Some of the primary goals of HIRES are the detection of biosignatures in the atmospheres of exoplanets, the detection of the fingerprint of the first generation of stars in the primeval Universe and investigating the variation of the fundamental constants of Physics across the cosmic epochs.
A summary of the science goals is given in the HIRES White Paper.
I am the Project Scientist of HIRES and chair of its Science Team.
The University of Cambridge (specifically the Kavli Institute for Cosmology and the Department of Physics) are also contributing through the development of the grating mosaicing and of optomechanics of the spectrograph.
More information is available at the HIRES site.