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.
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:
For ECIs (Early Career Investigators), the calculation for an increased financial contribution must respect the following criteria:
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:
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.
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:
The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant.