STSM General information

The aim of a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) is to contribute to the scientific objectives of ES1306 (Connecteur –Connecting European Connectivity Research) COST Action. (http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/fps/Actions/ES1306).

STSM (Inter-laboratory Exchange Visits) are aimed at strengthening the existing networks by allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory in another COST Country, Near-neighbour country (NNC), or participating state (Fig. 1) to foster collaboration, to learn a new technique or to take measurements using instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory. STSMs are minimum one week (5 working days) and maximum 3 months and they are particularly intended for young scientists. COST office management has decided that MSc students are no longer considered eligible for STSMs.

Figure 1: The possible home and host institutions for an STSM

Next to the standard STSMs there are also reciprocal STSMs to enhance the potential impact of global networking and foster knowledge creation between scientists in COST actions with host institutions in international partner countries that benefit from a reciprocal agreement with COST (Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa). For more information on these types of STSMs please check the COST Vademecum (p34-36).

The STSM applications for STSM will be assessed by way of fixed collection dates. For the first grant period of the COST Action ES1306 Connecteur, two collection dates for STSM applications are planned: 1st of September 2016 and then 1st of June 2016 for STSMs starting no earlier than 1st of July 2016 and then 1st of November 2016 and finishing no later than 1st of April 2017.

Financial Support:
The financial support is a contribution to the costs of an STSM and may not necessarily cover all the costs. It usually covers travel and subsistence. The financial contribution for an STSM will be a fixed grant based on the Applicant’s budget request and the evaluation of the application by the STSM assessment committee. Daily allowance is set to a maximum of  50 EUR and 300 EUR for the travel is recommended. At the first MC meeting it was decided that the total of an STSM grant shall not exceed EUR 2 000 for an STSM of three months or less. For extended STSMs (up to 6 months), the maximum grant is 3500 EUR. In addition, the MC agreed that all MC members should encourage, in particular, Early Stage Researchers (ESR), to participate in the scheme; however, participants that do not qualify as ESRs may apply for an STSM in well-justified cases. For ESRs only it is possible to extend the STSM beyond three months up to a maximum of six months, in which case the maximum financial support available is 3500 EUR. For details, see the rules for reimbursement in the COST Vademecum.

 Applicant and Host Institution:
The Applicant should normally be engaged in a programme of research as a postgraduate student or postdoctoral fellow or be employed in an institution of a COST country having accepted the MoU of the Action. This institution shall be actively participating in the COST Action. For the period of the STSM neither the MC of the Action, the COST Office nor the Grant Holder may be considered as the employer, and grantees must make their own arrangements for all health, social, personal security and pension matters. The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution, before submitting his/her application.

The home and the host institution can be public or private. An STSM may only be approved:

  • from a home institution in a COST participating country to a host institution in a COST participating country or to a formally approved host institution in a non-COST country
  • from a formally approved home institution in a Near Neighbour country to a host institution in a ES1306 COST participating country.

 Duration:
STSMs are minimum one week (5 working days), maximum 3 months and
must start and finish within one of the Action’s Grant Periods (June-May). It is not currently possible for an STSM to start in one Grant Period and finish in another. For Early Stage Researchers (less than PhD + 8 years) the MC may approve an extension to duration beyond 3 months, but normally not more than 6 months in total.

 Further information and rules available at: