actively engaged in collaboration with Origins Federation members, and you would like to contribute to the meeting, please send a request to attend the meeting to Please include with your request a short (1-2 paragraph) description of the nature of your collaboration with Origins Federations members (detailing who these are).

All requests will be considered by the Scientific Organising Committee, who will endeavour to accommodate as many as possible given constraints on the total number of delegates. Once a request has been approved, a link to the registration form will be sent as soon as possible. Requests received after the registration deadline will be considered subject to availability.

The conference programme will be available beginning of June 2024.

For inquiries and questions, please email: