Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) is an exchange visit to support individual mobility, strengthen existing networks and foster collaboration between COST Action Participants. An STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, helping to achieve the Action MoU objectives and deliverables, whilst simultaneously 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.
Eligibility rules for STSM grants
The Grant applicant is an Action participant with a primary affiliation (see Article 126.96.36.199.1 on Annotated Rules for COST Actions) to a legal entity located in a COST Full or Cooperating Member country, a COST Near Neighbour Country or a European RTD Organisation.
Other important criteria for the STSM mobility, under the scopes of NOAR COST Action are:
- The Host organization has to be located in a different country than the country of the grantee;
- The STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime;
- The STSM must have a minimum duration of 5 calendar days that includes travel. For current Call, the STSM must have a limit of max. 30 calendar days including travel and must be finalized before September 30th, 2023;
- STSM grantees should make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.
The maximum budget granted to each approved STSM is 2000 EUR for a maximum of 30 calendar days including travel. The amount granted to each individual STSM will be determined during the evaluation process by the Grant Awarding Coordinator together with Grant Evaluation Committee and may be subject to negotiation with the applicant(s) before approval.
An STSM Grant is a fixed financial contribution which takes into consideration the budget requested by the applicant and the outcome of the evaluation of the STSM application. Please note that STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission, being only a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee. Applicants are encouraged to evaluate their budget request based on a high benefit/cost ratio and justify it based on the perceived cost of living in the host country/city.
Grants are paid by the Grant Holder Institution after the completion of the activity and approval of all required report/documentation. However, STSMs grantees may request up to 50% pre-payment of the approved grant. This amount is subject to availability of funds and approval by the Grant Holder Institution. The request of pre-payment shall be submitted to the Grant Awarding Coordinator (Dr. Penelope Bouziotis: email@example.com) and the Grant Holder Manager (Ms Céline HERAULT, firstname.lastname@example.org).
How to apply
The application procedure is legally bound to the Rules for COST Actions. Eligible STSM applicants must submit their STSM applications online by logging into e-COST and go to https://e-services.cost.eu/activity/grants and click on “Apply for a grant”. Then click on “Continue” on “Short-Term Scientific Mission grant”, to encode a new application. Then you just need to fill the online form with the following information:
- Applicant name (automatically filled),
- Primary affiliation (automatically filled),
- Type (automatically filled),
- COST Action: CA19114,
- Grant period (automatically filled after choosing the COST Action),
- Title of the planned STSM,
- Amount requested,
- Bank account,
- Start date requested,
- End date requested,
- Host institution name,
- Host institution city,
- Host institution country,
- Host institution URL,
- Host contact person name,
- Host contact person email.
After “Save application” you reach the “Supporting documents” page. Here you need to mention the title of the file you will submit, its type and upload the file.
You should submit:
- Grant Application Template (can be found here) that you should previously prepare with the following information:
- Action number: CA19114,
- Applicant name,
- Details of the STSM: Title and start and end dates,
- Goals of the STSM: Purpose and summary of the STSM (max 200 words),
- Working Plan: Description of the work to be carried out by the applicant (max 500 words),
- Expected outputs and contribution to the Action MoU objectives and deliverables: main expected results and their contribution to the progress towards the Action objectives (either research coordination and/or capacity building objectives) and deliverables (max 500 words).
- Invitation letter from the Host: it is responsibility of the applicant to obtain a written agreement from the Host institution stating that the applicant may perform the activities detailed in the STSM working plan on the agreed dates. The letter must be dated back not more than 3 months, and must be signed by a permanent staff representative of the Host institution (e.g. head of the research group, PI, director of the department, head of the institute/division etc).
- Candidate CV: a CV should be submitted, drafted preferably in Europass format (max. 3 pages). A list of academic publications can be added in separate pages.
In the Application form field please briefly address the following points:
- Proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of the Action. Please include how the planned activities will contribute to the plan of one or more WG(s) of the Action;
- Please detail what techniques or equipment you may learn to use, if applicable. Please underline the aspects of complementarity between expertise and instrumentation of the home and hosting institution/research groups;
- Please detail the steps you will take to achieve your proposed goals.
Applicants are requested to present a Working plan reasonably feasible and coherent with the time slot reported in the application.
After uploading all the requested documents, the applicant should click on “Submit”, a new window will appear and clicking on “Options”, please “download PDF”. After confirm submission by clicking on “✓Submit”, each applicant is required to send a copy of the downloaded application form and all the other uploaded documents (merged in one single PDF file) to the Grant Awarding Coordinator (Dr. Penelope Bouziotis: email@example.com). The email must have “STSM 3rd call CA19114 Application” as the subject line.
The Grant Awarding Coordinator will inform the Grant Holder of the approved STSMs. The Grant Holder will inform each approved applicant by sending a Grant Letter generated from e-COST.
The applicant must return this letter of acceptance with his/her signature.
Reporting and payment
Within 30 days from the end date of the STSM the successful applicant must submit the Scientific Reports (A) and the Dissemination Materials (B).
(A) Scientific Report on e-COST:
- The scientific report drafted by the applicant (max 4 pages), a template can be found in here.
- Host approval of scientific report: an official letter / email from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution formally stating the acceptance of the scientific report.
These two documents must be uploaded on e-COST to proceed with the request for payment.
When preparing the scientific report please consider the following:
- The scientific report for COST is a public document. Please take this into account in terms of Intellectual Property Rights.
- The scientific report does not need to contain specific and detailed results of the research. Rather, it should focus on the aspects that are the aim of STSM, in particular how the collaborative research during STSM has strengthen the scientific relationship between Home and Hosting institutions within the framework of Cooperation and Science in the European Union.
A copy of the scientific report in PDF format must be sent, by email, to the Grant Awarding Coordinator (Dr. Penelope Bouziotis: firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be responsible for approving the scientific report and informing the Action Chair and the Grant Holder that the STSM has been successfully accomplished.
Please note that the COST Association can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants.
(B) Dissemination materials to Science Communication Officer:
- A poster/video/success story describing the subject of your collaborative STSM activities.
- A strong, short advertising sentence summarizing your STSM experience that will be used for promotion of the above material.
- Your credentials in social media (if you have such) to tag you in publication of your post.
Please remember to present Home and Host institutions and your passion for science! Use pictures showing you at work but also after-work. Do not sound too abstract, avoid scientific jargon, use short sentences. The material is to advertise NOAR COST research, promote you, and will be shown in social media for public audience.
The materials have to be sent directly to the Science Communication Manager of our action Prof. Emilija Janevik-Ivanovska (email@example.com).
Failure to submit the scientific report & dissemination materials, and Host acceptance within 30 days from the end date of the STSM will effectively cancel the Grant.