Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between researchers. A 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.
Applicants and Host Institutions
STSM applicants must be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an Institution or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research. The institutions / organisations where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home institutions. The Host institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant. The following table shows the scenarios available to eligible STSM applicants:
|Home Institution||Host Institution|
|From a Participating COST Country||To another Participating COST Country|
|To an approved NNC institution|
|To an approved IPC institution|
To an approved Specific Organisations
From an approved NNC institution
|To a Participating COST Country|
From an approved European RTD Organisation
|To a Participating COST Country|
STSM must respect the following criteria:
Specific additional provisions have been adopted by the CSO to encourage the participation of Early Career Investigators (ECI) in STSM. To qualify for these specific provisions, the following conditions apply:
Grantees must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.
STSM Financial Support
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 as determined by the Action Chair, Vice Chair or the STSM Coordinator / Committee. STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to performing a given mission. The Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee.
The calculation of the financial contribution for each STSM must respect the following criteria:
For ECIs, the calculation for an increased financial contribution must respect the following criteria:
The Action Chair, Vice Chair or the appointed STSM Coordinator / Committee can approve differentiated country rates to cover accommodation and meal expenses based on the perceived cost of living in the host country.
Step 1 – Formal agreement and on-line registration by the applicant
The applicant must obtain the written agreement of the host institution, before submitting an application. The on-line STSM registration tool can then be filled. This is to be done at least three weeks before the beginninng of the STSM.
Send the completed online application form as e-mail attachment together with the following necessary supporting documents:
Such doucments are to be sent to:
The selection of successful STSM applicants considers the scientific scope of the proposed mission and how the mission can support the Action in achieving its scientific objectives.
The STSM Coordinator will perform the scientific and budgetary assessment of the applications considering the Action objectives and define an acceptable funding level.
Once positively assessed by the STSM Coordinator and approved by the Management Committee, the Grant Holder needs to receive the approval from the Management Committee and then send a grant letter generated from e-COST to the applicant.
After the STSM
The grantee is required to submit a scientific report (3-5 pages) to the host institution, MC Chair the STSM coordinator for approval within 30 days after the end date of the STSM containing:
The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant.
The MC Chair (or the STSM coordinator) is responsible for approving the scientific report and informing the Grant Holder that the STSM has been successfully accomplished.