What is a STSM?
Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) consists in a visit to a host organization located in a different country than the country of affiliation by a Researcher or Innovator for specific work to be carried out and for a determined period of time (e.g. participation to experiments, joint theoretical work, etc. …).
Short-Term Scientific Missions benefit to:
- STSM Grantee: receives funding for implementing a project with an international team and gains new knowledge or access to equipment or techniques not available in the home institution.
- STSM Host: receives an international partner in their institution and can develop long lasting collaboration.
Who can apply
STSM applicants must be Action participants from a Full/Cooperating Member, Near Neighbour Countries (NNC) or European RTD organisation (see here). They must be member of at least one WG of our Action. Applicants must be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an institution, organisation or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research. The institution, organisation or legal entity where applicants pursue their main strand of research is considered as Home institution. The Host institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant.
The Action PROBONO intend to support many young researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries as well as other researchers to carry out STSM abroad on objectives linked to that of the PROBONO Action.
A "normal" STSM applied in our Action is expected to have a duration of 2-3 weeks, although longer duration will be also condidered. The STSM has to be carried out in its entirety within a single Grant Period of the Action (STSM should end before 15th of October) and within the Action’s lifetime.
Financial support for STSM is a grant awarded to individuals, not intended to cover employment costs.
The maximum amount to be claimed for a "normal" STSM proposal, of duration 2-3 weeks inside Europe, is defined to be 2.000€. We can consider "exceptional" cases exceeding this maximum limit for STSM outside Europe (US, Japan...) or for long STSM (more than month). These exeptional cases should be discuseed case by case.
Applicants must make a budget request in their application taking into consideration the duration and location of the STSM to estimate a real and sensible amount for the cost of living and the travel expenses.
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.
STSM grantees must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.
Participant grants are non-commercial transactions, therefore, claims as such are not subject to V.A.T deduction. Taxes normally due or applicable with respect to the payment of the grant are not to be deducted from amounts payable to participants. It is the responsibility of each participant to ensure that all amounts that they receive from COST funding are compliant with their national tax rules and obligations
How to apply
- Log into e-COST and click on the STSM Grants tab.
- Follow the steps in e-COST for STSM Conference Grant application.
Below is a list of the information you will be asked to provide in the application:
To be filled in e-COST:
- Start and end date (within the active Grant Period)
- Budget requested by the applicant
- Information about the host institution and contact person
To be uploaded to e-COST:
- Application form describing: Goals, description of the work to be carried out by the applicant, expected outcomes and description of the contribution to the Action MoU objectives
- Confirmation of the host on the agreement from the host institution in receiving the applicant.
- Other documents required by the Action (e.g. recommendation letter, etc…)
Deadline for applications
There are currently no set deadlines for STSM application and can be considered as a continuously opened call until the PROBONO budget for STSM within the Grant Period has been fully allocated.
STSM applications should be normally requested at least 3 weeks before the starting of the mission (although motivated exceptions will be considered).
Assessment and approval of the applications
- The STSM Committee (3-members) of the Action will assess the applications received and will approve or reject each of them on the basis of the short scientific proposal, pertinence to the Action’s goals, CV of the applicant. The proposal will be accepted if 2 members of the STSMs Committee are in favour of the proposal. In situations of “Conflict of Interest” (CoI), the person in the committee who is related to the CoI will be replaced by the Chair or the Vice Chair of the Action (depending on their availability and also whether they also have or not the CoI). In case an application is rejected, the STSM Committee will give the reason/s to the applicant.
- The commitee will review the budget requested and will determine the Grant amount in accordance with the applicant’s request but also taking into consideration the duration and location of the STSM and the budget available (if the amount requested by the applicant is considered to be excessive or not well justified, the commitee can approve a lower grant amount).
- The Grant Awarding Coordinator apply the commitee decision to e-cost platform and Grant Holder Manager is notified.
- The Grant Holder Manager will send a notification letter to every successful applicant.
The cases of Conflict of Interest:
- the applicant or the recipient are belonging to one of the countries of Committee members
- the applicant or the recipient have a family connection with one of the members of the Committee
- the applicant or the recipient have direct work link with one of the members of the Committee (i.e. ex-phD student, or similar cases)
- the STSM is directly interesting for one of the committee members
After STSM: required documents & payment of the grant
Once the STSM has ended, the grantee claim the payment by submitting via e-COST a report on the work developed, main achievements of the STSM and planned future follow up activities. The grantee should include also at least a photo taken during the mission showing the grantee at work and a group photo with the host person(s) at the STSM host location. They will be used to promote visibility of the Action in scientific meetings and in social media.
Download the template.
The recipient of the STSM engages to acknowledge the support of COST Action in publications and conference presentations related to the content of the STSM.
The required documentation must be submitted within 30 days after the end date of the STSM or 15 days after the end of the Grant Period, whichever date comes first. Failure to submit the required report on time will effectively cancel the grant.
The payment of the grant will be executed within 30 days after the approval of the report by the STSM coordinator.
Decisions of allocation
The decision of STSM Grant allocation will be published in Actions's website.
STSMs cancelation and COVID-19 pandemic
Provisions related to Force majeure impacting travel are applicable to financial support for networking activities organised through a Grant Awarding Process. A user guide for claiming expenses in case of force majeure is available to the participants.
COST Association strongly encourages Action participants to purchase fully refundable travel tickets and / or a travel cancellation insurance, when making their travel arrangements.
Action participants shall, where applicable, first seek refund of the considered amounts from other existing sources (hotel, travel company, insurance …) before submitting their derogation request to the Action. Vouchers from the travel service providers (railway, airline, hotel, …) are considered as a refund.
In relation to COVID-19 measures, STSM applicants must check regularly the applicable travel rules of their home and host countries to make sure the mission can be carried out as stated in their applications.
Considering the current uncertainty, grantees are requested to take as many measures as possible to guarantee the reimbursement of the travel expenses in case a STSM must be cancelled due to a new outbreak or lockdown in the grantee’s home/host country (accommodation booking with free cancellation, travel cancellation insurance …).
Grant Awarding Coordinator: Prof Dimitri BATANI -
STSM Approval Committee: Dr Jelena STASIC (SR)-
Dr Carmen RISTOSCU (RO) -
Prof Dimitri BATANI (FR) -
Grant Holder Administration: Ms Ladislava KOPŘIVOVÁ -