Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about STEP fellowships

Is STEP a PhD programme?
No, STEP is NOT a PhD programme; rather, it is an enrichment programme for students already enrolled in PhD studies.

Am I eligible to apply if I am from a developing country but enrolled in a PhD in a developed country?
No. Students must be from a developing country AND enrolled in a PhD programme at an Institute in a developing country.

Am I eligible to apply if I am at the 2nd or 3rd year of my PhD?
Yes, that is possible.

Am I eligible to apply if I have already obtained my PhD? Can the STEP programme be used for Post-docs?
No. You are invited to explore different ICTP programmes.

Am I eligible to apply if I am not yet enrolled in PhD although I will be soon?
No, you have to wait to be officially enrolled, unless you are an ICTP Diploma student who is about to  graduate.

Am I eligible to apply if the subject of my PhD is not listed in the STEP announcement?
Candidates’ fields of interest should be included in the list of topics as shown in the announcement/description of the programme.

Can I choose to go to a host institute other than those listed in the announcement?
On a VERY EXCEPTIONAL basis, this may be approved. However, a prior agreement between ICTP and the new host institute is needed. Therefore, the final decision could be negative.

How do I apply?
You must exclusively use the STEP application form. The first part of the application form has to be filled in by the student, whereas the second part is to be completed by his/her home supervisor. Both the applicant and the supervisor MUST sign the certification page (in the middle of the application form).

Do I need to submit a hard copy of the application form and documentation by surface mail?
No, provided the application is signed and the documents are complete.

What is the application process?
All applications are submitted to the STEP Committee who makes recommendations and the final decision.