Supporting its mission to promote advanced scientific research in developing countries, ICTP offers a Postgraduate Diploma Programme that prepares talented students for PhD studies.
This one-year pre-PhD programme consists of two semesters of basic and advanced courses given by experts in the following fields:
After the completion of the courses (including examinations), participants are required to work on a dissertation, to be submitted and defended.
The Postgraduate Diploma Programme started in 1991, and since then, many of its graduates have gone on to do PhDs at various prestigious universities, including in Europe and North America. Many of them, after a few postdoctoral stints abroad, have returned to their home countries, where they are actively involved in teaching and in developing advanced research groups there. Others have pursued scientific careers in leading scientific institutions worldwide. Many former students continue to maintain an active collaboration with ICTP throughout their careers.
The Programme is open to young qualified graduates in physics, mathematics or related fields. A limited number of scholarships (around 10 per field) 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.