Short-term Scientific Missions (STSM) and ITC conference grants

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. These scientific missions may last up to six months in another COST Member/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.

COST recently implemented conference grants for young researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries. These grants help PhD students and early-career investigators from participating Inclusiveness Target Countries attend international science and technology related conferences that are not organised by a COST Action.

How to apply for STSM?

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.

Before the STSM

Eligible STSM applicants must: Obtain written agreement from the Host institution that the STSM applicant may perform the activities detailed in the STSM work plan on the agreed dates; Complete an online STSM application, http://www.cost.eu/stsm
Evaluation of the request and selection of the Grantee: The Action MC evaluates STSM applications and select grantees. The Action MC may formally delegate the assessment of STSM applications to an STSM Coordinator or Committee. The evaluation criteria defined by the Action MC must be fair and transparent. The selection of STSM applicants must be based on the scientific scope of the application and how it can support the COST Action in achieving its scientific objectives, and take into account the COST Policy and Rules with special attention on Inclusiveness and Excellence.

Financial support

Criteria for the calculation of the financial contribution: a) up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 in total can be afforded to each successful applicant; b) up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be provided for accommodation and meal expenses. For ECIs, the calculation for an increased financial contribution must respect the following criteria: a) 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; b) up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be furnished 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 (the Host Institution must confirm by e-mail to the Grant Holder 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.

After the STSM

The STSM grantee is required to submit a short scientific report to the Host institution (for information purposes only) and to the Action Chair (or Vice Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution) / STSM Coordinator or Committee for formal approval within 30 days after the end date of the STSM. Written approval of the scientific report by the persons above must be uploaded in e-COST for archiving purposes.

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How to apply for ITC conference grants?

Conference Grants aim at supporting researchers from Participating ITC to attend high profile international science and technology related events not explicitly organised by the Action. Preferably applicant should participate at European conferences. However, conferences held elsewhere can be considered.

The criteria for a Conference Grant

The applicant must: a) be a PhD student or ECI with a primary affiliation in an institution located in a Participating ITC; b) have an oral/ poster presentation on the topic of the Action, that acknowledges COST, and is listed in the conference’s programme; c) provide the documents confirming the conference fee amount.

Before the Conference

Evaluation of the request and selection of the Grantee: Action MC assess applications and select grantees. The Action MC may formally delegate the review of applications to the Action Chair / Conference Grant Coordinator / Committee. The evaluation criteria defined by the Action MC must be fair and transparent. The selection of the applicants must be based on the scientific scope of the application and how it can support the COST Action in achieving its scientific objectives.

Financial support

A Conference Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the selected Grantee.
Criteria for the calculation of the financial contribution: a) up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 in total can be afforded to each successful applicant; b) up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be provided for accommodation and meal expenses; c) up to a maximum of EUR 500 can be claimed for the conference fees to be incurred by the selected Grantee.
Also when the hosting institution supports meal and accommodation expenses as part of the provisions offered in their conference package, the amount for subsistence afforded to each eligible participant must be deducted from the Grant

After the Conference

The Grantee has 30 calendar days from the end date of the Conference in question to submit a scientific report to the Action Chair (or Vice-Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution) and the Action’s Grant Holder.
Payment of the Grant is subject to the submitted Conference Grant scientific report being approved by the Action Chair (or Vice-Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution).

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STSM & ITC conference grant's reports

The awarded participant's reports can be found here

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