Short Term Scientific Missions

1st call for STSMs for the 3rd year (May’16-Apr’17) is now open!!

STSM Coordinator Dr. Koen Vandewal

The aim of a STSM is defined by COST guidelines is to contribute to the scientific objectives of a COST Action.

These Missions (Inter-laboratory Exchange Visits) aim at strengthening the existing COST Actions 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 rules and regulations of the StableNextSol STSMs were approved in our 2nd MC Meeting the 8th of October, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The final approved document can be found here.
  • Latest update on STSMs in the last MC/WG meeting can be found here.
  • The list of participant members / institutions of our Action can be found  here.

Financial Support

A grant usually covers travel and subsistence. The financial support is a contribution to the costs of a STSM and may not necessarily cover all the costs.

Applicant and Host Institution

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.

The HOME and the HOST institutions 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.

The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the HOST institution, before submitting his/her application.


STSMs are minimum one week (5 working days), maximum 90 days. An ESR can also do a 6 month stay.

For the 3rd year of our Action the STSMs must take place between May 2016 and April 2017 (last day of travel is April 30th 2017).


Step 1e-COST on-line registration by the applicant

The Applicant must apply through the e-COST on-line registration tool at least 3 weeks before the beginning of the STSM. If you do not have and e-COST profile, you will be required to create one before applying for the STSM.

Step 2 – Upload STSM documents in StableNextSol webpage

You need to be registered and “login” into StableNextSol to be able to upload the documents (different registration to e-COST). If you don’t get the password in your email following your registration, please contact our webmaster.

The Applicant must fill-in the STSM data form and upload the following documents:

  • document #2: Detailed work plan (Template 1)
  • document #3: Curriculum Vitae.
  • document #4: Motivation letter
  • document #5: Letter of support from the HOME institute (Template 2)
  • document #6: Letter of support from the HOST institute (Template 3)

Please keep your application documents short and precise!

Step 3 – Assessment of the STSM

The STSM coordinator will arrange the assessment of the STSM and will communicate to the Action Chair. (See Zero File)

Reviewers give points (1-10) in each category (Template 4 – soon available):

  • Scientific excellence (40%, but 6 or above as minimum threshold)
  • Impact on the action (20%, but 6 or above as minimum threshold)
  • Alignment with the Stable Next Sol scientific objectives (20%, but 6 or above as minimum threshold)
  • Economic use of funds (10%)
  • Personal qualification based on CV (10%)
    -> Max 10 Points

The Final decision will be made between the STSM coordinator, the Chair and the Vice Chair based on ranking.

If necessary adjustments for gender & country balance or optimal budget use will be made. The MCs agree to strongly support female researchers, ESR and NNC/inclusiveness countries.

Step 4 – Approval from the Management Committee

The MC Chair informs the Grant Holder that the proposed STSM has been approved.

Step 5 – Cost Office Acceptance Letter (Grant Letter)

The Grant Holder will send to the Applicant an acceptance letter in which he/she is informed about:

  1. The approval of the STSM
  2. The level of the financial grant given.


After the STSM

After completion of the STSM the grantee is required to submit to the host institution and MC Chair a scientific report (Template 5). It should contain the following information:

  1. Purpose of the visit
    (Statement of the project aim(s) and objectives)
  2. Description of the work carried out
    (Describe the work that was undertaken)
  3. Description of the main results obtained
    (Describe the main outcomes of the work)
  4. Future collaboration with host institution (if applicable)
    (Describe any likely follow-on work with the host institution arising from the visit)
  5. Projected publications/articles resulting or to result from the STSM
    (Mention any publications that may arise from the visit)
  6. Confirmation by the host of the successful execution of the mission
    (Provide a brief affirmation by the Host researcher -with their signature- that the STSM was carried out successfully. It can be included in the report or as a separate accompanying document)
  7. Other comments (if any)

Applicants are required to submit to the MC Chair (Dr. Monica Lira-Cantu, and STSM coordinator (Dr. Koen Vandewal, the report within 1 month of the STSM visit. No payment will be made from the COST Office until this report is submitted.

The MC Chair is responsible for approving the final report and sending the notice of completion of the STSM to the Grant Holder, with the confirmation that the STSM has been successfully accomplished and that the grant can be paid.


Succesful applicants will be asked to present the outcome of their STSM at a StableNextSol Working Groups meeting. Template for the presentation.


Publications and presentations resulting from STSM activities should acknowledge “the COST Action StableNextSol, MP1307” support and should be communicated to the STSM coordinator (


Further information and rules

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the detailed information provided by COST.

  1. Full details on the STSM in the COST Vademecum –section 7, Page 31. Please read carefully.

2. In addition, for further information we recommended to visit the COST website: Short Term Scientific Missions.