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Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are visits of researchers based in a home institution in a COST participating country to a host institution in another COST participating country or to a formally approved host institution in a non-COST country with the aim of contributing to the scientific objectives of the Action.

The purpose of these visits is to work on a jointly authored article, to learn or use a new technique or research method not available at the home institution, to work on a joint research proposal or any other activity linked to the objectives of the Action

Please also download the COST Vademecum, which is regularly updated and is the working document of COST.


 Applicants can be PhD students, Postdocs, Professors or staff members. There is no restriction regarding the host or the home research groups. Any research group can apply, as long as the objectives of the visit contribute to the scientific objectives of the Action and the research groups (both host and home) are based on a country participating in this COST Action.

To apply for an STSM applicants must have the consent of the research group where you plan to go.

All members of the Action involved in WG activities are encouraged to submit STSM applications. STSMs must be related to one of the Working Group Themes. We will use COST excellence and inclusiveness policy to evaluate applications.

We will promote the participation of ECIs (Early Career Investigators – i.e. those within 8 years of receiving their PhD), gender balance and the participation of ITCs.

Within each Grant Period, we will have four deadlines for collecting applications:

  • July 31st for STSMs aiming to start from Sept. 1st.
  • 31st October for STSMs aiming to start from Dec. 1st.
  • 31st January for STSMs aiming to start from March 1st.
  • April 30th for STSMs aiming to start from June 1st.

The applications within the first three collection dates will be carried out within the same grant period and must be finished before 30 April.

The evaluation of STSM applications and communication of outcomes will be made within 5 working days after each deadline for collecting applications.

Duration and Financial support

 An STSM Grant is a fixed financial contribution which takes into consideration the budget requested by the applicant(s) and the outcome of the evaluation process.

STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission. A STSM Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee. We will analyze each application separately (taking into account living costs of the host country), although we will follow the following general rules:

  • ITC up to 3 years after PhD, 100%.
  • ITC more than 3 years after PhD, 75%.
  • Non-ITC up to 3 years after PhD, 75%.
  • Non-ITC more than 3years after PhD, 50%.

How to apply for a STSM
The applicant should complete a profile in e-cost.

Eligible STSM applicants must prepare their STSM applications using the online application form.

 This form should include:

  • The aim and motivation of the STSM, including a clear case on how the STSM is relevant to the topic of our Action.
  • Expected scientific and/or other outcomes and contribution to the objectives of the Action. Applicants should explain clearly not only how the STSM will enhance their own research but also why the host Institution is appropriate and what value will be added by the collaboration.
  • Methodologies and workplan detailing the proposed activities, techniques and equipment required to achieve the proposed aims.

Applicants must also ensure that they can provide evidence of the commitment of the host Institution to host the STSM (e.g. a letter of invitation or email from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host institution) and provide the name of the person in the host Institution who will supervise it.

After encoding the information, the on-line registration tool will issue a formal STSM application which has to be downloaded and sent by the applicant electronically (by e-mail as attachment) together with supporting information (CV, list of publications, motivation letter, letter of support from the home institute) to the STSM Manager and to the future host institution of the STSM.

Latest five working days after each collection deadline the applicants will be notified whether the STSMs has been granted or not. Successful applicants should receive a Grant letter from e-COST.

After completion, recipients are required to submit a report following the STSM report template, which should contain the following information:

– Purpose of the STSM.
– Description of the work carried out during the STSM.
– Description of the main results obtained.
– Future collaboration with host institution (if applicable).
– Foreseen publications/articles resulting from the STSM (if applicable).
– Confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM.
– Other comments (if any).

No payment will take place before the STSM report is submitted and accepted by the Management Committee of the Action.

The STSM Manager is Gleb Kakazei (Portugal) and his supporting group is composed by Peter Samuely (Slovakia), Milorad Milosevic (Belgium) and Adrian Crisan (Romania).

For further information please contact us.

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