The Institute for Fundamental Physics of the Universe (IFPU) is a joint initiative of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) and the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN). It has been established by a convention signed by the four founding Institutions for an initial period of four years, and starts its activities on November 1st, 2018.

IFPU aims to host and promote a vigorous and innovative multi-disciplinary research program focussed on investigating the fundamental laws of Nature under a Cosmological and Astrophysical perspective. The ambitious goal is to address a set of basic questions about the Universe, standing as some of the most pressing open issues in Science today, such as, e.g.: identify the nature of Dark Matter and its footprint on the formation of structures; find out the properties of Dark Energy and their impact on the evolution and fate of the Universe; understand the physics of the primordial Universe and shed light on the relative enigmas, such as the matter-antimatter asymmetry; learn the properties of neutrinos from Cosmology and Astrophysics; understand the nature of gravity both in on the cosmological scale and in the strong-field regime; explore the new frontier opened by gravitational wave detectors.

The founding Institutions have a consolidated tradition in this field of research, and contributed to creating a rather broad dedicated community of researchers in the area of Trieste, and more at large, in Italy. IFPU supports their activities, promoting cohesion and new synergies, and coordinating their effort into a single international centre of excellence. Prominence will be given to theoretical and phenomenological studies; however, these will be in close contact with the large experimental and observational programs which have changed our understanding of the Universe in recent years and which promise to bring a change of paradigm in the near future.

The main drive of IFPU is to foster international collaborations and exchange of ideas. The institute promotes an extended visitor plan, including support for: long-term visits of internationally renowned scientists with leading expertise in the area within the scientific goals of the institute; team research programs, dedicated to small groups getting together at IFPU to develop or finalise a research project; focus week programs, in the form of thematic small-scale workshops dedicated to the investigation of a specific research topic.