Training and Research in Italian Laboratories (TRIL)

The TRIL Programme offers scientists from developing countries the opportunity to undertake training and research in an Italian laboratory in different branches of the physical sciences.

The aim of the programme is to promote, through direct contacts and side-by-side high-level research, collaborations between the Italian scientific community and individuals, groups and institutions in developing countries. This programme thus addresses an important aspect of the mission of ICTP, namely to help form and strengthen a permanent scientific expertise in developing countries, cognisant of local needs and resources and of the frontiers of science and technology, and to provide support towards a sustainable capacity in basic and applied research that can help their nations' progress.

The ICTP-TRIL programme opened up opportunities for me to have hands-on experience in advanced research facilities, which would not have been possible othewise

Dr. Manju Unnikrishnan, India


ICTP has established agreements of collaboration with more than 400 Italian research institutes, providing young scientists with numerous options. TRIL partners include:

  • CNR (Italian National Research Council) institutes
  • Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste (Elettra Synchrotron Light Source)
  • ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development)
  • INFN (National Institute for Nuclear Physics)
  • INGV (Istituto Nazione di Geofisica e Vulcanologia)
  • OGS (National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics)
    and several others

TRIL fellows are matched to laboratories that best meet their needs. Over the years, the TRIL experience has benefitted hundreds of developing world scientists, boosting their research careers through collaboration with world-class scientists and the latest equipment, and exposing them to Italian culture as well.


Fields of research

High energy physics

  • Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

Physics and energy

  • Nuclear Physics
  • Plasma Physics and Nuclear Fusion
  • Non-Conventional Energy (Solar, Wind and others)

Physics of condensed matter

  • Solid State Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular Physics
  • Materials Science
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Computational Physics
  • Fluid Dynamics

Science, technology, and innovation

  • Advanced Scientific Instrumentation
  • Ionospheric Physics, Ionospheric Modelling, Space Weather
  • Digital Fabrication and Science Dissemination
  • Wireless ICT and Internet of Things
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Optics

Physics of the living state

  • Biophysics
  • Medical Physics

Physics and environment

  • Geophysics and Oceanography
  • Soil Physics 
  • Climatology and Meteorology
  • Physics of the Atmosphere, Troposphere, Magnetosphere, Aeronomy
Who can apply

Criteria for TRIL Fellowships

Individuals wishing to be considered for a fellowship award must ensure that they meet all the following criteria:

  1. be a national of a developing country;
  2. be in possession of at least a university Master's Degree;
  3. be proficient in reading and writing English. Applicants may be requested to present an English proficiency certificate or a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) certificate;
  4. reside in a developing country (studying or working) at the time of selection.

Individuals from developed countries are not eligible to apply to the TRIL Programme.

Applications from young talented scientists who have already acquired a certain degree of research experience, with published papers to their credit, will be given preference. Priority attention will be given to female candidates and to applicants from least developed countries (LDCs). Applications from senior scientists are also welcome.

Former TRIL fellows may apply again, only if the total length of the previous award (plus any extensions) did not exceed 24 months. Should the previous award exceed this limit, an application will be considered after a 24-month break.

Individuals wishing to prolong their visit in Italy, which initiated from other organizations, institutes or laboratories, are discouraged from applying to the TRIL Programme.

Applications that do not meet all the eligible requirements will not be considered.


A limited number of fellowships are fully funded by the TRIL Programme. The expectation is that a fellowship will be jointly funded by the hosting laboratory. As the demand for financial aid always exceeds the available funds, applicants are strongly encouraged to seek sponsorship from their local sources to contribute towards their travel expenses.

Fellows receive a monthly grant in Euro to cover their living costs, such as lodging, meals, local travel and incidentals while on the fellowship, as follows:

Euro 1,300 for students pursuing a Ph.D. (or its equivalent)
Euro 1,500 for scientists with a Ph.D. degree less than 5 years
Euro 1,600 for scientists with a Ph.D. degree more than 5 years 

In very exceptional cases, the monthly grant can differ from the above scheme.

Eligible fellows will receive a prepaid ticket from the ICTP Operations and Travel Unit. No travel contribution is foreseen for accompanying family members.

As medical insurance is obligatory in Italy, fellows who come to Italy without worldwide valid medical insurance coverage, will be provided free health insurance coverage, through an external insurance company for the duration of their stay. Accompanying family members will also be provided with cost-free health insurance coverage.

The host institution will provide the Fellow with laboratory space and other facilities necessary for the project. The host laboratory generally provides assistance to fellows to find accommodation.

In the event of early termination of the fellowship, any payments made after the date of termination,  will have to be returned to the ICTP.

Duration of fellowship

Fellowships range in length from a few months to one year, depending on the host laboratory, the research/training activity and the budget available. The host laboratory determines the length of the fellowship.

Fellowships may be extended for an additional period (usually for not more than 12 months at a time), depending on the success of the research/training of the fellow and available funds.

The maximum duration of a fellowship is 24 months. This includes the original fellowship period and extensions.


On accepting the fellowship, the Fellow undertakes to comply with the requirements stipulated in the award letter and Terms & Conditions.

Research/training must be carried out under the auspices of an academic supervisor in the host laboratory.

A TRIL fellow will be expected to conduct himself/herself in a professional manner at all times and devote themselves fully to their research during the tenure.

At the end of the fellowship and before departure, the fellow must submit a final report of the activity done at the host laboratory as well as the titles of any papers prepared/published during the fellowship. A progress report for stays longer than 3 months is also required.

Fellows are expected to acknowledge the TRIL fellowship when presenting or publishing the content of the research conducted under the award. After termination of the fellowship, the TRIL Secretariat should be informed of any publication resulting from the research performed as a TRIL fellow.

It is understood that at the end of the Fellowship, the Fellow must return to his/her home country.

How to apply

Applications and supporting documentation are accepted only via the ICTP online application system. Applications, supporting documents and additional information arriving by other means (such as email or regular post) will not be considered.

Applications will be kept on the system for a maximum of two years from submission of the complete form (including referee letters) and evaluated in the event that fellowships become available.

Before filling in the TRIL online application form, applicants should:

  • prepare their Curriculum Vitae in .pdf format;
  • prepare a complete list of publications (including books and articles) in anti-chronological order in .pdf format. The title of papers should be listed and the journal where they are published. Two separate lists should be included in the file: one for peer reviewed (ISI) journals and one for non-ISI journals. Unpublished works may be mentioned under a different heading.

Registering and using the online application system

To create and manage an application a valid login email address and password are required. Once the login information is successfully created, one can return to the application form at any time.

The system has various built-in safeguards to help maintain the privacy of the data. All documents are treated with utmost confidentiality. During the selection process, access will be given to the relevant Italian Laboratory.

Any technical problems with the online application process should be reported to:


Online application form

The online application is comprised of several pages where information must be entered or files must be uploaded. The list pages of the application is located on the left margin. As each page is completed, a green tick-mark will show against it. This list is also a menu, so one can quickly navigate between pages.

If the applicant cannot answer all the required questions, it is possible to save a draft application and return to it at a later time to complete it. It is possible to make changes or additions at any time both to the form itself and to the attachments. Applicants are encouraged to always keep the information in the online application up-to-date.


Data entry and information saving

When completing the online application form, comprehensive instructions will guide the applicant step-by step on how to fill out and submit the form.

All questions must be replied to in English.

It is important that the name of the applicant is spelt the same way in all documents, i.e. as it appears in the applicant's passport.

Applicants must specify their field of research and provide a detailed description of the proposed training/research he/she is interested in carrying out during the fellowship, as well as any specific problem to be dealt with during the fellowship. Relevance of the field of interest is the determining factor for assignment of the host laboratory.

Applicants will also be asked to provide a short account of the benefits of the fellowship to the development of the field in their country.


Uploading documents

The Curriculum Vitae and the list of publications must be uploaded in.pdf format directly in the relevant page of the application.

All documentation must be presented in English and submitted electronically.


Submission of recommendations

Two letters of recommendation are required from individuals who is knowledgeable of the work of the applicant. The applicant will enter the names and email addresses of the referees in the relevant page of the application form. Once the applicant has entered the information and saved it, the system will automatically send a notification email to the referees. The email will inform them that you are applying for a TRIL fellowship and provide them with a link to the login page. The referees must log in to the system to submit their recommendation letter and access the online evaluation form. In the summary of the application form, the applicant will be able to monitor the submission of the referee reports.


Submission of application form

Each page of the application form must be validated by the green tick-mark against it. Once all the pages of application are validated, one should click on the Submit page. If the application form is not yet complete, the system will mark in red the parts that are incomplete.

In submitting an application form for a fellowship, the applicant does not incur any obligations to accept the appointment if selected.

Selection process

How TRIL Fellows are chosen

Fellows are selected through a selection procedure that normally takes place once or twice a year. There is not a set number of fellowships selected. The number of fellowships awarded each year is determined by the availability of funds for the programme.

A period of 6 to 12 months is usually necessary between the submission of the application and the date of selection.

All applications are examined by the TRIL Consultant to ensure that they are complete and meet the programme's eligible criteria. If an application does not meet all of the criteria, it will not be considered. All eligible applications are then sent to the related Fellowship Committee or Laboratory for further consideration and final decision.

Each application received is carefully considered on an individual basis and the selection of a TRIL Fellow is based on the following criteria:

  • applicant's qualifications and his/her expertise;
  • list of publications;
  • proposed training/research activity he/she is interested in carrying out during the fellowship;
  • benefit of the research/training activity to his/her home country;
  • interest of the host laboratory towards the applicant;
  • letter of recommendation.

In addition to the merit criteria and the interest of the host laboratory, other factors are also taken into consideration such as geographical diversity, gender balance and availability of funds. Priority attention will be given to applications from females and from least developed countries.

Applications are submitted to the host laboratories for final decision on all fellowships.

Only successful applicants are contacted.

The TRIL Secretariat does not respond to individual requests for selection information.



An award letter will be issued from ICTP to successful candidates. The letter contains information concerning the laboratory assigned, financial, travel and reporting conditions, as well as some pre-arrival information and obligations that fall upon the fellow during the tenure. All fellowships are subject to the requirements stipulated in the letter and Terms and Conditions.

All fellowships start on the first or fifteenth day of the month. The host laboratory makes the final decision on the commencement date and length of the fellowship. Exceptionally, in case of proven difficulties, the starting date of the fellowship may be postponed.



The Fellow is required to inform the TRIL Secretariat of his/her acceptance of the fellowship and provide the following documentation:

  1. A certificate from the administration/supervisor where he/she works/studies approving the request. The certificate should also specifying whether the fellow will be on paid leave or not;
  2. A scan of the candidate's passport photo ID page.

The documents will be required from the selected candidates within two weeks after receiving the notification of award. Their timely submission of their acceptance and of these documents will be a condition of the award.




Training and Research in Italian Laboratories

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
Office of External Activities 
Via Beirut, 6
I- 34151 Trieste (Italy)

Phone: (+39) 040 2240 323

Fax: (+39) 040 2240 443

Laboratory Opportunity
Scientists from developing countries
for Developing countries
Up to 1 year
31 Dec 2024