What are STSMs?
Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits aimed at supporting researchers’ individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering
collaboration. STSMs finance researchers participating in EUROMIC to go to a legal entity based in a COST Full/Cooperating Member, an European RTD or a NNC
(according to the Annotated Rules) to perform research that contributes to the goals of this action.
The following link includes the list of all countries/entities following within each one of the above mentioned categories: Annex I: Country and Organizations Table. Thus, by the new rules, the STSM can now take place basically anywhere in the world.
Participation of Young Researchers and Innovators in STSM is encouraged. An applicant fits the ECI definition if the period between the applicant’s PhD award date and the date of the action STSM application does not exceed 8 years. PhD students as well as other research staff are also eligible to partake in STSMs.
* You can submit your application at any time you desire.* The STSM committee will divide the budget until the budget is consumed.
The GP3 finishes on 31st of October 2024, so that the STSMs must be completed by this date. Required documents must be submitted within 30 days after completing the STSM (or max. 15 days after the grant period ends on 31st of October, whichever comes first) to be reimbursed in the GP3 budget, as defined by the COST STSM rules. Currently, the annual budget within the GP3 is available for 12 STSMs, depending on the requested amount of funding.
Criteria for awarding are explained further ahead on STSM evaluation page.
Duration and eligible expenses
Duration: EUROMIC STSM committee agrees that shorter visits than 5 days do not allow substantial research to be performed, but rather just a visit to the foreign laboratory. This is why middle-term visits of 2 weeks or more are encouraged.
The financial support: Financial support is limited to cover travel, accommodation and meal expenses and will be paid in the form of a grant.
The following funding conditions apply:
- up to a maximum of EUR 4,000 (one month) in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
- Extended stay (up to 3-months) could be possible but without additional funding
- STSM activities must occur within the dates specified in this call
Who can apply?
STSMs are open for Master and PhDs students, PostDocs, and advanced career researchers employed at institutions in countries defined in the first paragraph. Please, bear in mind that researchers cannot apply for an STSM within their own country.
STSM applicant must be employed or affiliated to an institution, organization or legal entity, which has within its remit a clear association with performing research. The institutions/organization or legal entity where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home Institutions. The Host Institution is the institution/organization that will host the successful applicant.
How can you apply?
The application process is as follows:
1. Applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in the new Annotated Rules. We further suggest to the applicants to use the guidelines included in the following link on Applications to Individual Grants such as STSM: Grant Awarding – User Guide.
2. Applicants must submit an application using the e-COST platform (STSM). If you do not already have an e-COST account, you will first need to ‘create an account’ – which will include providing the details of the bank account where the grant will be lodged if your STSM application is approved and the STSM successfully completed.
3. Applicants need to prepare
the mandatory following documents to be submitted for evaluation:
a) Letter of invitation from the Host Institution, confirming the future stay of the applicant.
b) Letter of support from the Applicant’s Home Institution.
c) Full C.V. of applicant (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).
d) Memory of project work plan, including an overview of the proposed activities, description of the proposed contributions to the scientific objectives of the Action (how it fits to a specific WG, impact), an outline of the host’s scientific expertise/resources in support of the STSM. The document should be maximum 8 pages, the font should correspond to Times New Roman size 12 pt with single line spacing and standard margins of 2 cm.
4. Applicants must complete, submit and download their STSM application online at: https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm.
STSM Evaluation process
The EUROMIC STSM committee established a STSM selection by two-steps evaluation:
Step 1: (Mandatory Pre-requisite). STSM applicants must submit an abstract (maximum 1 A4 page) summarizing the main aim of the proposed research and how it fits within the EuroMIC Action, including the Title, the affiliated parties and their details.
Step 2: Selection of each proposal following the next evaluation criteria:
The relevance and application of the research to the field of the Action – a detailed work plan will help determine if the scientific aims of the work will be relevant and applicable to the Action’s aims (1-5 points).
The quality and clarity of the proposed research – the STSM application should be of high quality, arguing clearly and cogently the importance and timeliness of the research (1-5 points).
The Home institution of the researcher – we will consider the number of applications from each institution to ensure a fair spread of researches across the network. Involvement of ITC countries will be a plus (1-5 points).
The profile of the researcher – we will consider the researcher’s potential of successfully completing the STSM on the basis of their previous work and achievements commensurate to their career stage. In line with COST policy, we will preferentially award STSMs to Young Researchers and Innovators. However, this should not discourage more experienced researchers from applying
If approved, the STSM coordinator sends application and approval to Grant Holder & Action Chair for final check. The mobility period proposed cannot start before the evaluation process is over, as defined by the precise timeline above.
When the STSM starts?
The Grant Holder sends the applicant a grant letter and the STSM should not be started until the Applicant has received the official Grant Letter from the Grant Holder. The STSM must be performed according to the mobility period agreed upon and indicated in the Grant Letter. In case any change is needed the Applicant should ask the formal approval of the proposed change by informing in due advance the STSM Coordinator Jose M Palomo. If the STSM Coordinator and the Grant Awarding Coordinator (Maria Salta) agree with the proposed change, the Grant Holder is notified about it and a new Grant Letter is issued. The mobility must end no later than October 31.
During the STSM
Applicants must prepare a short video (1-2 min) about the STSM for dissemination purpose.
The video must be divided in different sections, explaining concept about:
1. the purpose of the mission
2. description of work carried out
3. description of main results/outputs
4. further scientific impact of this project
5. impact of STSM on professional development (new skills
6. Overall STSM experience
This video can be edited and submit after STSM stay for including in the EUROMIC webpage. You should be able to find examples of STSM videos in the internet.
What should be sent once the STSM ends?
1. After the STSM, the investigator submits a scientific report to the STSM Host and STSM coordinator within 30 days of completing the STSM or max. 15 days after the grant period ends on 31st of October, whichever comes first.
This must include:
a) the purpose of the mission
b) description of work carried out
c) description of main results/outputs
d) plan of future collaborations with Host (if applicable)
e) planned publications resulting from STSM (if applicable)
2. Additionally, an official letter of the confirmation of successful STSM by Host Institution must be submitted.
3. The STSM video will be send to the coordinator
4. If everything is ok, STSM Coordinator and Action Chair will approve the final report. The Grant Holder executes payment to STSM Applicant.
Please contact Jose M. Palomo (STSM coordinator) (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any queries.