Short-Term Scientific Missions - Guidelines


The Call for STSMs in the Budget Period May-October 2017 is now open.

Proposals are accepted any time in an open (no-deadlines) system.

Please allow for at least 4 weeks decision time between proposal submission and notification of acceptance.


STSM decision criteria:

  • The topic has to be within the Action's scope.
  • The proponent's group should be an Action member.
  • Proposals where the hosting group is an Action member as well are preferred.
  • Proposals by Early Stage Researchers (starting from PhD candidates until max. 8 years after PhD) are preferred.
  • First-time proposals are preferred over repeat proposals.
  • Proposals by members and/or to hosts without any previous STSM funding are preferred.

Due to the increasing number of applications, the amount of funding may be reduced/limited to allow for supporting more STSMs.


STSM - guidelines

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaborations by allowing scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another Participating COST Country or an approved NNC institution. A STSM should contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action while allowing applicants to learn new techniques or gain access to specific instruments and/or methods. Applications from Early Stage Researchers (ESRs, PhD candidates or researchers <= 8 years after PhD) are encouraged.

  • Rule for standard STSM: Minimum duration 5 days, maximum duration 90 days.
  • ESRs may extend the duration of the STSM beyond the 90 days; in this case: Minimum duration of 91 days, maximum duration of 180 days.
  • STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single grant period within the Action’s lifetime.

STSM - financial support

A STSM grant is a fixed contribution based on the budget requested and the evaluation by the MC Chair/STSM Coordinator. The grant will not necessarily cover all expenses; it is intended as a contribution to travel and subsistence costs.

  • The reimbursement rate per day is max. EUR 100 (160 for specifically justified cases);
  • Up to EUR 500 may be attributed for the travel expenses;
  • A maximum of EUR 1 500 in total can be afforded (higher support only in exceptional cases).


Before the STSM

To receive a STSM grant, the applicant must:

  1. Motivation letter
  2. Completed online form (see above)
  3. CV and list of publications
  4. Work plan for the STSM including expected value/outcome
  5. Letter of support from the home institution
  6. Written agreement by the host institution

Assessment and Grant Letter

  • The applications will be evaluated considering the Action objectives, and the funding level will be defined (please allow for 4 weeks);
  • Once applications are approved by the MC, the Grant Holder will send a grant letter generated by e-COST to the applicant.
  • COST is informed about the STSM decision, and it is included in the minutes of the next MC meeting.

After the STSM

The grantee is required to submit a short scientific report to the host institution (for information), MC Chair and STSM coordinator (contact addresses see above) 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 * please include images that may be used for COST reports etc. if at all possible
  • Future collaboration with the host institution (if applicable)
  • Foreseen publications/articles resulting from the STSM (if applicable)
  • Other comments (if any)
  • Separate confirmation of the successful execution and dates of the STSM by the host institution (on an official letterhead)
  • Separate summary (about 250 words) plus one non-copyrighted image for public dissemination on the Action webpage

Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant.
The MC Chair/STSM coordinator are responsible for approving the scientific report and informing the Grant Holder that the STSM has been successfully accomplished.
After receipt of the approval, the Grant Holder will execute the payment of the grant.

Contents of the report may be used for dissemination and reporting purposes unless marked as confidential.


The detailed regulations on STSM according to COST can be found in COST_H2020_Vademecum_STSM.pdf.