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 apply using the STEP online application form for each call for applications. Applicants should complete Part I of the online form. Once the form is submitted along with 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.

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