Main goals

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are aimed at supporting individual mobility and at strengthening the existing networks and fostering collaborations by allowing scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another Participating COST Country or an approved Near Neighbour Country (NNC) institution or an approved International Partners Country (IPC) institution. A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action (as specified in the Memorandum, see this document, while at the same time allowing applicants to learn new techniques or gain access to specific instruments and/or methods not available in their own institutions.

Call for Applications
Calls: 2 per grant period, the first until 31/06 and the second until 30/10.
Decisions: collected applications will be evaluated and decisions announced by the end of the subsequent month
Number of grants: limited by available funds

STSM applicants must be engaged in a running research programme as a postgraduate student or postdoctoral fellow, or be employed by or officially affiliated to an institution or legal entity.

The institutions/organizations where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home institutions. The Host institution is the institution/organization that will host the successful applicant.

The duration of the STSM should be between 5 and 90 days and needs to be carried out within their entirety within a single grant period and within the Action’s lifetime. The recommended duration is 3-4 weeks.

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 (or Vice Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution) and/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 this contribution for a STSM is based on the following rules:

  • up to a maximum of EUR 2.500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
  • up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

For ECIs (Early Career Investigators), the calculation for an increased financial contribution must respect the following criteria:

  • up to a maximum of EUR 3.500 in total can be afforded to ECIs for missions with a duration of between 91 and 180 days;
  • up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

The Action Chair (or Vice Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution) 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.

In order to receive a STSM grant, applicants must:

  • obtain the written agreement of the promoter of the host institution, before submitting an application;
  • complete the online application form (see;
  • send the completed file as e-mail attachment together with the necessary supporting documents (CV, full work plan, list of publications, motivation letter, letter of support from the home institution etc.) to the local promoter of the STSM host institution and to the MC Chair (José C. Matos - UMinho, as well as the STSM coordinator (Jan Bien: and or Guido De Roeck:
Prof. Jan Bien: and
Prof. Guido De Roeck:

The selection of applicants will be based on the scientific scope of the STSM application that must be in line with the Action objectives. Necessary geographical and gender balance issues will be also taken into consideration. Applications from Early stage Researchers (ESR) will be privileged. Scientific and budgetary assessment of the applications, considering the Action objectives and define an acceptable funding level, will be performed by the STSM Coordinator and the assessment panel. A STSM grant is a fixed contribution based on the budget requested by the applicant and the evaluation of the application by the MC Chair, and the STSM Coordinator and the assessment panel.. The aim of this grant is to support the costs associated with the exchange visit. This grant will not necessarily cover all expenses; it is intended only as a contribution to the travel and subsistence costs of the participant.

Final reporting

The grantee is required to submit a short scientific report to the host institution (for information), MC Chair and the STSM coordinator (for approval) within 30 days after the end date of the STSM, containing:

  • purpose of the STSM;
  • description of the work carried out during the STSM;
  • description of the main results obtained;
  • future collaboration with the 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).

The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant.

Successful stories
1st Grant Period

Name: Ivan Zambon
Topic: Performance indicators associated with degradation of bridges
Home institution: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Host institution: University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal
Start date: 02/11/2015   End date: 22/12/2015
Download: STSM Report

Name: Nikola Tanasić
Topic: Quality control plans for roadway bridges affected by flooding hazard
Home institution: Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Host institution: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Start date: 28/09/2015     End date: 13/10/2015
Download: STSM Report

Name: João Fernandes
Topic: Performance indicators for the assessment of existing bridges
Home institution: University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal
Host institution: Technical University of Catalonia (UPC)
Start date: 29/02/2016     End date: 01/04/2016
Download: STSM Report

Name: Ciarán Hanley
Topic: Quality specifications for roadway bridges, standardization at a European level (BridgeSpec)
Home institution: University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Host institution: University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal
Start date: 07/03/2016     End date: 28/03/2016
Download: STSM Report

Name: Nina Serdar
Topic: Non destructive methods for defining roadway bridge performance indicators
Home institution: University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
Host institution: University Federico II, Naples, Italy
Start date: 22/03/2016     End date: 29/03/2016
Download: STSM Report

2st Grant Period

Name: Mariano Zanini
Topic: Analysis of the existing environmental/economic/social performance indicators&goals and correlations with technical ones
Home institution: University of Padova
Host institution: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. UPC – BarcelonaTech
Start date: 03/10/2016   End date: 01/12/2015
Download: STSM Report

Name: Dimosthenis Kifokeris
Topic: Calibration and adaptation of the SB Method and Tool for bridge projects
Home institution: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Host institution: University of Minho
Start date: 09/01/2017   End date: 17/02/2017
Download: STSM Report

Name: Marija Petronijevic
Topic: Framework for creating BrIM model from point cloud data
Home institution: University of Belgrade, Serbia
Host institution: Technion – Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Israel
Start date: 30/01/2017   End date: 18/02/2017
Download: STSM Report

Name: Sérgio Fernandes
Topic: WG1 Performance Indicators and Glossary Database Repository
Home institution: ANSER, Lda – Portugal
Host institution: Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Start date: 05/02/2017   End date: 17/02/2017
Download: STSM Report

Name: Zaharah Allah Bukhsh
Topic: Multi-objective decision support model to optimize bridge performance goals
Home institution: University of Twente, The Netherlands
Host institution: Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Start date: 05/02/2017   End date: 25/02/2017
Download: STSM Report

3rd Grant Period

Dusan Isailovic
Name: Dusan Isailovic
Topic: Bayesian networks application in Quality Control Plan
Home institution: University of Belgrade, Serbia
Host institution: University of Minho, Portugal
Start date: 04/09/2017 End date: 13/10/2017
Download:  STSM Report

Anja Vidovic
Name: Anja Vidovic
Topic: Classification of Research Performance Indicators based on Parameter Readiness Level
Home institution: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Host institution: FSTTAR - French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks, France
Start date: 01/10/2017 End date: 31/10/2017
Download:  STSM Report

Henar Martin Sanz
Name: Henar Martin Sanz
Topic: Extraction of Performance Indicators for UHPFRC strengthened bridge structures
Home institution: ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Host institution: ZAG institut, Slovenia
Start date: 30/10/2017 End date: 20/11/2017
Download:  STSM Report

Marija Docevska
Name: Marija Docevska
Topic: Implementation of quality control plans in two case studies
Home institution: University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Macedonia
Host institution: University of Minho, Portugal
Start date: 05/03/2018 End date: 23/03/2018
Download:  STSM Report

4th Grant Period

Sergio Pereira
Name: Sérgio Pereira
Topic: Analysis of a real Quality Control Plan in view of COST TU1406 results
Home institution: IP – Infraestruturas de Portugal, S.A., Portugal
Host institution: Egnatia Odos A.E., Greece
Start date: 03/09/2018 End date: 12/09/2018
Download:  STSM Report

Zehra Irem Turksezer
Name: Zehra Irem Turksezer
Topic: Quality specification for roadway bridges, standardization at a European level
Home institution: Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Host institution: Aalborg University, Denmark
Start date: 10/09/2018 End date: 26/10/2018
Download:  STSM Report