PhD fellowship opportunities in physics and mathematics

Through its Sandwich Training Educational Programme (STEP), ICTP and its UN partner, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), offer fellowships to PhD students from developing countries in the fields of physics and mathematics.

STEP’s goal is to strengthen the scientific capability of young scientists and researchers from developing countries to better contribute and serve the scientific, technical, and economic development of their home countries. STEP fellowships enrich their doctoral studies by giving students access to ICTP’s and the IAEA’s international community and world-class research and training facilities.

Application deadlines are 15 February and 15 August.


With a STEP fellowship, PhD students study 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. The STEP fellow is assigned to an appropriate host institute with a designated co-advisor.

IAEA Fellowships: Financial support is provided by the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation through the IAEA Technical Cooperation Fund. Candidates should be from an IAEA member state. The IAEA must receive an official endorsement for the fellow from the fellow’s country. Fields of research include:

  • atomic and nuclear physics
  • nuclear, isotope and laser techniques applied to:

human health
biotechnology and biophotonics
water resources and environmental studies

  • synchrotron radiation and applications
  • medical radiation physics

OFID Fellowships: ICTP and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) announce joint fellowships for research and training opportunities to PhD students in developing countries.

ICTP Fellowships: Fellowships are also provided by ICTP, within its scientific and technical competence, to candidates from developing countries in the fields listed below:

  • condensed matter and statistical physics
  • high energy physics
  • mathematics
  • earth system physics
  • applied physics (including micro- and nano-electronics, fluid dynamics)


For further information please contact:

ICTP-IAEA Sandwich Training Educational Programme
c/o Postgraduate Diploma Programme
The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Strada Costiera, 11
I-34151 Trieste, Italy

Ms. Sandra Alimanovic
LB Room A/bis
Telephone: +39 040 22 40 362
Telefax: +39 040 22 40 388