IAEA and ICTP PhD Training Fellowships for International Students from Developing Countries

ICTP/IAEA Sandwich Training Educational Programme:
PhD fellowship opportunities in physics and mathematics

Course(s) Offered: Physics, Mathematics
Course Level: Postgraduate (Fellowships, PhD, research)
Provider: ICTP, IAEA
Country to Study in: Europe (Italy, Austria, Monaco)

Scholarship Description
The International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and its UN partner, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) offers the Sandwich Training Educational Programme (STEP) as fellowship opportunities for PhD students from developing countries in the fields of physics and mathematics.

The goal of the STEP Fellowships 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. Fellows work on their PhD theses with their advisors at their home institutes and co-advisors at the hosting institutes.

The STEP fellowship programme enrich the doctoral studies of these young scientists and researchers by giving students access to ICTP's and the IAEA's international community and world-class research and training facilities. Their PhD is awarded at their home institutes.

Applications are welcome from students in developing countries who are enrolled in a PhD course at their home university. PhD students who are supervised by an ICTP Associate are encouraged to apply.

Candidates should be from an IAEA member state (169 countries as at December 2017). The IAEA must receive an official endorsement for the fellow from the fellow's country.

The programme aims at an equitable participation of fellows, and therefore especially welcomes applications from woman scientists.

Priority will be given to young researchers.

Selection criteria:
Fellowships are awarded on the merit of a thesis project proposed by students and their home country advisors. Once a STEP fellow is selected, the ICTP will assign the fellow to an appropriate host institute with a designated co-advisor.

Eligible groups
Citizens of IAEA member countries (see IAEA member States)

Participating Institutions (Location of Training)
STEP fellows have access to numerous institutes and laboratories.

Training and/or research work can take place in one of the many institutions located in the Trieste geographical area (in Italy). Training and/or research can also take place at the IAEA laboratories at Seibersdorf, Vienna, and the IAEA Marine Laboratory in Monaco. See full list of training locations.

Fields of study
1). IAEA Fellowships: The STEP offers fellowships to candidates from the IAEA member States in the following fields:
  • atomic and nuclear physics
  • nuclear, isotope and laser techniques applied to:
    • human health
    • agriculture
    • biotechnology and biophotonics
    • water resources and environmental studies
  • synchrotron radiation and applications
  • medical radiation physics
2). ICTP Fellowships: Fellowships are also provided by the 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)
Sponsorship duration
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

Scholarship benefits
The STEP fellowship includes a stipend of EU 1,400 per month during each stay at the host institute as well as the costs of travel and medical insurance.

It is understood that, during all other periods not covered by the STEP fellowship, i.e. when at the home institute, all support needed for continuing and finishing the fellow’s research work is provided by other funding sources.

Method of Application
Students must be from a developing country AND enrolled in a PhD programme at an Institute in a developing country. 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.

It is important to read the FAQs, and also to visit the official website (link to it is below) for complete information on applying to this fellowship opportunity for developing countries

The online application window is 15 December - 15 May. Application deadline for 2018-2019 cohort is 15 May 2018

The STEP Programme is NOT a PhD programme; rather, it is an enrichment programme for students already enrolled in PhD studies.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the world's central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field. It works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, contributing to international peace and security and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Application Deadline: 15 May 2018
Open to International students: Yes

More Scholarship Information and Application

Related: International Fellowship Programmes for Scholars


  1. The aim of your school is so crucial specially for
    developing country.So i need to contact the school;i am graduating class in msc specialization laser spectroscope under physics.

    1. nigeria isn't in the list . may God help this country