The mission of ECT* is threefold:
- To be a center of frontline research in theoretical nuclear physics
- To promote active contacts between theory and experiments, and to related areas of research
- To further the training of young researchers
Aside from a vigorous local research program involving senior and junior researchers one of the main activities of ECT* is workshops, collaboration meetings, doctoral training programs, and specialized courses. It also offers visiting fellowships for junior and senior researchers.
In particular, ECT* organizes advanced training programs for doctoral students specializing in nuclear physics in a broad sense, including nuclear structure and reactions, nuclear astrophysics, quantum chromodynamics, and hadron physics, the physics of matter under extreme conditions and ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions. Related areas of research include topics in astrophysics and cosmology, particle physics and methods of quantum-field theory, condensed matter physics and many-body theory, computational physics, and the physics of ultra-cold atomic gases.