Short-Term Scientific Missions

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility and fostering collaboration between individuals. The Annotated Rules for COST Actions should be followed to ensure the proper implementation of this networking instrument (see https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2021-11-01-1.pdf).

Eligible STSM applicants must submit their STSM applications online at the following web address: https://e-services.cost.eu/activity/grants/add?type=STSM

1. STSM – ELIGIBILITY RULES

STSM applicants must be affiliated to, an institution, organisation or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research.

  • Early Career Investigators (ECI) (up to 40 years of age) have priority.
  • Senior scientists are also eligible for STSMs.

The institutions / organisation or legal entity where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home Institutions. The Host Institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant. The Applicant’s Home Institution must be based in a COST Full or Cooperating Member Country, a NearNeigbour Country or be a European RTD Organisation.

Eligible STSM applicants must submit their STSM applications online at the following web address: https://e-services.cost.eu/activity/grants/add?type=STSM

Relevant Definitions

COST Full Members: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, The Republic of North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

COST Cooperating Member: Israel

COST Partner Member: South Africa

Near Neighbour Countries (NNC): Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine

International Partner Countries (IPC): The participation of other countries than those listed above can be approved, so that researchers from such countries can participate at the Management Committee meetings as Observers, with no voting rights. They are not eligible for reimbursement.

Approved Institution: Institution located  in  a COST  Near-Neighbour  Country  (NNC)  or International  Partner  Country  (IPC)  or a Specific  Organisation  when applicable which participation to a COST Action has been approved in accordance with the  CSO Decision  135/14  establishing  the  “Rules  for Participation of Non-COST countries and Specific Organisations”. Those  institutions  are  referred  to  as  Approved  NNC  Institution  when located in a NNC and as Approved IPC Institution when located in an IPC.

European RTD Organisations:

  • CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research,
  • EFDA JET - European Fusion Development Agreement,
  • EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory,
  • ESA - European Space Agency,
  • ESO - European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere,
  • ESRF - European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, 
  • European XFEL - European XFEL Free-Electron Laser Facility and 
  • ILL - Institut Laue Langevin.

International Organisation: Any organisation with a European or international membership, scope or presence, with its own legal personality, promoting scientific and technological cooperation and can lend itself to supporting the fulfilment of the COST mission.

EU Institutions, Bodies,  Offices  and Agencies:  Any body defined in accordance with the Treaties on the European Union and on the Functioning of the European Union established in the EU to accomplish specific tasks of a legal, technical and/or scientific nature in a given policy field and to support the EU member States. A  list  of  the  EU  Bodies,  Offices  and  Agencies  may  be  found  at https://europa.eu/european-union/contact/institutions-bodies_en

2. EVALUATION AND SELECTION OF APPLICANTS

The evaluation of each received STSM application is performed by the Action MC. The Action Chair (or Vice-Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution) or the appointed STSM Coordinator / Committee can assume this responsibility if the Action MC gives them the mandate to perform this task on their behalf. The evaluation criteria defined by the Action MC should be communicated to all potential applicants. The selection of successful STSM applicants must be done so in consideration of the scientific scope of the proposed mission and how the mission can support the Action in achieving its scientific objectives. There should be special considerations made by the Action MC with respect to supporting COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling Early Career Investigators (ECI), broadening geographical inclusiveness.

The following evaluation criteria are used to evaluate applications:

  • The STSM should contribute to the scientific objectives of ReMO as described in the Researcher Mental Health and Well-being Manifesto.
  • STSM should provide added value to ReMO.
  • The selection of applicants is based on the scientific aims and scope of the application which must clearly compliment the overall objectives of ReMO.
  • Contribution to personal development of the applicant based on the written application.
  • Gender balance will be taken into consideration.
  • Applicants coming from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs) that are ReMO members will be given priority.

The STSM report is to be disseminated on the ReMO website and social media.

Aims and scope of a STSM

  • Support individual mobility
  • Specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of ReMO 
  • Strengthen the ReMO network 
  • Learn new techniques
  • Gain access to specific data, methods and instruments not available in the home institutions/organisations.
  • Perform collaborative research leading to joint publications(s).
  • Foster collaborations within the ReMO COST Action.

3. STSM – FINANCIAL SUPPORT

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. STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission. A STSM Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee. The calculation of the financial contribution for each STSM must respect the following criteria:

  • Up to a maximum of EUR 4 000 in total can be afforded to each successful applicant. The Grant Holder may request detailed costing of the STSM grant amount before approving the award.

The COST Association and the Grant Holder of the Action cannot to be considered as being an STSM grantee’s employer. STSM grantees must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.

APPROVING STSM FOR PAYMENT

The STSM Grantee has 30 calendar days from the end date of the mission to submit a scientific report to the Action Chair (or to the Vice-Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution) / the appointed STSM Coordinator / Committee and to a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution. Payment of the Grant is subject to a STSM scientific report being approved on behalf of the Action’s MC by the delegated person(s) responsible and by a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution. Written approval of the STSM scientific report by the aforementioned persons must be uploaded in e-COST for archiving purposes.

The ReMO COST Action on Researcher Mental Health is funded by the COST Association with support from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the EU under the project number CA19117.