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United Kingdom

United States of America

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020
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STSMs - Short-Term Scientific Missions

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 NNC institution or an approved IPC institution.

 An STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, 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. The evaluation of STSM applications is performed by the MC and must avoid any potential conflict of interest.

The MC may formally delegate the evaluation of STSM applications to an STSM coordinator or committee. The assessment criteria defined by the MC should be communicated in advance to all potential applicants. The selection of applicants is based on the scientific scope of the STSM application that must be in line with the Action objectives. Necessary geographical and gender balance issues are to be taken into consideration and applications from ESR should be privileged.

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

To complete an online STSM application please click HERE.

 Standard STSMs need to take place according to the following rules:

1. Be a minimum duration of 5 days;

2. Be a maximum duration of 90 days;

3. Needs to be carried out in their entirety within a single grant period and within the Action’s lifetime.

Specific provisions had been adopted by to foster the participation of ESR (COST 295/09). ESR may extend the duration of the STSM beyond the 90 days; in this case, ESR STSM must take place according to the following rules:

1. Be a minimum duration of 91 days;

2. Be a maximum duration of 180 days;

3. Needs to be carried out within their entirety within a single grant period and within the Action’s lifetime.

STSM - process

1. Before the STSM

In order to receive a STSM grant, the applicant must:

  1. Obtain the written agreement of the host institution, before submitting an application;

  2. Complete the online application form (see https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm);

  3. 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 STSM host institution and to the MC Chair or the STSM coordinator.

Assessment and Grant Letter:

 The MC (or STSM Coordinator or Committee) will perform the scientific and budgetaryassessment of the applications considering the Action objectives and define an acceptable funding level;

Once approved by the MC (or STSM Coordinator or Committee), the Grant Holder needs to receive the approval and then send a grant letter generated from e-COST to the applicant.


2. After the STSM

The grantee is required to submit a short scientific report to the host institution (for information) and MC Chair (or to 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;

 The MC Chair (or the STSM coordinator) is responsible for approving the scientific report and informing the Grant Holder that the STSM has been successfully accomplished;

After receipt of the approval by email, the Grant Holder will execute the payment of the grant. 



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