Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are exchange visits 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. They aim to foster collaboration in excellent research infrastructures and share new techniques that may not be available in a participant’s home institution or laboratory.

STSM coordinator
Dimitris Beis (Greece)

STSMs aim to foster new collaborations between the laboratories participating in the Action and beyond, to learn new techniques or to use specific equipment not available in the applicant’s institute, and promote the objectives of the Action. We plan to publish STSM fellowship calls twice a year.
Applications must be sent using the online registration tool available at the following website: https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm.

1st STSM call CardioRNA 2nd STSM call Cardio RNA

Rules and eligibility criteria

For full information on COST STSM rules see COST Vademecum Section 8 (https://www.cost.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/COSTVademecum.pdf).

  • The applicant is either a PhD student or an Early Career Investigator (ECI). ECI is an individual who is within a time span of up to 8 years from the date they obtained their PhD.
  • The applicant must be engaged in a research program in a COST Member State and must go to an institution or laboratory in another Member State actively participating in the Action CardioRNA.
  • The financial support is limited to travel and accommodation expenses and is not intended to cover experimental costs.
  • The maximal financial support is 2500 Euros, and the mission duration should be minimum one week to maximum three months.
  • Due to the limited number of fellowships, only one person per home institution and host lab can apply.
  • The laboratory of origin and host laboratory must send recommendation letters with the application and agree to cover the rest of the expenses related to the travel and project if necessary.
  • The grantee is required to submit a short scientific report within four weeks after his/her stay.

How to apply

To apply for an STSM within the COST Action CardioRNA, please follow the steps below:

1. Submit an STSM application on e-COST (https://e-services.cost.eu/conferencegrant/apply/new); The applicant must have a profile on e-COST (https://e-services.cost.eu/);

2. Send the following supporting documents in one pdf file to the CardioRNA STSM Coordinator, Dr Dimitris Beis, at dbeis@bioacademy.gr:
2.1. CV (max. 1 page);
2.2. Motivation letter (see instructions attached);
2.3. Recommendation letter from a senior researcher affiliated to the home institution agreeing to cover the rest of the expenses related to the travel and project if necessary (see template attached);
2.4. Letter of invitation from a senior researcher affiliated to the host institution confirming that the applicant can undertake the STSM on the given dates (see template attached).

Motivation letter instruction Motivation letter host institution template Motivation letter home institution template

 

Selection criteria

The applications will be assessed by the STSM Committee based on:

  • Scientific quality of the proposal;
  • The relevance of the proposed visit to the objectives of the Action CardioRNA (see Memorandum of Understanding);
  • Technical feasibility (is the host lab equipment or technical knowledge required for the completion of a project, length of the STSM);
  • Diversity and representativeness of contributions concerning the COST Action;
  • Gender balance and country.

Obligations

The grantee must submit a short scientific report within four weeks after his/her stay to dbeis@bioacademy.gr, yvan.devaux@lih.lu and the host institution. The scientific report should cover a statement of achieving the project aims, description of the work carried out and its outcome/results, and expected publications or abstract presentation that may arise from the STSM (if applicable).

The applicant is also responsible for acquiring an official acceptance letter or email confirmation of acceptance from a senior researcher affiliated to the host institution formally accepting the scientific report. This formal acceptance is necessary for approving STSM for payment. Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days from the end date of the STSM will effectively cancel the Grant.

The STSM grantee must also send a summary and a copy of their scientific report to the Science Communication Manager of the Action, Dr Emma Robinson (e.robinson@maastrichtuniversity.nl). It will be then disseminated using the official CardioRNA website, social media, etc. Photographic material from the STSM (e.g., the grantee with the team at the host institution) will be much appreciated.