Studying how the universe came into being has several upsides. For one, it’s fascinating; for another, it’s a very impressive thing to tell people you meet at a cocktail party. And it’s also apparently pretty lucrative: three theoretical physicists at Johns Hopkins just won a $1.3 million grant to study the subject.

The grant comes from the John Templeton Foundation, which funds projects “relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.” The origins of the universe sound like a good fit for that mission.

The money will help the school fund postdoctoral study by bright young physicists, spend a lot of time thinking about physics, and hopefully also sit around pondering the mystery of it all. Or maybe it’ll just be like an episode of the Big Bang Theory.