Scientific Missions


The aim of a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) shall be to contribute to the scientific objectives of a COST Action. These Missions (Exchange Visits) are aimed at strengthening the existing networks by allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory in another COST 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. They are particularly intended for young scientists.

The Applicant

The selection of the applicant is the responsibility of the Management Committee (MC) of the Action. The Applicant should normally be engaged in a programme of research as a post graduate student or postdoctoral fellow or be employed in an institution of a COST Country having accepted the MoU of the Action. This institution shall be actively participating in the COST Action. For the period of the STSM neither the MC of the Action nor the COST Office may be considered as the employer and grantees must make their own arrangements for all health, social, personal security and pension matters.


Home and Host Institution

The home and the host institution can be public or private. A STSM may only be approved:

-  from a home institution in a COST participating country to a host institution in a COST participating country or to a formally approved host institution in a non-COST country
-  from a formally approved home institution in a Near Neighbour country to a host institution in a COST participating country.

In exceptional cases, the COST Office reserves the right to analyse the possibility of reimbursement of any person designated by itself or by the Management Committee of an Action or by a Domain Committee to further the interests and aims of COST. Short-Term Scientific Missions between different Actions may be considered by the Management Committees of both Actions. The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution, before submitting his/her application.


Short-Term Scientific Missions, minimum one week (5 working days), maximum 3 months, shall be made within the time frame of the operation identified in the proposal and within the period of the respective Action. For Early Stage Researchers (less than PhD + 10 years) the COST Office may approve an extension to a duration beyond 3 months, but normally not more than 6 months in total.

Financial Support

The financial support is a contribution to the costs of a STSM and may not necessarily cover all the costs in each case. The grant should normally cover only travel and subsistence. The financial contribution for a STSM will be a fixed grant based on the Applicant's budget request and the evaluation of the application by the STSM assessment committee. An amount of EUR 60 to 90 for the daily allowance in particular for longer stays and EUR 300 for the travel is recommended but not obligatory. The total of a STSM shall normally not exceed EUR 2500 (EUR 3500 for Early Stage Researchers). Any exception needs special justification and prior approval from the COST Office.

In any case the costs associated with the STSM must not exceed the limits set in the rules for reimbursement by COST of expenses for experts eligible for reimbursement. An advance payment may be made in exceptional circumstances, which will require additional special justification.

Registration and Deadlines

The Applicant must use the on-line registration tool. (see below: How to submit an application). Applications may be submitted according to the schedules stipulated by the MC of the relevant Action, bearing in mind that delays must be taken into account for the assessment and administrative procedures.

The application together with the MC approval should be sent to the COST Office at least 4 weeks before the STSM starts.


The Management Committee of the Action will make the scientific and budgetary assessment and take the final decision. In our Action this is delegated to the Chairman and STSM coordinator.


The MC Chair or the STSM coordinator has informs the COST Office about the decision. After checking the application for the compatibility with the existing rules and procedures the COST Office will inform the Applicant about the outcome of the assessment and will arrange the necessary formalities for the issue of the grant in case of a positive result and availability of funding. The decisions and assessments regarding all STSM applications shall be reported to the next MC meeting and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

How to Submit a Short-term Scientific Mission (STSM) Application

The Applicant must use the on-line registration tool to register their request for an STSM (soon to be on the website). The following information has to be encoded with the registration:

-  applicant's title, name, work place, postal address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address
-  name, postal address, telephone, fax and email of the prospective host at the receiving institute
the planned dates and length of stay
the title of the planned STSM
-  a short description of the proposed workplan (about 250 words)
a short curriculum vitae
a budget request with breakdown for the costs of the STSM
-  bank details


Formal STSM application and annexes

After encoding the information and pressing the "submit" button, the on-line registration tool will issue a formal STSM application. This has to bedownloaded and sent by the applicant electronically (by e-mail as attachment) together with:

1)  Complete CV with selected publications (limited to two pages).
2)  Rationale for STSM including Working Group, and whether itwill fullfil technological advancement training, completion of a specific aim in a scientific study
      etc. (limited to one page).

3)  Two letters of support: one from the home investigator and one from the host investigator indicating that both investigators agree with thegoals of the study
      and arrangements for consumable expenses.

Incomplete applications will be returned without review.

Applications are due by May 14th, 2012 and should be e-mailed as a single pdf to: 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and copied to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Assessment of the STSM

The MC Chair or the STSM coordinator will arrange the assessment of the STSM.

Approval from the Management Committee

The MC Chair or the STSM coordinator informs the COST Office that the proposed STSM has been approved. This information can be in the form of an e-mail.

COST Office Grant letter

The COST Office will send to the Applicant an Grant letter 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. The Applicant will receive a Payment Request Form (see 3.14) at the same time.


STSM Scientific Report

After completion of the STSM the grantee is required to submit to the host institution and MC Chair a short scientific report on the visit within 4 weeks after his/her stay. It should contain the following information:

-  P
urpose 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).

Notice of Completion

The MC Chair is responsible for approving the final report and sending the notice of completion of the STSM to the COST Office. The MC Chair of the STSM coordinator will send a short notice to the COST Office with the confirmation that the STSM has been successfully accomplished and that the grant can be paid.


The COST Office will execute the payment of the fixed grant directly to the grantee or the host institution as requested in the application after receipt of the following documents:

Notice of completion by the Management Committee Chair
Completed Payment request form
Summary of scientific report (maximum 1 page)