STEP fellowships are assigned by the merit of the thesis proposed by the home country advisor, as decided by the STEP selection committee. Once a STEP fellow is selected, ICTP will assign the fellow to the appropriate host institute with a designated co-advisor. The advisors from both the home and the host institutes will jointly supervise the fellow's research. The two advisors are expected to coordinate the research and training work of the fellow, which is concluded when the fellow student obtains the PhD at his/her home institute.
The fellowships are awarded for a period of at least three months to be spent by the fellows at host institutes during the first year. Pending the approval of the host institute and the two supervisors, the fellowship is renewable for up to two additional successive years.