COST Actions can provide grants for scientific missions (exchange visits) aimed at strengthening the existing network by allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory in another COST Country or COST Near Neighbour Country or in COST International Partner Country to foster collaboration, to learn a new technique or to take measurements using instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory.
STSMs are particularly, but not exclusively, intended for young researchers up to 40 years of age. Missions can last from 5 days to 3 months; an exceptional extension of up to 6 months is possible.
The reimbursement rate per day is country dependent, do not forget to decrease it by your home country meal expenses. It is warmly recommended to ask the host supervisor for help with accommodation search (maximum 160 € per day for accommodation and meal). A maximum of 3,500 € in total (accommodation, meal, travel) can be afforded to the grantee. STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission. The requested budget must be realistic for the relevant country; the STSM coordinator will carefully check the value. In another case, the STSM application will be refused for the whole given budget period.
The payments are made after completing the STSM report final evaluation. For more details, see Annotated Rules for COST Actions.
It is necessary to submit a request at least 4 weeks before the proposed STSM starts.
Before submitting an application for the STMS, the applicant must obtain a written agreement from the host institution. This document must be on head paper, signed, and have an institution/department stamp. The recommendation letter of the applicant supervisor should have a similar form. After that, the applicant must register online at the e-COST system (check https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/12/Grant-Awarding-userguide.pdf).
A clear link to the Action objectives must be pointed out in the application form. Otherwise, the application will be refused (in your text, state the exact link to a Work Group – WGx).
The Applicant will download the pdf file, which will be generated automatically after completing the form, and will send his/her application supported by CV, Letter of Intent, and signed and stamped Acceptance letter from the host institution (the Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution before submitting his application) by e-mail to the STSM Coordinator, WITH A COPY TO THE HOST.
No STSM missions should commence before the STSM coordinator’s approval and receiving Grant Letter from e-COST by the STSM applicant. When planning the STSM, pay attention that the COST Office requests a period of at least 4 weeks for administrative procedures between Assessment committee approval and STSM start.
Summary (what is needed)
- STSM project description including the part about applicant’s intent and relation to topics and deliverables given in Memorandum of Understanding;
- Recommendation letter from the Home Institution;
- Scientific CV with publications;
- Letter of acceptance from Host institution with contact details of the person in charge of receiving the STSM Applicant.
The documents will be uploaded into the e-COST online system for further processing and sent to the STSM coordinator per e-mail in the copy to the supervisor in the host institute.
Assessment and Grant Letter:
- The STSM Coordinator will perform the scientific and budgetary assessment of the applications considering the Action objectives and define an acceptable funding level;
- Once approved by the STSM Coordinator, the Grant Holder will finalize the approval process STSM in e-COST;
- STSM applicant will receive a Grant Letter generated from e-COST.
After the STSM
After completing the STSM, the applicant must submit a Scientific report as soon as possible but not later than 30 days after the end date of the STSM to the Host Institution (for information) and upload it into the e-COST system for approval of the MC Chair and STSM Coordinator. The Host approval letter signed and stamped by the Host Institution’s supervisor must be uploaded into the e-COST system, too.
Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant. The STSM Coordinator is responsible for approving the scientific report and informing the Grant Holder that the STSM has been successfully accomplished. After receiving the approval per email, the Grant Holder will execute the payment of the grant.
Besides the points in the official e-COST template sheet, add short Abstract (150-200 words) summarizing the purpose, content, and results of the STSM that will be published on the Action’s website and the full Scientific report of 4-6 pages, and foreseen publications/articles resulting from the STSM (the information that work was supported by the COST Action CA19110 must be included in the paper Acknowledgement).