How to Apply

How to apply for a STEP fellowship

Applications are welcome from students in developing countries who are enrolled in a PhD course at their home university. PhD students who are supervised by an ICTP Associate are encouraged to apply.

The programme aims at an equitable participation of fellows, and therefore especially welcomes applications from woman scientists. Priority will be given to young researchers.

The online application window is 15 November to 15 April.

The online application form is here.

Applicants should complete the online form (Part I). Once this form is submitted with also the contact details (email) of the applicant's PhD supervisor at the home institute, the home supervisor will receive a link to fill the second part of the application (Part II). Only complete applications with both online forms (i.e., Part I & Part II) submitted by the deadline will be considered.

Applications and supporting documentation are accepted during the application window only via the ICTP online application system. Applications, supporting documents and additional information arriving by other means (email or regular post) will not be considered.

The online application form requires the following information:

PART I - Candidate's application

The online application comprises two parts where information must be entered:

  1. Student's Profile - The first part is a profile of the applicant themselves. Once completed, it is saved (but may be updated whenever needed) and is thus available for all applications to ICTP. 
  2. Student's Application - Once the profile is completed the application for a STEP fellowship will become available. Students will be asked to:
  • provide the title of their PhD project (this could also be a thesis title);
  • describe the research proposal or training programme to be supported by this fellowship (please note that the area of research must be of relevance to the list of sub fields as in the announcement of this programme): this includes a summary of the research activity/project to be supported by this fellowship (one page minimum), reference to previous work/publications relevant to this project done by the applicants or his/her PhD supervisor and a time outline of the proposal including specific objectives to be achieved and dates;
  • list any possible previous participation in IAEA activities;
  • upload a copy of their English proficiency certificate in pdf format (this can be any certificate or document, which gives proof of their ability to follow advanced level courses, to study and to write scientific articles in the English language);
  • upload any other documentation (strongly recommended) to support their application, including suggestions for co-supervisor/host Institution(s) or a support letter from a potential co-supervisor.

Once the application is submitted, students will be asked to send the invitation to their PhD supervisor at their home institute. Their supervisor will receive an invitation email with a link to fill the second part of the application (Part II) along with the instructions on how to proceed with the application - including the deadline for the application. Applications without the Supervisor's part won't be considered.

Note that logging out of the system saves whatever information has been entered (after clicking on the Save button). While it is possible to make changes or additions at any time to the profile, the application form itself is closed immediately after the deadline and can be no longer modified (it is however visible as a pdf file on your "Open applications" page).

PART II - Home Supervisor's part

This part comprises two sections where information must be entered:

  1. Home Supervisor's Profile - The first section is a profile of the home supervisors themselves. Once completed, it is saved (but may be updated whenever needed) and is thus available for all applications to ICTP.
  2. Home Supervisor's supporting information- Once the profile is completed the part regarding the student (Fellow)'s application becomes available. The supervisors will be asked to:
  • explain how the experience gained by the Fellow's participation in the STEP fellowship will directly benefit scientific research at their Institute;
  • provide specific information regarding potential European collaborators and institutes with expertise relevant to the Fellow's research project;
  • give a justification of the applicant´s research plan;
  • provide a list of recent publications on  ongoing research work;
  • provide the titles of the Ph.D. theses already supervised in the last 5 years;
  • upload a recommendation letter for the applicant's participation in the programme.