Short Term Scientific Missions
The aim of a STSM is to contribute to the scientific objectives of a COST Action. These Missions (Inter-laboratory Exchange Visits) aim at strengthening the existing COST Actions by allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory in another COST country to foster collaboration, to learn a new technique or to take measurements using instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory. They are particularly intended for young scientists. In the first years (2010-2011-2012), the Action granted 59 STSMs, out of which 97% were to Early Stage Researchers and 59% were to female scientists. The countries of origin and destination and the STSM subjects are summarised here.
Call: In 2013, five STSM applications were approved. No further calls will be launched.
Financial Support : A grant usually covers travel and subsistence. The financial support is a contribution to the costs of a STSM and may not necessarily cover all the costs. The financial contribution for a STSM will be a fixed grant based on the Applicant's budget request and the evaluation of the application by the STSM assessment committee. An amount of 60 to 90 EUR for the daily allowance and 300 EUR for the travel is recommended. The total of a STSM shall not exceed EUR 2 500 (EUR 3 500 for Early Stage Researchers with a stay longer than 3 months). For details, see the rules for reimbursement in the COST Vademecum (Part B) - Grant System.
Applicant and Host Institution : The Applicant should normally be engaged in a programme of research as a post graduate student or postdoctoral fellow or be employed in an institution of a COST country having accepted the MoU of the Action. This institution shall be actively participating in the COST Action. For the period of the STSM neither the MC of the Action, the COST Office nor the Grant Holder may be considered as the employer, and grantees must make their own arrangements for all health, social, personal security and pension matters.The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution, before submitting his/her application.
The home and the host institution can be public or private. A STSM may only be approved:
- from a home institution in a COST participating country to a host institution in a COST participating country or to a formally approved host institution in a non-COST country
- from a formally approved home institution in a Near Neighbour country (Morocco and Tunisia, for FP0903) to a host institution in a COST participating country.
Duration : STSMs are minimum one week (5 working days), maximum 3 months, and shall be concluded by November 17th, 2013 (end of the Action).
Step 1 – On-line registration by the applicant
The Applicant must use the on-line registration tool to register his/her request for a STSM.
Step 2 – Formal STSM application and annexes
• the future Host of the STSM;
Step 3 – Assessment of the STSM
The MC Chair will arrange the assessment of the STSM. The most important criterion of assessment is how effectively the STSM will contribute to the scientific aims of Action FP0903.
Step 4 – Approval from the Management Committee
The MC Chair informs the Grant Holder that the proposed STSM has been approved.
Step 5 – Cost Office Acceptance Letter (Grant Letter)
The Grant Holder will send to the Applicant an acceptance letter in which s/he is informed about:
a) the approval of the STSM and;
b) the level of the financial grant given.
For accepting the grant, the Applicant has to return this acceptance letter with his/her signature.
After the STSM
After completion of the STSM the grantee is required to submit to the host institution and MC Chair a scientific report on the visit within 4 weeks after his/her stay. The MC Chair is responsible for approving the final report and sending the notice of completion of the STSM to the Grant Holder, with the confirmation that the STSM has been successfully accomplished and that the grant can be paid. The report must contain the following information:
- Purpose of the STSM;
- Description of the work carried out during the STSM;
- Description of the main results obtained;
- Description about how the results contribute to the Action aims (this is the most important point);
- Confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM;
- Authorization to post the report at the Action website;
- Other comments (if any).
Publications resulting from STSM activities should acknowledge COST FP0903 support. A copy must be sent the MC Chair.
Further information and rules available at :
- COST Vademecum – Grant System
STSM Statistics from 2010 to 2013