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Short Term Scientific Missions

The 12th and final call for STSM Applications for Missions occurring between 22nd November 2019 and 8th March 2020 is now closed.

The information found in this page can also be accessed in this attached word document.

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between researchers. An STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, whilst at the same time allowing those partaking in the missions to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and / or methods not available in their own institutions / organisations. Participation of “Early Career Investigators” (ECI) in STSM is particularly encouraged. An applicant can be considered as being an “Early Career Investigator” when a researcher’s career span is less than 8 years between the date of the PhD/doctorate and the date of the start of the proposed STSM.  Periods of career leave have to be added to this time span.


STSMs must respect the following criteria:

1. They must have a minimum duration of 5 days.

2. They can have a maximum duration of 90 days.

3. The STSM must to be carried out in its entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.

Specific additional provisions have been enacted by the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) to encourage the participation of Early Career Investigators (ECI) in STSMs.


To qualify for these specific provisions, the following conditions apply:

1. The mission must have a minimum duration of 91 days.

2. The mission can have a maximum duration of 180 days.

3. STSMs performed by ECI need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.


An STSM grant is a fixed financial contribution which takes into consideration the budget request of the applicant and the outcome of the evaluation of the STSM application. STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission. An STSM Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee.


An average cost of EUR 1500 per each STSM is expected for this call. Be realistic estimating your travel expenses and subsistence costs. Travel costs are set at a maximum of 300 € and the maximum daily allowance for accommodation and subsistence is 160 € STSMs requiring lower funding and which also have additional support from the sending or host labs will have priority. The amounts granted for each individual STSM will be determined during the evaluation process by the nominally appointed person(s). The selection of applicants is based on the scientific scope of the STSM application which must clearly compliment the overall objectives of the Action. Priority will be given to Action Participants who have not yet carried out a STSM. Applicants from COST Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC) are particularly encouraged to submit a proposal. Priority will also be given to STSM Applicants who have published with two or more CA15107 MoU countries represented in the author list and have acknowledged the COST Association and CA15107



How to apply for an STSM

Interested researchers are advised to follow the directions provided below and submit their application and supporting documents to Dr. Polona Umek, polona.umek@ijs.si between the 1st of May, when this call opens, until 21st October 2019.



1. All applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in section 7 of the COST Vademecum. This document is available at: www.cost.eu/participate/guidelines.

2. All applicants must register for an e-COST profile at e-services.cost.eu - adding their bank account details to their profile.

3. All applicants must obtain a letter of invitation from the Host institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates prior to submitting an application.

4. All applicants must complete, submit and upload their STSM application online at: eservices.cost.eu/stsm.

5. All applicants must send their submitted STSM application form and the relevant supporting documents to Dr. Polona Umek, polona.umek@ijs.si as soon as possible and no later than 10th May 2019.

 The list of supporting documents to be submitted for the evaluation are:

  • Letter (e.g. e-mail) of invitation to the applicant from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution.
  • The submitted STSM application form (downloadable when the online application is submitted - see point 4 above).
  • A motivation letter (cf. form attached) including an overview of the proposed activities that will be performed which must contain a plan of work for the visit highlighting the proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of the respective COST Action.
  • A letter of support (e.g. e-mail) from the Home Institution.  
  • A Full C.V. (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).
  • PhD students must also include a letter (scan as email) from their Home Institution showing that they are enrolled on a program leading to a PhD.

6. The application will then be assessed by the formally delegated person Dr. Polona Umek, against the perceived contribution that the proposed visit will make against the scientific objectives outlined in the Action Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

7. The applicant will be formally notified of the outcome of their STSM application by Dr. Polona Umek.

8. Within 14 days from the end date of the STSM, the successful applicant must submit a Scientific Report. Please use the MultiComp Scientific Report template. The complete (both Candidate and Host parts) must be uploaded to e-COST (follow the link sent by e-COST at the end of the STSM). A copy of the Scientific Report must also be sent to the Host institution, to the STSM Coordinator Dr. Polona Umek, polona.umek@ijs.si, to the STSM Vice-Coordinator Dr. Beata Kalska-Szostko, (kalskaszo@gmail.com), to the Vice-Chair Ms. Felicite Ruddock, F.M.Ruddock@ljmu.ac.uk and to the Chair Dr Sharali Malik, sharali.malik@kit.edu.


The applicant is also responsible for acquiring an official acceptance letter / Email confirmation of acceptance from a Senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution formally accepting the scientific report. This formal acceptance of the scientific report has to be sent to the Grant Holder Dr. Sharali Malik (sharali.malik@kit.edu) and the STSM Coordinator Dr. Polona Umek, polona.umek@ijs.si for archiving purposes.


Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days from the end date of the STSM will effectively cancel the grant.


Please note that COST can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants.


Deadline for applications to be submitted: [21 / 10 / 2019]



Period of STSM: between [22 / 11 / 2019] and [8 / 3 / 2020]


Deadline for STSM reports is 30 days after the mission is finished.