ICTP event


Propose an ICTP Event

Add to ICTP's calendar of rich scientific conferences, schools and workshops
ICTP event

Each year, ICTP organises a number of schools/colleges, conferences, and workshops either at its Trieste premises, as a mix of in-person and virtual meetings, or at other outside venues, which as a rule are in a developing or emerging country.

Topics for activities are not restricted to theory and the activities are selected on the basis of scientific novelty, impact on the international community with special emphasis on bringing together scientists from South and North, basic training for younger scientists, and hands-on training for computer-intensive subjects. Where appropriate, proposals that combine pedagogical material with advanced research results, or those that spur new results in an emerging or multidisciplinary field, or those that resolve an outstanding or controversial issue, are preferred. Research-oriented non-pedagogical activities, as a rule, will receive funds that should mostly be earmarked for participants from developing countries.

Questions can be directed to the ICTP Scientific Programme Committee Office via email: proposal@ictp.it

ICTP invites proposals from the international scientific community for any of the following types of activities:

  • Schools/Colleges: These largely pedagogical events cover a relatively broad scientific field normally through lectures at an expository level, and may include exercise sessions, discussion groups and computer laboratory sessions. The lectures are intended to be self-contained, requiring a general background of the subject, and addressing a young and relatively inexperienced audience. Typical duration of a school is 3 weeks, with three to five lectures and seminars per day, and of the order of three lectures from each lecturer.
  • Advanced Schools/Workshops: These events deal with specific or specialized topics. In some cases, particularly when held periodically over time, the main purpose may be to cover developments of the last few years. A fraction of the audience may consist of former participants who should be actively involved in the programme, for instance through poster sessions. Typical length is 2 weeks.
  • Conferences: These activities last for a few days to a week and consist of presentations of recent results on timely and exciting subjects. A typical Conference may consist of three one-hour morning keynote lectures that include a broader introduction for non-experts, and up to five shorter specialized afternoon lectures or seminars.
  • Extended Workshops: These less structured activities last from 2 to 3 months and cover selected research topics. Organisers should plan, in close agreement with members of an ICTP staff research group, on staying for the full length of the workshop. Informal seminars by the participants and discussion sessions will serve to foster new research collaborations.
  • Huddles: Huddles bring together, for four weeks, two to three leading scientists  and (up to) eight younger scientists from around the world to foster research and collaboration on a selected research topic. The group of young scientists should preferentially consist  of postdoctoral fellows and students chosen directly by the invited scientists and junior scientists applying from emerging countries. The working groups may include ICTP Associates working in related areas. Depending on the topics, additional involvement of ICTP scientists, as well as of members of local research institutions at SISSA, Trieste University, CNR-IOM, Elettra, etc ., is most welcome. Huddle topics should emphasize scientific interest, novelty, and potential impact on the vast international community.  In addition to conducting  research,  the huddle  organisers should plan seminars and/or lectures for the benefit of  whole ICTP community, while preserving substantial freedom to adapt theschedule to their research needs. A report is requested at the end of the working period.  Finally, all publications based on collaborations within  the huddle should carry the ICTP address and affiliation.
  • Outside Activities: Regional activities, to take place in an emerging or developing country, meant for promoting science in the host country and the surrounding region. The proposal should be in a standard format as indicated for the above in-house ICTP activities. It is expected that some of the expenses for these meetings should be covered by the host institution, for example the board, lodging and travel at least for local participants and faculty. It is also expected that there will be logistics support on items such as secretariat, the use of the internet, telephone, fax, photocopier, office space and computers, pick-up service from and to the airport, internal transportation, housekeeping, lecture halls, laboratories, reception, lunch, dinner and coffee breaks. These commitments should be communicated to ICTP in a letter.
  • Co-sponsored Activities: Proposed activities that typically bring most of their own funding and organisation, but seek an international venue and only modest support from ICTP. For consideration, they should be open to participants from developing countries on a cost-free basis, and should otherwise be relevant to ICTP's mission, according to the criteria spelled out above.

Collaboration between ICTP and the WE-Heraeus Foundation

In 2025 ICTP may organise one or two activities jointly with the German Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation. This activity (“ICTP-WE Heraeus-Seminar”) will have the conferences format and the additional goal to bring together the German and the international scientific community. For this reason, one of the co-organisers has to be a German scientist or a scientist working at a German institution. In addition, the topic has to be on physics or an interdisciplinary field. Funding for this activity will be provided by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation. Please mark the corresponding box in the application form if you would like your activity to be considered for this. 


Prospective proposers are encouraged to contact relevant ICTP resident scientists for preliminary discussions and/or information (see research pages) in all areas where there is in-house interest and/or research at ICTP, including:

  • High Energy, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics including Statistical Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Earth System Physics including Geophysics, Ocean Dynamics, Weather and Climate Modelling, Upper Atmosphere
  • Applied Physics including Fluid Dynamics, Plasma Physics, Nuclear Data and Applications, Laser Physics, Medical Physics, Machine Learning, Computer Algorithms, Soft Matter, Biophysics, Radio Propagation
  • Quantitative Life Sciences
  • Web Technologies and Distance Education, Information and Communication Technologies, Open Source for Science and Development
  • Renewable Energies
  • High Performance Computing

If you are preparing an application and have no existing contacts at ICTP, please contact proposal@ictp.it and we will find an ICTP scientist with a relevant background to support your application.


All proposals are evaluated by an Advisory Panel. The criteria for selection are:

  • Scientific merit: timeliness, novelty, and research impact of the subject
  • High potential impact on scientists in developing countries
  • The reunion of communities: this is favoured over repetitious activities
  • External funding: activities should seek support to supplement ICTP's contribution
  • Activities submitted for the WE Heraeus Foundation funding will also be evaluated by the Foundation

Proposals must be submitted using ICTP's online system.

Important Notes

In all programmes, keynote lectures should contain a well-defined pedagogical introduction, so as to reach a broader audience including non-experts.

As a rule, the ICTP may cover living expenses for lecturers, speakers, and developing country participants of an activity. Travel contributions are restricted to a few well-motivated cases.  ICTP activities do not normally charge a conference fee.

A school may be combined with a conference.

If proposals from science-adjacent areas come from different sources, the Advisory Panel may attempt to merge them in cooperation with the proposers, in order to encourage better interaction among segments of a larger community. The organisers should be open to such suggestions.

For logistic purposes, it may be useful to involve an ICTP scientist in each of the proposals, though scientific direction could reside outside. In all cases the ICTP will nominate a local organiser, who will work side by side with the external organisers, and help with selection of participants.  Financial authority will reside with an ICTP staff member, who may also serve as the local organiser.

Proposers must include a list of suggested programme directors (normally between 2 and 5 names), keeping into consideration a balanced geographical and gender distribution. Preference will be given to proposals where at least one of the directors comes from a developing country and at least one of the directors is a woman.

Decisions concerning the programme for a particular year are taken in spring the prior year. Since the decision process involves several stages, early submission of proposals is strongly encouraged.

Because of space and other logistical reasons, some iteration on the duration, size and time of the programmes may be required. In particular, it is desirable to plan activities outside the crowded summer months.

ICTP's partner institutes in Brazil, China, Mexico and Rwanda are also interested in hosting scientific activities at their facilities.

Hosted Activities

Proposed activities that bring their own funds and organisation (requiring, in particular, no secretarial help from ICTP), but seek an international venue, will be considered, outside of the regular call for proposals, provided that they are open to emerging country participants on a cost-free basis, and are otherwise of relevance for ICTP's mission, according to the criteria spelled out above. Read more details about these so-called hosted activities here.