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The Institute for Theoretical Physics (IFT) UAM-CSIC was officially created in 2003 as a joint research center belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM). It is the only Spanish center dedicated entirely to research in Theoretical Physics. The IFT members develop research in the frontiers of Elementary Particle Physics, Astroparticles and Cosmology, in order to understand the fundamental keys of Nature and the Universe. They are also leading many research projects, both at the national and international level. The IFT is part of the strategic line `Theoretical Physics and Mathematics´ of the Campus of International Excellence (CEI) UAM+CSIC established in 2009. Since 2012, it is credited as Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence. Besides purely scientific activity, in the IFT is also conducted intensive training tasks of young researchers and professionals through the graduate program in Theoretical Physics with mention of excellence from the CEI and the Ministry of Education. In addition, the Institute carries out the important task of transferring knowledge to society through several outreach programs.
The IFT originated in 1994 when consolidated research teams belonging UAM and CSIC decided to sum efforts in order to generate synergies and acquire the critical mass necessary to play a major role in the international panorama of research in its field. The process of creation went through different stages: First, an Institute of the same name at UAM was created (April 1996), and later it was ascribed as associated unit of CSIC ( April 23, 1998). The 31st October 2001 the Government Board of the CSIC approved its constitution as a joint research Institute. The signature of the Collaboration Agreement for the creation of the Institute took place on the 13th of June 2002. The final effective start of operation was communicated to the Institute on the 10th October 2003.