Short-Term Scientific Missions – These Inter-laboratory Exchange Visits aim for strengthening the existing COST Actions by allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory of another COST country to foster collaboration, to learn new techniques or to take measurements using instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory. They are particularly intended for Early Stage Researchers.

The call for STSMs is constantly open. See how you can participate

The Applicant has to use the online registration tool to register their request for an STSM (see

The following information has to be encoded during the registration:

  1. the Action number
  2. the title of the planned STSM
  3. the start and end date
  4. the applicant’s details, including key academic details and workplan summary
  5. the applicant’s bank details
  6. the host institution’s details and
  7. financial data (amount for travel and subsistence).
After encoding the information via the online registration tool will issue a formal STSM application which has to be downloaded and sent by the applicant electronically (by e-mail as attachment) together with any necessary document that the Applicant may regards as helpful in supporting the application at the evaluation process (such as CV, full workplan, list of publications, letter of motivation, letter of recommendation from the home institute etc.) to:

  • the future Host institution of the STSM;
  • the MC Chair and the STSM coordinator.
in which he/she is informed about:

  • the approval of the STSM and
  • the level of the financial grant given.

The Applicant has to return this Grant letter, after accepting the grant with his/her signature. COST is informed about the STSM decision, and it is included in the minutes of the next MC meeting.

After completion of the STSM the grantee is required to submit to the host institution and MC Chair (or the STSM coordinator) a short scientific report on the visit within 4 weeks after his/her stay.

It should contain the following information:

  • purpose of the STSM
  • description of the work carried out during the STSM
  • description of the main results obtained
  • future collaboration with host institution (if applicable)
  • foreseen publications/articles resulting or to result from the STSM (if applicable)
  • confirmation by the host institution 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 MC Chair and the 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.


  1. The application for STSMs is constantly open until approx. June 2018. The STSM needs to be finished by October 2018 at the latest.
  2. Please allow for at least 4 weeks decision time between proposal submission and the start of the STSM.
  3. Please read about the 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 (not mandatory).
  • Proposals by Early Stage Researchers ((pre-)PhD 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.

Please inform yourself about the 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, <= 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

Find out about the 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 2 500 (or 3 500 for more than 91 days) in total can be afforded.