• Validated by the Chair (G. Erny): 10/05/18

• Validated by the STSM coordinator (N. Ratola): 10/05/18

• Validated by the Management Committee (MC e-vote): 15/05/18


• Updated on 24/01/20


Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, fostering collaboration between individuals.


Disclaimer: Applicants should read and understand the COST Vademecum (https://www.cost.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Vademecum-May-2019.pdf). Information relevant to STSMs that are not in the present document remains valid.

“Regarding UK-affiliated researchers and potential eligibility of expenses please visit https://www.cost.eu/news/administrative-measures-regarding-a-potential-no-deal-brexit/


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 institutions/organisation or legal entity where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home institution. The Host institution is the institution/organisation that will host the successful applicant. The following table shows the scenarios available to eligible STSM applicants:


Proposals will be assessed within ten working days after submission by a panel composed by the STSM coordinator or the STSM vice-coordinator, the Chair or the Vice-Chair of the Action and a Working Group Leader. The working group (and only one) linked with the STSM should be indicated in the first line of the application. In its absence, the application will be rejected. Applications will be evaluated following four criteria, each of those marked from 0 to 5.

Relevance of the scientific mission to the COST Action (threshold > 3). The applicant should highlight how the proposal will contribute to the objectives and goals of the Action and/or the goals of the Grant Period. The scientific quality of the mission will also be evaluated.

Relevance of the mission for the applicant, the host and all relevant institutions (threshold > 3). The benefits for all parties should be stated clearly in the application, for example, use of equipment not available in the home institution; exchange of know-how; training. By EU laws, public money can not be used to get public money, so STSMs cannot support joint project proposals.

Relevance of the budget (threshold > 2). The amount asked should be justified, with estimation for transport, accommodation and meals subsidies taking into account the cost of living of the host country. Extra costs such as personal insurance, civil liability insurance and bench fees, if requested by the host institution, should be justified. Other financial contributions that will be available to the applicant should be detailed. An STSM can also be accepted with a lower budget than the one originally requested.

Relevance to COST policies (threshold > 0). This criterium will be evaluated by a single Core Member (the STSM coordinator, the Chair or the Vice-Chair) and only for proposals that pass all of the other thresholds. Marks will be awarded to applications that fulfil some or all of the COST policies (favouring gender balance (+1) 1, Early Career Investigators (ECI) (+1) 2 and Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC)) (max +2) 3. Extra points can also be granted to equilibrate proposals between Working Groups 4.

The proposal should not be more than 2000 words, including references. Any external links that aim to increase the pages limit will be disregarded.


1. If you do not have one, create a COST profile

2. 2. Submit the online application form at https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm. You can follow the structure from the eCOST platform; however, you should also justify the budget you asked. The COST platform will automatically calculate the Total amount, extra cost such as insurances and bench fees can be part of the “Amount for Subsistence”.

3. Send the following files by e-mail to the Chair (Dr Guillaume Erny guillaume(at)portasap.eu) and STSM Coordinator (Dr Nuno Ratola nrneto@fe.up.pt); Please also indicate the  Working Group (WG1-WG5) that suit best your application.

a. The online application form.

b. The work plan (max one page).

c. A short CV including up to three relevant publications (maximum 1 page in total).

d. A letter of agreement for your visit from the host institution.

e. A letter of agreement for your visit from your home institution.


A minimum of 30 days is required between the date of submission and the start date of the STSM.


1. You have 30 days after completion of the STSM (and before the end of the current Grant Period) to submit your final report (see COST Vademecum). This should be sent to the Action Chair and to the STSM Coordinator.

2. The email should also contain a letter from a senior researcher from the host institution confirming that the visit was successful

No reimbursements can be made before those two documents have been approved by the Vice-chair and STSM coordinator.

3. Additionally, you should send a brief text for dissemination with a picture illustrating your work to the Dissemination Officer (Dr Asta Tvarijonaviciute asta@um.es) with the Chair as CC. Summaries will be publicly available on the website. The full report can also be available if the quality was deemed good enough and if both the applicant and the host agreed to it.


The host of the STSM is expected to supervise the STSM. The final report should be read and signed by the STSM host.


The COST Association or the Grant Holder Institution are not liable for any incidents occurring during an STSM. The applicant should purchase any insurances requested by the Host Institution. It is of the responsibility of the representative of the host institution to inform the applicant in due time of all the necessary administrative requirements.

The Grant Holder Institution can not make any pre-payment of STSM grants (see 7.4. STSM – FINANCIAL SUPPORT). The reimbursement of an STSM grant can be made up to two months after the end of an STSM; It is of the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that he/she has sufficient funds to pay for the STSM and wait for reimbursement.

Any publication that may result from an STSM should acknowledge the COST Action: “This article is based upon work from COST Action CA 16215, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) www.cost.eu” and sent to the Chair to be archived on the website.


1 If one gender is under represented (less than 40% of all proposals), those proposals will get +1.

2 1 point if the applicant is an Early Career Investigator (ECI)

3 1 point if the applicant or the host institution are from an Inclusiveness Target Countries

4 1 point granted to the least represented Working Groups after unanimous agreement of all Working Group Leaders.

Applicant in a Home Institution

To perform an STSM in a Host Institution

Located in a Participating COST Full Member / COST Cooperating Member

In another Participating COST Full Member / COST Cooperating Member

In a Participating COST Partner Member

In an Approved IPC Institution

In an Approved NNC Institution

In EU Commission, Bodies, Offices and Agencies

In an Approved European RTD OrganisationIn an Approved International Organisation

Located in an Approved NNC institution

In a Participating COST Full Member / COST Cooperating Member

Located in an Approved European RTD Organisation

In a Participating COST Full Member / COST Cooperating Member


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