From University College London (UK) and From University of Oxford (UK): “Dark matter is slowing the spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar”

UCL bloc

From University College London (UK)


U Oxford bloc

From University of Oxford (UK)

14 June 2021

Mark Greaves
+44 (0)7990 675947

The spin of the Milky Way’s galactic bar, which is made up of billions of clustered stars, has slowed by about a quarter since its formation, according to a new study by University College London (UK) and University of Oxford (UK) researchers.

For 30 years, astrophysicists have predicted such a slowdown, but this is the first time it has been measured.

The researchers say it gives a new type of insight into the nature of Dark Matter, which acts like a counterweight slowing the spin.

In the study, published in the MNRAS, researchers analysed Gaia space telescope observations of a large group of stars, the Hercules stream, which are in resonance with the bar – that is, they revolve around the galaxy at the same rate as the bar’s spin.

These stars are gravitationally trapped by the spinning bar. The same phenomenon occurs with Jupiter’s Trojan and Greek asteroids, which orbit Jupiter’s Lagrange points (ahead and behind Jupiter). If the bar’s spin slows down, these stars would be expected to move further out in the galaxy, keeping their orbital period matched to that of the bar’s spin.

The researchers found that the stars in the stream carry a chemical fingerprint – they are richer in heavier elements (called metals in astronomy), proving that they have travelled away from the galactic centre, where stars and star-forming gas are about 10 times as rich in metals compared to the outer galaxy.

Using this data, the team inferred that the bar – made up of billions of stars and trillions of solar masses – had slowed down its spin by at least 24% since it first formed.

Co-author Dr Ralph Schoenrich (UCL Physics & Astronomy) said: “Astrophysicists have long suspected that the spinning bar at the centre of our galaxy is slowing down, but we have found the first evidence of this happening.

“The counterweight slowing this spin must be dark matter. Until now, we have only been able to infer dark matter by mapping the gravitational potential of galaxies and subtracting the contribution from visible matter.

“Our research provides a new type of measurement of dark matter – not of its gravitational energy, but of its inertial mass (the dynamical response), which slows the bar’s spin.”

Co-author and PhD student Rimpei Chiba, of the University of Oxford, said: “Our finding offers a fascinating perspective for constraining the nature of dark matter, as different models will change this inertial pull on the galactic bar.

“Our finding also poses a major problem for alternative gravity theories – as they lack dark matter in the halo, they predict no, or significantly too little slowing of the bar.”

The Milky Way, like other galaxies, is thought to be embedded in a ‘halo’ of dark matter that extends well beyond its visible edge.

Dark matter is invisible and its nature is unknown, but its existence is inferred from galaxies behaving as if they were shrouded in significantly more mass than we can see. There is thought to be about five times as much dark matter in the Universe as ordinary, visible matter.

Alternative gravity theories such as modified Newtonian dynamics reject the idea of dark matter, instead seeking to explain discrepancies by tweaking Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, with a thick bar of stars in the middle and spiral arms extending through the disc outside the bar. The bar rotates in the same direction as the galaxy.

The research received support from the Royal Society, the Takenaka Scholarship Foundation, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).


Dark Matter Background
Fritz Zwicky discovered Dark Matter in the 1930s when observing the movement of the Coma Cluster., Vera Rubin a Woman in STEM denied the Nobel, some 30 years later, did most of the work on Dark Matter.

Fritz Zwicky from http://

Coma cluster via NASA/ESA Hubble.

In modern times, it was astronomer Fritz Zwicky, in the 1930s, who made the first observations of what we now call dark matter. His 1933 observations of the Coma Cluster of galaxies seemed to indicated it has a mass 500 times more than that previously calculated by Edwin Hubble. Furthermore, this extra mass seemed to be completely invisible. Although Zwicky’s observations were initially met with much skepticism, they were later confirmed by other groups of astronomers.
Thirty years later, astronomer Vera Rubin provided a huge piece of evidence for the existence of dark matter. She discovered that the centers of galaxies rotate at the same speed as their extremities, whereas, of course, they should rotate faster. Think of a vinyl LP on a record deck: its center rotates faster than its edge. That’s what logic dictates we should see in galaxies too. But we do not. The only way to explain this is if the whole galaxy is only the center of some much larger structure, as if it is only the label on the LP so to speak, causing the galaxy to have a consistent rotation speed from center to edge.
Vera Rubin, following Zwicky, postulated that the missing structure in galaxies is dark matter. Her ideas were met with much resistance from the astronomical community, but her observations have been confirmed and are seen today as pivotal proof of the existence of dark matter.

Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Lowell Observatory in 1965, worked on Dark Matter (The Carnegie Institution for Science).

Vera Rubin measuring spectra, worked on Dark Matter (Emilio Segre Visual Archives AIP SPL).

Vera Rubin, with Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) image tube spectrograph attached to the Kitt Peak 84-inch telescope, 1970

Dark Matter Research

Inside the ADMX experiment hall at the University of Washington Credit Mark Stone U. of Washington. Axion Dark Matter Experiment


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University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris [Université de Paris](FR). After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge (UK). The two English ancient universities share many common features and are jointly referred to as Oxbridge.

The university is made up of thirty-nine semi-autonomous constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. All students are members of a college. It does not have a main campus, and its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Undergraduate teaching at Oxford consists of lectures, small-group tutorials at the colleges and halls, seminars, laboratory work and occasionally further tutorials provided by the central university faculties and departments. Postgraduate teaching is provided predominantly centrally.

Oxford operates the world’s oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system nationwide. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2019, the university had a total income of £2.45 billion, of which £624.8 million was from research grants and contracts.

Oxford has educated a wide range of notable alumni, including 28 prime ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. As of October 2020, 72 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at the University of Oxford, while its alumni have won 160 Olympic medals. Oxford is the home of numerous scholarships, including the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the oldest international graduate scholarship programmes.

To be a member of the university, all students, and most academic staff, must also be a member of a college or hall. There are thirty-nine colleges of the University of Oxford (including Reuben College, planned to admit students in 2021) and six permanent private halls (PPHs), each controlling its membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Not all colleges offer all courses, but they generally cover a broad range of subjects.

The colleges are:

All-Souls College
Balliol College
Brasenose College
Christ Church College
Corpus-Christi College
Exeter College
Green-Templeton College
Harris-Manchester College
Hertford College
Jesus College
Keble College
Kellogg College
Linacre College
Lincoln College
Magdalen College
Mansfield College
Merton College
New College
Nuffield College
Oriel College
Pembroke College
Queens College
Reuben College
St-Anne’s College
St-Antony’s College
St-Catherines College
St-Cross College
St-Edmund-Hall College
St-Hilda’s College
St-Hughs College
St-John’s College
St-Peters College
Somerville College
Trinity College
University College

UCL campus

Established in 1826, as London University by founders inspired by the radical ideas of Jeremy Bentham, University College London (UK) was the first university institution to be established in London, and the first in England to be entirely secular and to admit students regardless of their religion. University College London (UK) also makes contested claims to being the third-oldest university in England and the first to admit women. In 1836, University College London (UK) became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London, which was granted a royal charter in the same year. It has grown through mergers, including with the Institute of Ophthalmology (in 1995); the Institute of Neurology (in 1997); the Royal Free Hospital Medical School (in 1998); the Eastman Dental Institute (in 1999); the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (in 1999); the School of Pharmacy (in 2012) and the Institute of Education (in 2014).

University College London (UK) has its main campus in the Bloomsbury area of central London, with a number of institutes and teaching hospitals elsewhere in central London and satellite campuses in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London and in Doha, Qatar. University College London (UK) is organised into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centres. University College London (UK) operates several museums and collections in a wide range of fields, including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, and administers the annual Orwell Prize in political writing. In 2019/20, UCL had around 43,840 students and 16,400 staff (including around 7,100 academic staff and 840 professors) and had a total income of £1.54 billion, of which £468 million was from research grants and contracts.

University College London (UK) is a member of numerous academic organisations, including the Russell Group(UK) and the League of European Research Universities, and is part of UCL Partners, the world’s largest academic health science centre, and is considered part of the “golden triangle” of elite, research-intensive universities in England.

University College London (UK) has many notable alumni, including the respective “Fathers of the Nation” of India; Kenya and Mauritius; the founders of Ghana; modern Japan; Nigeria; the inventor of the telephone; and one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. UCL academics discovered five of the naturally occurring noble gases; discovered hormones; invented the vacuum tube; and made several foundational advances in modern statistics. As of 2020, 34 Nobel Prize winners and 3 Fields medalists have been affiliated with UCL as alumni, faculty or researchers.


University College London (UK) was founded on 11 February 1826 under the name London University, as an alternative to the Anglican universities of the University of Oxford(UK) and University of Cambridge(UK). London University’s first Warden was Leonard Horner, who was the first scientist to head a British university.

Despite the commonly held belief that the philosopher Jeremy Bentham was the founder of University College London (UK), his direct involvement was limited to the purchase of share No. 633, at a cost of £100 paid in nine installments between December 1826 and January 1830. In 1828 he did nominate a friend to sit on the council, and in 1827 attempted to have his disciple John Bowring appointed as the first professor of English or History, but on both occasions his candidates were unsuccessful. This suggests that while his ideas may have been influential, he himself was less so. However, Bentham is today commonly regarded as the “spiritual father” of University College London (UK), as his radical ideas on education and society were the inspiration to the institution’s founders, particularly the Scotsmen James Mill (1773–1836) and Henry Brougham (1778–1868).

In 1827, the Chair of Political Economy at London University was created, with John Ramsay McCulloch as the first incumbent, establishing one of the first departments of economics in England. In 1828 the university became the first in England to offer English as a subject and the teaching of Classics and medicine began. In 1830, London University founded the London University School, which would later become University College School. In 1833, the university appointed Alexander Maconochie, Secretary to the Royal Geographical Society, as the first professor of geography in the British Isles. In 1834, University College Hospital (originally North London Hospital) opened as a teaching hospital for the university’s medical school.

1836 to 1900 – University College, London

In 1836, London University was incorporated by royal charter under the name University College, London. On the same day, the University of London was created by royal charter as a degree-awarding examining board for students from affiliated schools and colleges, with University College and King’s College, London being named in the charter as the first two affiliates.[23]

The Slade School of Fine Art was founded as part of University College in 1871, following a bequest from Felix Slade.

In 1878, the University College London (UK) gained a supplemental charter making it the first British university to be allowed to award degrees to women. The same year University College London (UK) admitted women to the faculties of Arts and Law and of Science, although women remained barred from the faculties of Engineering and of Medicine (with the exception of courses on public health and hygiene). While University College London (UK) claims to have been the first university in England to admit women on equal terms to men, from 1878, the University of Bristol(UK) also makes this claim, having admitted women from its foundation (as a college) in 1876. Armstrong College, a predecessor institution of Newcastle University (UK), also allowed women to enter from its foundation in 1871, although none actually enrolled until 1881. Women were finally admitted to medical studies during the First World War in 1917, although limitations were placed on their numbers after the war ended.

In 1898, Sir William Ramsay discovered the elements krypton; neon; and xenon whilst professor of chemistry at University College London (UK).

1900 to 1976 – University of London, University College

In 1900, the University College London (UK) was reconstituted as a federal university with new statutes drawn up under the University of London Act 1898. UCL, along with a number of other colleges in London, became a school of the University of London. While most of the constituent institutions retained their autonomy, University College London (UK) was merged into the University in 1907 under the University College London (Transfer) Act 1905 and lost its legal independence. Its formal name became University College London (UK), University College, although for most informal and external purposes the name “University College, London” (or the initialism UCL) was still used.

1900 also saw the decision to appoint a salaried head of the college. The first incumbent was Carey Foster, who served as Principal (as the post was originally titled) from 1900 to 1904. He was succeeded by Gregory Foster (no relation), and in 1906 the title was changed to Provost to avoid confusion with the Principal of the University of London. Gregory Foster remained in post until 1929. In 1906, the Cruciform Building was opened as the new home for University College Hospital.

As it acknowledged and apologized for in 2021, University College London (UK) played “a fundamental role in the development, propagation and legitimisation of eugenics” during the first half of the 20th century. Among the prominent eugenicists who taught at University College London (UK) were Francis Galton, who coined the term “eugenics”, and Karl Pearson, and eugenics conferences were held at UCL until 2017.

University College London (UK) sustained considerable bomb damage during the Second World War, including the complete destruction of the Great Hall and the Carey Foster Physics Laboratory. Fires gutted the library and destroyed much of the main building, including the dome. The departments were dispersed across the country to Aberystwyth; Bangor; Gwynedd; University of Cambridge (UK) ; University of Oxford (UK); Rothamsted near Harpenden; Hertfordshire; and Sheffield, with the administration at Stanstead Bury near Ware, Hertfordshire. The first UCL student magazine, Pi, was published for the first time on 21 February 1946. The Institute of Jewish Studies relocated to UCL in 1959.

The Mullard Space Science Laboratory(UK) was established in 1967. In 1973, UCL became the first international node to the precursor of the internet, the ARPANET.

Although University College London (UK) was among the first universities to admit women on the same terms as men, in 1878, the college’s senior common room, the Housman Room, remained men-only until 1969. After two unsuccessful attempts, a motion was passed that ended segregation by sex at University College London (UK). This was achieved by Brian Woledge (Fielden Professor of French at University College London (UK) from 1939 to 1971) and David Colquhoun, at that time a young lecturer in pharmacology.

1976 to 2005 – University College London (UK)

In 1976, a new charter restored University College London (UK) ‘s legal independence, although still without the power to award its own degrees. Under this charter the college became formally known as University College London (UK). This name abandoned the comma used in its earlier name of “University College, London”.

In 1986, University College London (UK) merged with the Institute of Archaeology. In 1988, University College London (UK) merged with the Institute of Laryngology & Otology; the Institute of Orthopaedics; the Institute of Urology & Nephrology; and Middlesex Hospital Medical School.

In 1993, a reorganisation of the University of London (UK) meant that University College London (UK) and other colleges gained direct access to government funding and the right to confer University of London degrees themselves. This led to University College London (UK) being regarded as a de facto university in its own right.

In 1994, the University College London (UK) Hospitals NHS Trust was established. University College London (UK) merged with the College of Speech Sciences and the Institute of Ophthalmology in 1995; the Institute of Child Health and the School of Podiatry in 1996; and the Institute of Neurology in 1997. In 1998, UCL merged with the Royal Free Hospital Medical School to create the Royal Free and University College Medical School (renamed the University College London (UK) Medical School in October 2008). In 1999, UCL merged with the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and the Eastman Dental Institute.

The University College London (UK) Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, the first university department in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime, was founded in 2001.

Proposals for a merger between University College London (UK) and Imperial College London(UK) were announced in 2002. The proposal provoked strong opposition from University College London (UK) teaching staff and students and the AUT union, which criticised “the indecent haste and lack of consultation”, leading to its abandonment by University College London (UK) provost Sir Derek Roberts. The blogs that helped to stop the merger are preserved, though some of the links are now broken: see David Colquhoun’s blog and the Save University College London (UK) blog, which was run by David Conway, a postgraduate student in the department of Hebrew and Jewish studies.

The London Centre for Nanotechnology was established in 2003 as a joint venture between University College London (UK) and Imperial College London (UK). They were later joined by King’s College London(UK) in 2018.

Since 2003, when University College London (UK) professor David Latchman became master of the neighbouring Birkbeck, he has forged closer relations between these two University of London colleges, and personally maintains departments at both. Joint research centres include the UCL/Birkbeck Institute for Earth and Planetary Sciences; the University College London (UK) /Birkbeck/IoE Centre for Educational Neuroscience; the University College London (UK) /Birkbeck Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology; and the Birkbeck- University College London (UK) Centre for Neuroimaging.

2005 to 2010

In 2005, University College London (UK) was finally granted its own taught and research degree awarding powers and all University College London (UK) students registered from 2007/08 qualified with University College London (UK) degrees. Also in 2005, University College London (UK) adopted a new corporate branding under which the name University College London (UK) was replaced by the initialism UCL in all external communications. In the same year, a major new £422 million building was opened for University College Hospital on Euston Road, the University College London (UK) Ear Institute was established and a new building for the University College London (UK) School of Slavonic and East European Studies was opened.

In 2007, the University College London (UK) Cancer Institute was opened in the newly constructed Paul O’Gorman Building. In August 2008, University College London (UK) formed UCL Partners, an academic health science centre, with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust; Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In 2008, University College London (UK) established the University College London (UK) School of Energy & Resources in Adelaide, Australia, the first campus of a British university in the country. The School was based in the historic Torrens Building in Victoria Square and its creation followed negotiations between University College London (UK) Vice Provost Michael Worton and South Australian Premier Mike Rann.

In 2009, the Yale UCL Collaborative was established between University College London (UK); UCL Partners; Yale University(US); Yale School of Medicine; and Yale – New Haven Hospital. It is the largest collaboration in the history of either university, and its scope has subsequently been extended to the humanities and social sciences.

2010 to 2015

In June 2011, the mining company BHP Billiton agreed to donate AU$10 million to University College London (UK) to fund the establishment of two energy institutes – the Energy Policy Institute; based in Adelaide, and the Institute for Sustainable Resources, based in London.

In November 2011, University College London (UK) announced plans for a £500 million investment in its main Bloomsbury campus over 10 years, as well as the establishment of a new 23-acre campus next to the Olympic Park in Stratford in the East End of London. It revised its plans of expansion in East London and in December 2014 announced to build a campus (UCL East) covering 11 acres and provide up to 125,000m^2 of space on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. UCL East will be part of plans to transform the Olympic Park into a cultural and innovation hub, where University College London (UK) will open its first school of design, a centre of experimental engineering and a museum of the future, along with a living space for students.

The School of Pharmacy, University of London merged with University College London (UK) on 1 January 2012, becoming the University College London (UK) School of Pharmacy within the Faculty of Life Sciences. In May 2012, University College London (UK), Imperial College London and the semiconductor company Intel announced the establishment of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities, a London-based institute for research into the future of cities.

In August 2012, University College London (UK) received criticism for advertising an unpaid research position; it subsequently withdrew the advert.

University College London (UK) and the Institute of Education formed a strategic alliance in October 2012, including co-operation in teaching, research and the development of the London schools system. In February 2014, the two institutions announced their intention to merge, and the merger was completed in December 2014.

In September 2013, a new Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) was established within the Faculty of Engineering, one of several initiatives within the university to increase and reflect upon the links between research and public sector decision-making.

In October 2013, it was announced that the Translation Studies Unit of Imperial College London would move to University College London (UK), becoming part of the University College London (UK) School of European Languages, Culture and Society. In December 2013, it was announced that University College London (UK) and the academic publishing company Elsevier would collaborate to establish the UCL Big Data Institute. In January 2015, it was announced that University College London (UK) had been selected by the UK government as one of the five founding members of the Alan Turing Institute(UK) (together with the universities of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh(SCL), Oxford and University of Warwick(UK)), an institute to be established at the British Library to promote the development and use of advanced mathematics, computer science, algorithms and big data.

2015 to 2020

In August 2015, the Department of Management Science and Innovation was renamed as the School of Management and plans were announced to greatly expand University College London (UK) ‘s activities in the area of business-related teaching and research. The school moved from the Bloomsbury campus to One Canada Square in Canary Wharf in 2016.

University College London (UK) established the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) in 2015 to promote interdisciplinary research in humanities and social sciences. The prestigious annual Orwell Prize for political writing moved to the IAS in 2016.

In June 2016 it was reported in Times Higher Education that as a result of administrative errors hundreds of students who studied at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute between 2005–06 and 2013–14 had been given the wrong marks, leading to an unknown number of students being attributed with the wrong qualifications and, in some cases, being failed when they should have passed their degrees. A report by University College London (UK) ‘s Academic Committee Review Panel noted that, according to the institute’s own review findings, senior members of University College London (UK) staff had been aware of issues affecting students’ results but had not taken action to address them. The Review Panel concluded that there had been an apparent lack of ownership of these matters amongst the institute’s senior staff.

In December 2016 it was announced that University College London (UK) would be the hub institution for a new £250 million national dementia research institute, to be funded with £150 million from the Medical Research Council and £50 million each from Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society.

In May 2017 it was reported that staff morale was at “an all time low”, with 68% of members of the academic board who responded to a survey disagreeing with the statement ” University College London (UK) is well managed” and 86% with “the teaching facilities are adequate for the number of students”. Michael Arthur, the Provost and President, linked the results to the “major change programme” at University College London (UK). He admitted that facilities were under pressure following growth over the past decade, but said that the issues were being addressed through the development of UCL East and rental of other additional space.

In October 2017 University College London (UK) ‘s council voted to apply for university status while remaining part of the University of London. University College London (UK) ‘s application to become a university was subject to Parliament passing a bill to amend the statutes of the University of London, which received royal assent on 20 December 2018.

The University College London (UK) Adelaide satellite campus closed in December 2017, with academic staff and student transferring to the University of South Australia(AU). As of 2019 UniSA and University College London (UK) are offering a joint masters qualification in Science in Data Science (international).

In 2018, University College London (UK) opened UCL at Here East, at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offering courses jointly between the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. The campus offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate master’s degrees, with the first undergraduate students, on a new Engineering and Architectural Design MEng, starting in September 2018. It was announced in August 2018 that a £215 million contract for construction of the largest building in the UCL East development, Marshgate 1, had been awarded to Mace, with building to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2022.

In 2017 University College London (UK) disciplined an IT administrator who was also the University and College Union (UCU) branch secretary for refusing to take down an unmoderated staff mailing list. An employment tribunal subsequently ruled that he was engaged in union activities and thus this disciplinary action was unlawful. As of June 2019 University College London (UK) is appealing this ruling and the UCU congress has declared this to be a “dispute of national significance”.

2020 to present

In 2021 University College London (UK) formed a strategic partnership with Facebook AI Research (FAIR), including the creation of a new PhD programme.


University College London (UK) has made cross-disciplinary research a priority and orientates its research around four “Grand Challenges”, Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.

In 2014/15, University College London (UK) had a total research income of £427.5 million, the third-highest of any British university (after the University of Oxford and Imperial College London). Key sources of research income in that year were BIS research councils (£148.3 million); UK-based charities (£106.5 million); UK central government; local/health authorities and hospitals (£61.5 million); EU government bodies (£45.5 million); and UK industry, commerce and public corporations (£16.2 million). In 2015/16, University College London (UK) was awarded a total of £85.8 million in grants by UK research councils, the second-largest amount of any British university (after the University of Oxford), having achieved a 28% success rate. For the period to June 2015, University College London (UK) was the fifth-largest recipient of Horizon 2020 EU research funding and the largest recipient of any university, with €49.93 million of grants received. University College London (UK) also had the fifth-largest number of projects funded of any organisation, with 94.

According to a ranking of universities produced by SCImago Research Group University College London (UK) is ranked 12th in the world (and 1st in Europe) in terms of total research output. According to data released in July 2008 by ISI Web of Knowledge, University College London (UK) is the 13th most-cited university in the world (and most-cited in Europe). The analysis covered citations from 1 January 1998 to 30 April 2008, during which 46,166 UCL research papers attracted 803,566 citations. The report covered citations in 21 subject areas and the results revealed some of University College London (UK) ‘s key strengths, including: Clinical Medicine (1st outside North America); Immunology (2nd in Europe); Neuroscience & Behaviour (1st outside North America and 2nd in the world); Pharmacology & Toxicology (1st outside North America and 4th in the world); Psychiatry & Psychology (2nd outside North America); and Social Sciences, General (1st outside North America).

University College London (UK) submitted a total of 2,566 staff across 36 units of assessment to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment, in each case the highest number of any UK university (compared with 1,793 UCL staff submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008)). In the REF results 43% of University College London (UK) ‘s submitted research was classified as 4* (world-leading); 39% as 3* (internationally excellent); 15% as 2* (recognised internationally) and 2% as 1* (recognised nationally), giving an overall GPA of 3.22 (RAE 2008: 4* – 27%, 3* – 39%, 2* – 27% and 1* – 6%). In rankings produced by Times Higher Education based upon the REF results, University College London (UK) was ranked 1st overall for “research power” and joint 8th for GPA (compared to 4th and 7th respectively in equivalent rankings for the RAE 2008).