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Objectives and main features

Prof. Savvas' midterm presentation  to the MC Meeting in Lisbon 21 October 2014

Prof. Savvas' final presentation at the final Conference in Pula 20 September 2016

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 postgraduate 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, the COST Office nor the Grant Holder 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 another 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 + 8 years) the Management Committee 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 2 500 up to 3 months (or EUR 3 500 for Early Stage Researchers – above 3 months).
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 (see 2. - Travel and Subsistence).

Registration and Deadlines
The Applicant must use the on-line registration tool. (see 4.10 - 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 Grant Holder and respect the deadline set by the Grant Holder (e.g., at least 4 weeks before the STSM starts).

The MC of the Action will make the scientific and budgetary assessment and take the final decision based on the assessment of an STSM Evaluation Committee.

The MC Chair or the STSM coordinator is responsible for circulating the application for decision to the assessment panel.
The MC Chair or the STSM coordinator has to inform the Grant Holder about the decision.
After checking the application for the compatibility with the existing rules and procedures the Grant Holder 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.

After the STSM
STSM Scientific Report
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).

Approval and payment
The MC Chair or the STSM coordinator is responsible for:

  • approving the scientific report
  • informing the Grant Holder that the STSM has been successfully accomplished and that the grant can be paid.

The e-mail should include the scientific report and state:
"Subject: STSM Reference number, COST Action number, grantee's name On behalf of the Management Committee of the above COST Action I would like to inform you that:

  1. The above STSM has been completed from <Start date> to <End date>
  2. The scientific report has been approved by the MC and Host.
  3. The amount of EUR X can be paid"

After reception of the approval mail and the scientific report, the Grant Holder will execute the payment of the fixed grant directly to the grantee or the host institution as requested in the application.


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