STSM (Short-Term Scientific Missions)

What is a STSM?

Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are exchange visits between researchers involved in a COST Action, allowing scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another COST Member state/Cooperating Member or Near-Neighbour Country joining the Action. Their aim is to foster collaboration in excellent research infrastructures and share new techniques that may not be available in a participant’s home institution or laboratory.

Elegibility rules

STSM 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 institutions. The Host institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant.

A STSM should specifically contribute to the TUMIEE objectives.
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.

Duration

STSM can have a duration of between 5 and 90 calendar days and up to 180 days if the applicant is an Early Career Investigator (ECI)*

For this First Grant Period, all the STSM must have finished (including the submission of the scientific report) by the 30th April 2019.

*Early Career Investigator (ECI): an individual who is within a time span of up to 8 years from the date they obtained their PhD/doctorate (full-time equivalent).

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 2 500 in total can be afforded to each successful applicant.
  • Up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

For ECIs (< 8 years after obtaining PhD title), the calculation for an increased financial contribution will respect the following criteria:

  • Up to a maximum of EUR 3 500 in total can be afforded to ECIs for missions with a duration of between 91 and 180 calendar days.
  • Up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

Specific provisions have been introduced to enable researchers from ITC* participating in the COST Action to request a pre-payment of 50% of their STSM Grant when they complete the first day of their STSM. In such case, the representative of the Host Institution must confirm by e-mail to the Grant Holder (ca17126@etsii.upm.es) that the STSM applicant has officially started the mission on day 1. The remaining 50% of the Grant is payable once the administrative requirements have been satisfied after the STSM.

*ITC (Inclusiveness Target Countries): Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, fYR Macedonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey.

STSM procedure

1. STSM Application

  • Obtain the written agreement of the host institution, before submitting an application.
  • Complete the online application form (see https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm).
  • Send the completed file as e-mail attachment together with the necessary supporting documents (in particular, work plan and support letter by host institution) to the STSM coordinator, Tzveta Apostolova (tzveta.apostolova@nbu.bg). Subject of the email should start with “COST CA17126 – STSM application”.

2. STSM approval

  • After indicated deadlines the STSM coordinator will check that the submitted applications are correct.
  • A committee will evaluate the correct applications. This Committee will be formed by
    • STSM coordinator
    • Chair or Vice Chair or GH Scientific Representative
    • Involved WG leaders
  • For positive evaluation, the application must contribute to the goals of the current Grant Period.
  • In case the budget is too low to approve all the applications, the following criteria will apply to select among the positively evaluated applications:
    • Institutions that already enjoyed or are going to enjoy a STSM in the current Grant Period will have lower priority.
    • ITC and ECI will be prioritized.
    • Gender issues will be considered.

The committee will make a list of approved applications and perform the budgetary assessment of the applications according to the Vademecum.

The Grant Holder will send a grant letter to every successful applicant.

3. After the STSM

The grantee is required to submit a short scientific report to the host institution (for information) and 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 person of the successful execution of the STSM.
  • Other comments (if any).

Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant.

The payment of the grant will be executed after approval of the scientific report by the STSM Coordinator.

Deadline for applications

The application period runs on a monthly basis. It is opened on the first day of every month and closed on the last day of the same month. That means it can be considered as a continuously opened call (applications can be submitted any time and will be reviewed at the beginning of the following month) until the TUMIEE budget for STSMs has been allocated.

Next deadline for applications: 28th February 2019.

Decisions of allocation

The decision of allocation for each application period is published during the first 5 days of the following month.

Contact

STSM Coordinator: Tzveta Apostolova - tzveta.apostolova@nbu.bg
Grant Holder Manager: Ana Benítez - ca17126@industriales.upm.es

List of completed STSM 2018/2019 (First Grant Period)

STSM 1
  • Applicant: Prof Andrey Solov’yov
  • Home Institution: MBN Research Center gGmbH (DE)
  • Title: Training and dissemination activities at the University of Kent, the Open University and the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Start date: 27/11/2018
  • End date: 03/12/2018
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Venue: University of Kent (UK)
STSM 2
  • Applicant: Mr Vasilii Korol
  • Home Institution: University of Southern Denmark (DK)
  • Title: Visual interface for reactive molecular dynamics simulations
  • Start date: 07/01/2019
  • End date: 21/01/2019
  • Duration: 15 days
  • Venue: MBN Research Center (DE)
STSM 3
  • Applicant: Mr Damjan Iveković
  • Home Institution: Ruđer Bošković Institute (HR)
  • Title: Exploring effects of the swift heavy ion beam charge state on the ion track production in graphene
  • Start date: 13/01/2019
  • End date: 26/01/2019
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Venue: University of Helsinki (FI)
STSM 4
  • Applicant: Dr Marko Karlusic
  • Home Institution: Ruđer Bošković Institute (HR)
  • Title: Exploring effects of the swift heavy ion beam charge state on the ion track production in graphene
  • Start date: 13/01/2019
  • End date: 26/01/2019
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Venue: University of Helsinki (FI)