Research and Visiting Opportunities

Every year ICTP's Mathematics section and its partner offices inside and outside ICTP offer several training and research opportunities for outstanding students and mathematicians from developing countries. These include academic training opportunities (Postdoctoral Fellowships, ICTP/SISSA PhD Fellowships, ICTP/IAEA STEP - Sandwich Training Educational Programme, and the Postgraduate Diploma Programme Fellowships), research collaboration opportunities for short and long-term visits (Visiting Fellowships, ICTP Associates Scheme, CIMPA/ICTP Research in Pairs, INdAM/ICTP Research in Pairs), and also Visiting Scholar Fellowships in developing countries.

Here is a brief description of all of the current opportunities:

  • Postdoctoral Fellowships: Postdoctoral Fellowships are intended for young mathematicians with a strong research record. Fellows must have completed a PhD in mathematics prior to the start of their Fellowship. Women are particularly encouraged to apply. The Fellowships have a 24-month duration with a possible extension for a further period of 12 months. The starting date can be negotiated. Preference will be given to candidates who: 1) will benefit most from the time spent at ICTP in pursuit of their own research, using the ICTP facilities and participating in ICTP activities;  2) will interact with local scientists and visitors and will contribute to the intellectual vitality of the Centre; and 3) are from, and working in, developing countries.

    Successful candidates might be offered a Shiing-Shen Chern Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Fellowship, named after Shiing-Shen Chern, has especially attractive terms with a total possible tenure of 3+2 years.

    Candidates should apply using the ICTP online application system. They are required to arrange for the submission of three letters of recommendation by established researchers. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    Postdoctoral Fellows at the ICTP pursue their own research and participate in an array of mathematics activities at the network of scientific institutions in Trieste: ICTP, the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) and the University of Trieste. In addition to research, responsibilities of this Fellowship include tutorials to Postgraduate Diploma students, organization of seminars, and other Mathematics section academic activities.

    This Fellowship comes with a tax-free monthly stipend in the range of EUR 2100 - 2300 (depending on seniority), a travel grant of EUR 2000/year, a pension contribution, additional allowances for family members, and health insurance with Henner Insurance Company.

    Deadline for applications: The application window is usually from October to December (to start in September of the following year). A call for Postdoctoral Fellowships is now open and the application deadline is 15 January 2022. Apply here.


  • ICTP/SISSA PhD Fellowships: Students who have completed ICTP's Postgraduate Diploma Programme have the chance to continue their studies in Mathematics in Trieste to earn a PhD in a joint programme between ICTP and the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA). Applicants must have an ICTP Postgraduate Diploma or be enrolled in the Diploma. Exceptionally, candidates from developing countries (with particular emphasis on students from the least developed regions of the world) can apply if supported by a presentation letter from a member of the ICTP scientific staff.

    Admitted candidates will be awarded a yearly fellowship for the entire duration of the course (3 years extendable to a fourth, subject to availability of funds and approval by ICTP/SISSA governing bodies).

    Deadline for applications: The application window is usually from January to March (to start in October). For additional information consult the dedicated pages of the ICTP/SISSA PhD Programme and the SISSA PhD admission.


  • ICTP/IAEA STEP (Sandwich Training Educational Programme): Through the STEP Programme, ICTP and its UN partner, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), offer fellowships to PhD students from developing countries in physics and mathematics. With a STEP fellowship, PhD students continue their studies at their home universities but have the financial support to visit ICTP or a collaborating institute for a three-to-six-month stay each year for up to three successive years. Fellows work on their PhD theses with their advisors at their home institutes and co-advisors at the hosting institutes. Their PhD is awarded at their home institutes. Fellowships are awarded on the merit of a thesis project proposed by students and their home country advisors.

    Deadline for applications: The application window is usually from 15 November to 15 April. For additional information consult the dedicated page of the ICTP/IAEA STEP Programme.


  • Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Mathematics: Supporting its mission to promote advanced scientific research in developing countries, ICTP offers a Postgraduate Diploma Programme since 1991 that prepares talented students for PhD studies. This is a one-year pre-PhD programme consisting of basic and advanced courses. After the completion of the courses (including examinations), students are required to work on a dissertation, to be submitted and defended.

    Every year 10 scholarships in Mathematics are awarded to successful candidates from developing countries (with particular emphasis on students from the least developed regions of the world) to cover travel and living expenses during their stay at ICTP. The selection of the candidates is based on their university performance as well as on academic recommendations. The selection committee aims to select the best academically qualified candidates while striving for gender balance and geographical distribution.

    Deadline for applications: The application window is usually from January to February (to start in September). For additional information consult the dedicated pages of ICTP's Postgraduate Diploma Programme and the Math Diploma Programme.


  • Visiting Fellowships:

    Every year ICTP's Mathematics section offers several fellowships for scientists working in developing countries for short visits to the Centre. These fellowships are open for scientists of all seniority levels and may cover travel and accommodation costs, plus cost of health insurance as applicable depending on the duration of the stay.

    A call is now open for fellowships starting in 2023. Candidates should apply using the ICTP online application system. They are required to provide a brief research plan to be carried out at the Centre plus two letters of recommendation. Preference will be given to candidates with research interests matching those of the faculty and postdoctoral fellows of the ICTP Mathematics section. This year, the visitor's programme is partially supported by the International Mathematical Union.

    The application deadline is 30 September 2022.


  • ICTP Associates: Associateships are six-year awards intended exclusively for scientists working in developing countries. The modalities are:  Junior Associates (for scientists not older than 35); Regular Associates (for scientists between the ages of 36 and 45); Senior Associates (for scientists between the ages of 46 and 65); and Simons Associates (a special allocation with funding provided by the Simons Foundation, with no age restriction). During each year of the six-year award period, the Associate can use the grant to visit ICTP (typically for 30 to 60 days in each visit). The Mathematics section currently has more than 50 Associates. These are an essential part of the broad and lively research environment of the section. Every year ICTP opens a call to select new Associates.

    Candidates should apply using the ICTP online application system. They are required to arrange for the submission of two letters of recommendation by established researchers.

    Deadline for applications: The application window is from 1 October to 31 January of the following year. Please note that, due to the pandemic, the 2021 selection for associateships starting in 2022 has been cancelled. For more information consult the dedicated page of the Associateship Scheme.


  • CIMPA/ICTP Research in Pairs: This is a joint programme between ICTP and the International Centre for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) that makes it possible for researchers in mathematics based in a developing country to come to Europe to collaborate with a colleague for a period of at least 6 weeks. During this period, it is expected that the researchers will work together on a well-substantiated research project, mainly at the institute of the European colleague. The maximum amount of support is EUR 10,000. Alone or with other supports, this should cover all the costs (transportation, accommodation, insurance, PCR test, quarantine, etc.) of the laureate during the entire visit. The amount is determined based on the length, location and activities, and travel costs of the laureate. It can only cover her or his personal costs.

    The guidelines for this programme are:
    * The candidate is a researcher holding a PhD in mathematics who is based in a  developing country at the time of the application and with a passport indicates a nationality from a developing country. By definition, a developing country must be a country both in the IMU list and in the UNESCO list  (click on developing regions). If you are based in a country which is only in one of the two lists, please email us before applying;
    * The European colleague is a researcher holding a PhD in mathematics who will be based, throughout the candidate’s entire stay, in one of the following countries: Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland;
    *During the stay, the laureate must include a visit to CIMPA on the campus of Université Côte d'Azur or to ICTP in Trieste in order to record/broadcast a mini-course (of approximately 8 hours, in French or English) on mathematics at Masters/beginning of PhD level. Note that this is an important part of the application as the lectures will become an exemplary course for all students who want to learn about this topic. It needs therefore to be prepared with care;
    *The laureate and his/her colleague may propose to carry out part of their collaboration (one to two weeks) in one of the partner centres: CRMCIRM, ICTP or MFO. In this case, the cost of the colleague’s stay (but not the travel) will be covered by CIMPA, ICTP or the partner centre in addition to the financial support already offered;
    * In addition to his or her collaborative research project, the laureate may schedule visits to other laboratories or centres (not limited to the above countries but within Europe) to meet with other colleagues or attend courses or conferences. This "non-collaboration" time will represent no more than 1/4 of the total time of the visit.

    Once the submission is completed by the candidate, an email will be sent to the host colleague asking her/him to provide further details and upload a supporting letter for this application. Note that the letter is of crucial importance to evaluate the commitment of the host and the success of the application.

    Deadline for applications: Applications for a visit between January and the December 2023 are open until 10 July 2022 and must be submitted through an online form. The candidate can access this online form once an account has been created on this page. If you already have an account you can connect directly following this link. A PDF version of this form is available, containing the fields to be filled out as well as additional details on the terms and conditions.


  • INdAM - ICTP Research in Pairs (in Italy): This is a joint programme between ICTP  and the Istituto Nazionale di Alta Matematica (INdAM), aimed to fund research projects in mathematics to be carried out in collaboration between mathematicians from developing countries and INdAM members either at ICTP in Trieste or in any research unit of INdAM (see the list at

    Applicants must be from a developing country (the UN-maintained country list is here) and must have worked in a developing country for at least 6 months in the previous calendar year. After filling the personal profile, the applicant must provide the following information:
    *A detailed research project (between 2000 and 3000 characters);
    *A precise working plan, with timing and places where the proposed project would be carried out;
    *A detailed breakdown of costs, including the requested amount and a description of possible other sources of funding. The maximum amount of a request is fixed in EUR 4,000.

    The applicant can indicate up to two "team members" from a developing country (not necessarily the same as the applicant's) and up to two INdAM members, who are inscribed in the list of one of the national research groups GNAMPAGNCSGNFMGNSAGA. Once the application is completed, the INdAM partners will be contacted electronically to agree and fill in their scientific profile. Further scientific input on the joint project from the INdAM partners is strongly encouraged.

    Deadline for applications: Candidates should apply using the ICTP online application system. A new round of applications will be announced soon.


  • Visiting Scholar in developing countries:This is a programme organized by ICTP's Office of External Activities, in which Institutes or research groups in a developing country can apply to host a Visiting Scholar (who can be a scientist from any country) to enhance existing activities or to initiate a new research programme. The Visiting Scholar is required to make at least two research visits over a period of three years, each lasting at least a month, during which they are expected to carry out joint research with their counterparts and deliver lectures in their fields of expertise. The award covers the travel costs of the Visiting Scholar. The amount provided depends on the application, but usually does not exceed EUR 2500 for each visit.

    Deadline for applications: There are two deadlines each year for this programme: in 31 May and in 30 September. For more information consult the dedicated page of the Office of External Activities.


Contacts of the Mathematics section:

Telephone:  +39-040-2240455