Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are visits of researchers based in 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 with the aim of contributing to the scientific objectives of the Action. 

The purpose of these visits is to work on a jointly authored article, to learn or use a new technique or research method not available at the home institution, to work on a joint research proposal or any other activity linked to the objectives of the Action. 

Please also download the Grant Awarding User Guide, which is regularly updated and is the working document of COST.

How to apply

The applicant should complete a profile in e-cost.

Eligible STSM applicants must prepare their STSM applications using the  online application form.

 This form should include:

The aim and motivation of the STSM, including a clear case on how the STSM is relevant to the topic of our Action. 

Expected scientific and/or other outcomes and contribution to the objectives of the Action. Applicants should explain clearly not only how the STSM will enhance their own research but also why the host Institution is appropriate and what value will be added by the collaboration.

Methodologies and workplan detailing the proposed activities, techniques and equipment required to achieve the proposed aims.

Applicants must also ensure that they can provide evidence of the commitment of the host Institution to host the STSM (e.g. a letter of invitation or email from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host institution) and provide the name of the person in the host Institution who will supervise it.

After completion, recipients are required to submit a report following the STSM  report template, which 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 from the STSM (if applicable).
– Confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM.
– Other comments (if any).


Applicants can be PhD students, Postdocs, Professors or staff members. There is no restriction regarding the host or the home research groups. Any research group can apply, as long as the objectives of the visit contribute to the scientific objectives of the Action and the research groups (both host and home) are based on a country participating in this COST Action. 

To apply for an STSM applicants must have the consent of the research group where you plan to go.

All members of the Action involved in WG activities are encouraged to submit STSM applications. STSMs must be related to one of the Working Group Themes. We will use  COST excellence and inclusiveness policy to evaluate applications.

We will promote the participation of ECIs (Early Career Investigators – i.e. those within 8 years of receiving their PhD), gender balance and the participation of  ITCs.

Within each Grant Period, we will have four deadlines for collecting applications:

December 31st for STSMs aiming to start from February 1st.

March 31st for STSMs aiming to start from May 1st.

June 30th for STSMs aiming to start from September 1st.

October 30th for STSMs aiming to start from November 15th (pending approval of the work and budget plan).

The applications within the first three collection dates will be carried out within the same grant period and must be finished before 31 st of October.

The evaluation of STSM applications and communication of outcomes will be made within 10 working days after each deadline for collecting applications. After that, the applicants will be notified whether the STSMs has been granted or not. Successful applicants should receive a Grant letter from e-COST.

Duration and Financial support

An STSM Grant is a fixed financial contribution which takes into consideration the budget requested by the applicant(s) and the outcome of the evaluation process.

STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission. A STSM Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee and each application will be analyzed separately (taking into account living costs of the host country, etc.)

No payment will take place before the STSM report is submitted and accepted by the Grant Awarding Coordinator of the Action.