Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are one of the favourite COST networking tools! They are exchange programmes 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. A STSM Grant is a fixed financial contribution, which takes into consideration the budget request of the applicant and the outcome of the evaluation of the STSM application; it includes travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee. It does not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission. An average cost of EUR 1500 per each STSM is typically expected. Be realistic estimating your travel expenses and subsistence costs!

Participation of ‘Early Career Investigators’ (ECI) in STSM is particularly encouraged (<8 years from PhD and starting date of STSM). More information available on COST Vademecum


STSM must respect the following criteria:
1. minimum duration: 5 calendar days that includes travel
2. they must be carried out in its entirety within a single Grant Period and always
within the Action’s lifetime STSM grantees shall make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.

1. Early Stage Researchers;
2. Exchange of knowledge between Working Groups (transdisciplinary);
3. Research plan proposed is consistent with the topic of the Action;

4. Substantial contribution to the scientific objectives of the Action (namely, Working Group’s objectives);
5. Contribution to implement the COST Action Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy (gender balance, geographical spread, ITC).
These criteria are applied in compliance with the COST Vademecum!

How to apply?
1. The applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in section 8 of the COST Vademecum.
2. The applicants must obtain all supporting documents:
o letter of invitation from the host institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates prior to submitting an application
o Motivation letter
o STSM online application form (Check that the dates on the invitation letter, motivation letter and online STSM form match!)
o Workplan.
o Updated Curriculum Vitae is highly recommended.

  1. The applicants must complete, submit and upload their STSM application online at: They may need to register for an e-COST profile at
    4. The STSM Coordinator will inform all the applicants about the outcome of the voting, and will include the following information:
    o A request for material (photo and short biography) for an initial post on Social Media to the applicants eligible for funding
    5. The applicant shall formally accept the approved grant by sending a confirmation email to the STSM Coordinator. The Grant Holder will inform the approved STSM applicants that their application is eligible for funding and will request them to book travel and accommodation and send all the receipts (that should have the following information: name of the applicant, tax ID number of the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Forestry, and a date not before the formal approval).

NOTE: The topic of STSM application should fit in the scope of PEN-CAFoRR Action! Applications that do not fit in the scope of PEN-CAFoRR will be declined. COST can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants.

My obligations as grantee after the STSM grant

1. write a detailed report about the STSM
2. present his/her work at the event in the next Action meeting after the STSM
3. make a video about his/her work for the Science Communication Manager (Somidh Saha)
4. The grantee and host may write a joint publication

1. You must consult COST Vademecum!
2. Ask STSM Coordinator

Evaluation and Ranking Process

The application will be evaluated by the STSM Committee, leaded by STSM Coordinator.

The applications will be ranked by the STSM responsible together with the WG leaders based on:
– scientific quality,
– feasibility of the approach proposed,
– benefit to the development of the COST Action.
The selection will follow the COST policies on inclusiveness (gender, age, geography).

The final ranking will be approved by the Action Chair and Co-Chair.
The researchers who applied to the call will receive the results of the selection from the STSM responsible.
The selected researchers should wait for the official invitation from the Grant Holder before booking any travel arrangements.

Cathrine Steffy Pater

Cathrine Steffy Pater

STSM Coordinator

University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Section for Forest, Nature and Biomass