TRIL

Programme for Training and Research in Italian Laboratories (TRIL)

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Testimonials

What past fellows say about TRIL

The value of TRIL, as seen by its fellows, is not simply restricted to the work done under the Program, but includes the boost it provided to many researchers in developing their careers, most of them highly successful. Some Fellows have expressly stated that they learnt how to do research, from choosing the right problems to tackling them with free inquiry. Some have also noted how the Fellowship gave them opportunities to form and maintain several long-term scientific associations with Italian scientists - who, in many cases, later become personal friends. The skills developed through the TRIL period took the Fellows to higher levels of performance later, and the experience made it possible for the Fellows to explore their research potential far better. This is indeed the gratifying facet of TRIL.

Other positive features of TRIL, are the access that the Program provided to modern equipment, and, in several instances, the impetus that this exposure provided them to build or establish similar facilities in their own countries. Many Fellows assess the working conditions in Italian laboratories to be on par with those in other developed nations, sometimes rendered better by the social ease with which Italians take to collaborative work. For a number of Fellows, TRIL provided a turning point for the better. They rejoiced the access to outstanding scientists and equipment, freedom to pursue their work under the watch of a gentle guiding hand. What more does a motivated young scientist need?

Most Fellows are thrilled by their exposure to Italy as a country, with much to offer in terms of culture (including, of course, its famous cuisine). It is remarkable how uniformly enthusiastic the TRIL Fellows are about Italy, and how Fellows from countries as diverse as Argentina, China, Cuba, India, Morocco and Nigeria - to name a few - feel that Italy is quite close to their own. This kinship shows the vastness of the Italian culture and its extraordinary vicissitude, with different aspects of it striking sympathetic notes with different peoples! Even the language, a barrier for many, did not seem to dampen their enjoyment of Italy and its people.

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The following comments were received from our fellows:

 

Maria Victoria BRACAMONTE, Argentina
"For 18 months I have had the great possibility to work in the Carbon Nanotechnology Group at the Universitá degli Study di Trieste through the TRIL Programme. I had the possibility to work in a big, multidisciplinary and well equipped group. In particular, I worked in the electrochemical division designing and performing experiments focused on the application of carbon based materials in technological electrochemical reactions. This great experience gave me access to equipment that is not available in Córdoba, and allowed me to publish four papers in a high impact journal and to develop many important contacts for further collaborations between laboratories. I'm especially thankful to Prof. Prato, who consented to open his laboratory and give me this opportunity. On a more personal note, it was a pleasure to visit Trieste and the ICTP. Each member of the ICTP's staff was friendly and kindly disposed to help me. I hope to meet them again in a new TRIL experience."

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Allé DIOUM, Senegal
"The ICTP and the TRIL Programme allowed me to attend for six months the prestigious Institute of Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity (ISOF), a strategic institute in the Chemical Sciences and Materials Technologies (CSMT) Department of CNR in Bologna. There I practiced my previous theoretical results and completed my skills competence in fabrication and characterization of Bulk-Heterojunction (BHJ) Organic Photovoltaic Solar Cells (OPV). The experience allowed me to get a large insight on both the preparation techniques and fabrication of solar cells based on blends conjugated polymer for low processes production. Despite the short stay, the experience was very valuable both in scientific and social terms, thanks to the expertise and cordiality of my colleagues. Moreover, I had the chance to strengthen my career prospects and widen the scope of my scientific thinking. I believe that the TRIL programme is an excellent opportunity for researchers and young scientists from developing countries to complete their theoretical knowledge in different scientific domains and exchange ideas with scientists from abroad. My significant scientific publications about fabricating, characterizing and modelling BHJ-OPV stand as evidence of this."

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Cedrix DONGMO FOUMTHUIM, Cameroon
"The ICTP-TRIL programme is a competitive and rewarding opportunity which allows young scientists from developing countries at the beginning of their research career to visit and undertake research activities in an Italian laboratory. TRIL Fellows can work with the latest research facilities and be supervised by distinguished scientists in their areas of competence. In 2014 I was proudly selected to work at the Theory Section of MONALISA (Molecular Nanoscience for Life Science Applications) research group located at the time at the University of Udine. During my stay I greatly improved my computing and programming skills and gained expertise in many of the mostly used biomolecular simulation packages for molecular dynamics calculations. This enabled me to obtain a considerable amount of data on the project we were developing at the time, namely the design of peptidic binders for biomolecular recognition in collaboration with a number of experimentalists. Rather than an expectation, the TRIL Fellowship proved to be an achievement: I (co)authored several papers printed in high impact publishing houses, and I was part of a vibrant, newly set-up collaborative network that opened-up research perspectives in my field of study."

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Komlan Segbéya GADEDJISSO-TOSSOU, Togo
"The ICTP-TRIL programme allowed me to gain practical experience in LASER related research issues. The fellowship gave me the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research in a very good scientific environment with advanced research facilities which are not available in developing countries like Togo, my home country. Moreover, it gave me the opportunity to interact with experts in the field of LASER coming from all over the world, and working in both academia and industry. This fellowship also helped me to build the foundations for my scientific career. I am deeply indebted to the ICTP staff and all the scientists attached to the TRIL programme for their assistance and friendly services during my visits. I am looking forward to sustaining the collaboration with ICTP-TRIL in order to implement joint projects in the future."

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Berihu Teklu GEBREHIWOT, Ethiopia
"I am very grateful to the TRIL fellowship Programme for the opportunity to research and train in Italy. For two years the Programme funded my research in quantum information at the University of Milan. I pursued research in quantum phase communication channels and the quantification of nonlinearity for anharmonic oscillators. I was really pleased with my stay in Italy; it was a great experience and an opportunity to engage and initiate in multiple research topics and collaborations. I developed collaborations with international researchers mainly within the Quantum Technology group at the Centre for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Queen's University Belfast, on the nonlinearity and nonclassicality in a nanomechanical resonator. Moreover, my supervisor always encouraged us to explore new fields in order to get a broader perspective and bring together new ideas and methods in order to solve interesting problems. I feel that this creativity and freedom to think outside the box have bettered me as a researcher, thus making the TRIL fellowship Programme an outstanding opportunity."

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Zekarias Teklu GEBREMICHAEL, Ethiopia
"Thanks to the help of my supervisors, Prof. Teketel Yohannes (Ethiopian) and Dr. Massimo Tormen (Italian), I was a beneficiary of the financial support from the ICTP-TRIL fellowship programme in 2015-16 for my PhD research work. I worked with Massimo Tormen's group at Elettra, synchrotron, in Trieste. Together with my helpful and lovely colleagues, I got the chance to learn both experimental and technical expertise. Right after working with the assistance of my co-worker for around two months, I was fully able to perform my experiments independently. Although it was the first time that I worked in a multi field science park, the integration of expertise and experimental instruments allowed me to greatly develop as a scientist. My experimental experience in Trieste allowed me to carry out my research experiments in an advanced understanding and technical skill. Currently, I am working my PhD research on Perovskite materials at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. The ICTP-TRIL programme was an important contribution to my PhD research work and of course to my future research exposure. Moreover, all of the ICTP staff was incredibly hospitable and Trieste was a beatiful city to live in."

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Javier Antonio GONZALEZ JOA, Cuba
"I spent my training in Geophysics with emphasis in seismology under supervision of Dr. Karim Aoudia. For a researcher coming from Cuba, the TRIL opportunity at ICTP was unique: as access to the Internet is limited, it is almost impossible to keep updated and use the software that are fundamental in my research work. In Italy I was given the opportunity to be involved in the most recent research topics, participate in talks and workshops and attend ESP diploma lectures. The ICTP library provided invaluable access to plenty of bibliography resources. Receiving instruction from top level researchers in the field helped me broaden my knowledge including theoretical, experimental and computational skills. During this period I became much more efficient as a researcher. Moreover, the Programme provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with high-level international scientists. As a TRIL fellow, I received funds that allowed me to acquire a Computing System with moderate characteristics to develop Numerical Simulation in my country. The stay in Trieste was not only valuable as a professional experience, but also enjoyable at a personal level: ICTP has a very welcoming environment, as well as friendly and helpful employees."

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Muntasir Abdalla IBRAHIM, Sudan
"I am very thankful for the great opportunity that ICTP gave me by awarding the TRIL-CETEMPS fellowship in 2013. During my eight months visit to the Center of Excellence in Telesensing of Environment and Model Prediction of Severe Events (CETEMPS) at University of L’Aquila, I worked on the analysis of the relationship between air quality levels and the atmospheric regime, and I started preliminary data collection for satellite-based studies of air quality over Sudan. After the fellowship, I continued working with CETEMPS on simulations of the atmospheric composition over Sudan using NASA Earth data satellites instruments. My colleagues were incredibly helpful, and I thank Dr. Gabriele Curci for still supervising me and all CETEMPS members for their persistent help even after I left Italy."

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Sergio Gabriel LOPEZ, Argentina
"I spent a total of twenty-eight months working at the ISMN-CNR in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Italy both for personal and professional reasons. From a professional perspective, I acquired valuable experience in the use of ultrafast time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy for the study of thin organic semiconductor films. In addition, I had the opportunity to study the photophysics of a wide variety of systems, from metal-organic frameworks to melanin films. All of this significantly broadened my understanding of photophysics, my field of study. From a personal perspective, I had the pleasure to learn Italian, a fascinating and melodious language. I also met many wonderful people, whose memory I will always cherish. I am deeply grateful to the ICTP programme for providing me with such a pleasant and profitable experience."

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Damas Ally MAKWEBA, Tanzania
"My six months at ICTP as a TRIL Fellow in 2015-16 were very beneficial: I worked and discussed with an interdisciplinary group of researchers and scientists on the HPC domain, learning more about their research and connecting them to others. Another important aspect of my stay at ICTP was the opportunity to participate in MHPC programmes which involved experimental learning. As a TRIL Fellow I was also invited to participate in SC15 at TEXAS in USA. At ICTP the most important lesson I learned was the value of scientific and research working groups in this proramme. I am currently working on difference use cases as a result of my experience with TRIL; one use case is "Integration of WRF in a Science Gateway" to run on a HPC cluster at DIT. My other research and consultancy activities are focused on Energy Aware HPC Resource Management, which is the topic I identified as a graduate studies proposal during my stay at ICTP. I will always be thankful for the great support and I hope I can participate in the Programme again in the future."

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Ali A. MOWLAVI, Iran
"In 2014 I spent a 10 month research period with the help of the ICTP at the Medical Physical Group in Ospedale Maggiore of Trieste. It was a very rewarding experience and a great start for scientific collaboration during the following years. I was later awarded a three month fellowship, which helped me to many ideas that I now share with my PhD and MSc students. One of the main benefits of the TRIL programme is to familiarise and research with collaborative research groups in Italy and around the world. TRIL is also a great opportunity for researchers from developing countries to make use of the research tools and advanced equipment not available to them, and to increse the confidence to do research projects in their countries. I often tell my students that ICTP is a piece of paradise for researchers."

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Joice Sophia PONRAJ, India
"I can positively say that the ICTP maintained a positive attitude towards my research and I have always felt proud of being an ICTP-TRIL Fellow. What I admire the most about the fellowship was the support I received from the ICTP and the host institute IMEM-CNR, in Parma. I wouldn't have been able to achieve what did without the exposure I gained with ICTP-TRIL. I am extremely grateful for the facilities, environment, resources and variety of services available during my stay in Italy, which led me to the present position at an independent faculty. The research skills I acquired were extremely beneficial and the professors helped me beyond words with excellent energy and enthusiasm. This award was an excellent opportunity to make ground-breaking science come alive and also to meet amazing people a thousand miles away. The Programme provided a grant for attending European conferences and research meetings which served as a platform to present the project by discussing with scientists and establish fruitful collaborations with other research groups. It also supported my scientific publications in peer reviewed journals."

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Samuel Sonko SACKEY, Ghana
"My experience with the ICTP-TRIL Fellowship Programme was not just productive and rewarding for me, but for my country Ghana as well. I trained in the field of Atmospheric Science at the Institute of Atmospheric Science and Climate of the Centre for National Research (ISAC-CNR) in Bologna, under the supervision of Prof. Giorgio Giovanelli and his research team. My training involved the application of Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) methodology operated in ‘passive mode’ for the real-time measurements of NO2 and SO2 atmospheric minor (trace) gases produced as a result of combustion, vehicular emissions and industrial activities. A DOAS system was donated by the ICTP at the end of my training and installed in the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), the only petroleum refinery in Ghana. With this installation, concentrations of trace gases are specifically retrieved in all four cardinal directions within a horizontal line-of-sight (LOS) at a height of about 50 m above ground level. At this altitude, and with only that Remote Sensing (RS) instrument which is centrally placed, the transport of pollutants is detected within the large metropolitan area of Tema. This collaborative research understanding is still ongoing between ICTP-TRIL, TOR and University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana, and I am indeed proud and pleased to be part of it all."

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Bidini Alade TALEATU, Nigeria
"I benefited from the TRIL fellowship two times. It allowed me to train in Elettra Synchrotron Light Source Laboratory Trieste both in 2012 and 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Goldoni. During the training, I had a research stay of six months in each year. This afforded me the opportunity to partake in some robust research work and learn new ideas. I was also able to carry out experiments based on my proposal with the state of arts facilities, and I have some publications to my credit. My host and the research team were very accommodating. I acquired knowledge which enhanced my quality of teaching and research at my home institution. At ICTP, the TRIL office always showed excellent sense of hospitality. Their prompt availability, kindness and adequate guide were second to none. I enjoyed the best treatment a visiting scientist can imagine. The community is very friendly and Trieste is a good home."

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Kelvin TITIMBO, Venezuela
"During the ICTP-TRIL fellowship period at the University of Trieste I could conduct research in outstanding working conditions and in a supportive atmosphere. The experience was not only limited to my host group at the UniTS; I worked with groups at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste and INFN-Trieste, too. I succeed at making advances in my own work, but also at getting to know the trending research topics in my field of interest. The visit certainly strengthened my career prospects as I acquired and developed new skills, knowledge, and expertise. As a national of a country where investments in sciences are scarce, the opportunity to be constantly motivated, inspired, and encouraged to go forward into the scientific career had a positive impact on accomplishing the forthcoming challenges. I am deeply grateful to all the personnel working at the ICTP-TRIL Programme. I encourage all young scientists to apply for it."

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Mojisola Rachael USIKALU, Nigeria
"The TRIL-ICTP Fellowship period in the Department of Physics at the University of Trieste was quite inspiring and remarkable. The experience was a great turning point in my career, for it provided me with an empowering platform for advanced research. During the period I had the privilege to interact with Scientists and Professors from within and outside Europe, to work in the Medical Physics research field. In addition, my personal experience was very pleasant as Trieste is a beautiful city with a lot of centres of attraction and the people are warm and friendly."

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Nikolay UZUNOV, Bulgaria
"The TRIL fellowship gave me the great opportunity to do research in the National Laboratories of Legnaro (LNL) at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN). The LNL are one of the four national laboratories of the INFN where scientists carry out a basic research into nuclear physics and astrophysics along with nuclear technology applications. I was involved in the research programme of the Laboratory for Radiopharmaceuticals and Molecular Imaging (LARIM) and that was the moment when my scientific interests oriented toward the applications of physics in medicine and medical physics. The possibilities to do research offered by the Laboratory were very good. We carried experiments on small-animal imaging such as single photon computed tomography (SPECT) experimenting on the imaging properties of different kinds of detectors and studying the biodistribution of radiopharmaceuticals synthesized in the laboratory. Later on, during the following visits at the Laboratory, I extended my field of research toward the imaging of biological objects using near infrared (NIR) fluorescence light from nano particles, excited by a laser beam. The time spent in LARIM helped me not only for my career development but gave me the knowledge and the confidence to initiate the establishment of the specialty of medical physics at my university (it is successfully running at present). The research and development I conducted during my TRIL scholarship periods in LARIM were only the beginning of a large collaboration that continues nowadays and is even extended towards the research of new accelerator-driven methods to produce radionuclides such as 99mTc and 52Mn for the nuclear medicine. I would like to emphasize once again that my career and this successful collaboration would not be possible without the assistance and the support provided by TRIL program of the ICTP."

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Marienette Morales VEGA, Philippines
"The TRIL programme has helped me in many ways through my career and I shall forever be grateful for it. Receiving the fellowship was instrumental to the completion of my doctoral degree. It enabled me to work in a world-class laboratory and use a lot of equipment that wasn't available in my home country. I was able to work with remarkable professors and researchers on an exciting topic. The chance to be surrounded by engaging people in a scientifically stimulating environment made the experience unforgettable. Moreover, the work I did in Italy resulted in the publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal."

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Wenke ZHAO, P.R. China
"It has been a great pleasure and a great honour to research with the TRIL fellowship Programme in Italy. With the opportunity provided by the ICTP, I had a chance to be trained in the Italian laboratory 'Exploration Geophysical Group', at the University of Trieste, under the supervision of Prof. Michele Pipan. The training programme focused on advanced geophysical methods for imaging and characterization of near surface targets. It undoubtedly provided me with a foundation for my future successful research career in China. The experience enhanced my professional competence and broadened my scientific and applied skills, as well as my academic abilities. Several scientific papers were published on famous international geophysical journals. I will always feel very proud to be a part of the ICTP, and I look forward to be back in Trieste with some possible future opportunity."

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