Young ISSNAF is targeted to our youngest members and affiliates. It supports early-career Italian researchers in North America (currently in the USA and Canada) as well as graduate students in Italy looking to spend time at an institution in North America by offering valuable programs and training experiences.

ISSNAF promotes the bi-directional exchange of students and professionals by cultivating partnerships  with institutions in Italy and North America with synergistic goals.

Read more about current opportunities and practical tips in our resources section.


Young ISSNAF supports early career Italian researchers in North America as well as graduate students in Italy in all disciplines by offering valuable programs and training experiences related to working in North America.


Programs for Early Career Researchers in North America

  • The YI Mentoring Program connects early career researchers in North America with senior mentors working in the same field within the ISSNAF network to help them achieve their professional goals

  • The YI Fellowships offer outstanding early-career Italian researchers and technologists in Italy the opportunity to work at a research organization in North America

Programs for Graduate Students in Italy

  • The YI Advising Program offers career guidance to students enrolled in the Laurea Magistrale and PhD programs in Italy who are interested in applying for an internship or pursuing a career in academia or at a research institution in North America.  Advisors are ISSNAF members working in academia and research institutions in North America

  • The YI Internships give outstanding graduate students in Italy the opportunity to spend a training period at a North-American organization



Mentoring Program 

The Young ISSNAF Mentoring Program helps early-career Italian researchers living in North America to pursue their professional growth by connecting them with experienced mentors within the ISSNAF network who share the same cultural background. Mentorship continues for a period of one year. 

ISSNAF opens two Calls for Applications per year, in July and December. Applicants must have received their Ph.D. or M.D.-Ph.D. within the previous ten years.

YI Mentoring Program Success Stories


Become a Mentor 

The YI Mentoring Program has been a rewarding experience for both mentors and mentees.

To become a YI Mentor, contact youngissnaf@issnaf.org

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Ryerson University





ISSNAF supports the professional growth of outstanding early career researchers in Italy. 


ISSNAF coordinates with Italian and North-American institutions to set up and manage research fellowships.  Selected researchers will spend one or more years at a research institution in North America.  These experiences benefit both visiting researchers and hosting institutions, professionally and culturally.

These fellowships are named after their generous sponsors.


YI Fellowships Success Stories


Former YI Fellowships

  • Premio Fulvio Bracco: two-year Fellowship at a Bracco Research Center in USA

  • Fondazione Marche: ten two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Biology at major North-American universities


Advising Program 

The Advising Program supports Italian graduate students in Italy interested in furthering their studies, pursuing a career in academia or at a research institution in North America, or applying for an internship in North America.  

Selected applicants are paired with ISSNAF YI Advisors and receive guidance for a period of one year.

ISSNAF opens one Call for Applications for the Career Advising Program per year in September. Applicants are required to be Italian and enrolled, or have graduated within the previous year, in a Laurea Magistrale program or a Ph.D. program at an Italian university.

Become a Young ISSNAF Advisor 

The YI Career Advising Program has been a rewarding experience for both mentors and mentees.

To become a YI Advisor, contact youngissnaf@issnaf.org


Art Director

Baldry Institute of Technology

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ISSNAF facilitates training and study opportunities for Italian graduate students in partnership with Italian and North American institutions.

Interested students can also apply to the Advising Program to better understand the best path ahead.

Notable Examples

  • Consiglio Nazionale degli Ingegneri (National Council of Engineers, CNI)

    • Over 30 Internships for early career Italian engineers at major research facilities

  • Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)

    • 9-week summer internships in North-American aerospace research facilities

  • Thales Alenia Space

    • Space Science Fellowship



Pietro Strobbia
Testimonial from Pietro Strobbia (April 6, 2020)

Pietro obtained a bachelor degree from the University of Rome La Sapienza in 2011, after which he decided to continue his education in the US, where in 2016 he obtained his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Maryland Baltimore County advised by Prof. Brian Cullum. As a postdoc at Duke University in the department of Biomedical Engineering, Pietro has worked on new diagnostic methods based on functional DNA and Raman spectroscopy. In the fall of 2020 Pietro was appointed Assistant Professor in Bionalytical Chemisty at the University of Cincinnati.

“Looking for an academic position in the US is a complicated and confusing process. The Young ISSNAF Mentorship Program has been very helpful to me in navigating this process, thanks to the help of Prof. Filippo Mancia of Columbia University, my mentor. Filippo and I have been communicating regularly via Skype every 2-3 months, discussing my academic trajectory, the US academic environment and the application process for faculty positions. These conversations made everything clearer to me. Before sending out my application packages to various universities, I passed them by him for review and suggestions for improvements. Even though Filippo does not work in my exact field, he was able to offer me good advice on the presentation, the format and the objectives of my applications. Filippo kept also current with the results of my applications. The most important aspects of this program are a) the advantage of a unique vantage point of an Italian already integrated in the US academic community, who helped me understand and translate the process, and b) a mentor outside the close circle of laboratories I have operated in, who helped me make my applications more understandable. I am grateful to ISSNAF for this opportunity which I highly recommend to Italian researchers who desire to enter the US academic environment”
Alberto Tono
“I arrived in Silicon Valley with a program called "Torno Subito" (Come back immediately), but thanks to the Young ISSNAF Mentoring Program, I was able to stay and fully live my dream. My mentor was Giuseppe Mascarella, who previously led the Strategy Consulting Team at Microsoft developing custom enterprise solutions for Artificial Intelligence Implementations.

I was an intern at HOK (Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum), one of the most prestigious Architecture and Engineering firms worldwide, in the San Francisco office. Thanks to Giuseppe’s experience in artificial intelligence implementations within a corporate environment, I was able to develop a Business Plan for leading that effort internally at HOK as well as a portion of the main deep learning and artificial intelligence framework for the firm”

Alberto Tono served as the Computational Design Lead in the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction industry. He has an MS degree in Architecture and Engineering from the University of Padua. Alberto has been working in the computational design space since 2014 for Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow on large projects. His studies took him to China and the Netherlands. His passions for computational design and deep learning inspired him to found Deeplearningitalia, and the Computational Design Institute. He also is a multi-awarded "hacker" and speaker at several international conferences and universities. Furthermore, Alberto and his wife are known for the first augmented reality wedding proposal and marriage, and now they are helping several international pediatric hospitals in adopting immersive reality for pediatric healthcare and education.
Claudio Emma
Claudio obtained his bachelor’s degree in Physics from King’s College London during which he spent a year abroad at UCLA as an exchange student. After obtaining a master’s degree from Imperial College London, Claudio returned to UCLA to complete a PhD in particle accelerator physics advised by Prof. Claudio Pellegrini in 2017. He later moved to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University where he currently holds a research position. Claudio’s research focuses on using plasmas as a way to shrink current accelerators 1000-fold in size, and using these small accelerators to generate bright X-rays to the study matter on the attosecond time-scale.

“As a young Italian researcher in the San Francisco Bay Area, ISSNAF has been an eye-opening resource for me. Through initiatives such as the Young ISSNAF Mentorship Program and the Bay Area Chapter BAC Talk series, I’ve gained a much broader perspective on the opportunities that lie ahead for me in my career and have been inspired by the variety of successful examples of Italian researchers I’ve been exposed to. The “seeing is believing” aspect of these initiatives has been a motivating push during the challenging phases of my early career, where young scientists are driven to assert themselves and make a significant impact in their field. As my mentor Prof. Emanuela Barzi of Fermilab said, sometimes the career of an Italian scientist abroad can start as that of an underdog, with few ties to your scientific and local community. This position can be used to your advantage and serve as a driver to work hard and achieve success. I’m grateful to ISSNAF for the opportunity and recommend this program to all Italian scientists looking for advice, motivation and successful examples of people in the field.”
Dr. Marco Dolci
In 2013 Dr. Marco Dolci was the winner of one of the two all paid internships among all Italian Engineering and Physics students, supported by Italian Space Agency and Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation. It took place at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. In particular, Dr. Dolci worked in the Earth, Astronomy, and Physics Mission Formulation Group bridging science and engineering in writing astrophysical mission proposals under the mentorship of J. Booth.

Before arriving to NASA JPL-Caltech, he had already received a MS in Space Engineering, and had experience in space systems, orbital mechanics, attitude determination and control systems, space environment, payloads, and CubeSats. Dr. Dolci had also received a BS and MS in Physics with experience in data analysis, antennas, optics, cosmic rays and astrophysics. However, after the incredible and inspirational experience at NASA JPL-Caltech, Dr. Dolci decided to take a PhD in Aerospace Engineering on Space Exploration Robotic Systems - Orbital Manipulation Mechanisms under the guidance of Prof. G. Genta in collaboration with Thales Alenia Space Italy and NASA JPL-Caltech.

Dr. Marco Dolci joined the NASA JPL-Caltech Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators Group in 2017 working as Robotics Systems Engineer on flight projects. He worked on Mars Science Laboratory project and he has been working on Mars 2020 project as Mars 2020 Sample Caching Subsystem Robotics Analyst and Mars 2020 Robotic Arm System Engineer. He traveled to NASA Kennedy Space Center for mission-critical testing activities on the Mars 2020 Rover in March 2020. Since 2017 he has been also supporting potential Mars Sample Return Mission Design concepts.



Resources provide information about current job openings in research fields, as well as tips to help newcomers to North America navigate their new environment.


Find information about:


YI Lectures are presentations given by senior ISSNAF members on a variety of useful topics, from cultural integration to grant writing.


©2020 by ISSNAF. Design by XSilico.

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