How to do a STSM?

  • November 19, 2013
  • STSM
How to do a STSM?

STSM = Short Term Scientific Missions belong to the most effective instruments in a COST Action.  (Read more, Understand the rules – see Vademecum)

The STSM coordinator for TD1210 is the Chair of the Action, Andrea Scharnhorst. In case that the home institution or the host institution of a STSM candidate is the institution of the Action Chair the approval procedure is executed by the Vice Chair Santo Fortunato.

TD1210 operates with an on-going open call for STSM.

Our Memorandum of Understanding states: “STSMs will be an important means towards capacity building for ESRs. 50% of STSM’s will be dedicated to ESRs. When STSMs are used by non-ESRs, the use of such a mission for ESRs at the receiving institution will be an additional evaluation criterion. This way the Action aims to ensure the flow of knowledge across different generations of scientists. 30% of the STSMs should be related to contacts with stakeholders such as libraries, archives, national networks of information professionals. The STSM policy of the Action will also aim to achieve a balance between involved disciplines and countries, and will be monitored by the Chair.” (MoU, page 18)


A. Prior to engaging with the STSM interface at eCOST – informal communication with the STSM Chair

Get in touch with Andrea Scharnhorst (the STSM coordinator). Send a first draft of the workplan, period, invitation letter of the hosting institution and estimate of the budget to Andrea prior to engaging with the interface.  Please share your ideas and plans early in time! Make sure the workplans meets the goals of the Action!

B. Submission to the STSM interface at COST

Submit the proposal to the eCOST interface: Link to the interface of application here []

Once you have entered your request into the interface (name, dates, cv, short workplan 250 words, etc.) you get a pdf and the following mail text from the COST database.

Please note that this is an acknowledgment of your request.

BEFORE you start your mission, the following steps must be completed:
Send the attached STSM application (by e-mail as attachment) together with any necessary document which the Applicant may regard as helpful in supporting the application at the evaluation process (such as CV, list of publications, motivation letter, letter of support from the home institute etc.) to:
– the future Host institution of the STSM.
– the MC Chair or the STSM coordinator.
The MC Chair or STSM Manager must assess your request
The MC Chair or STSM Manager must inform the COST Office or the Grant Holder that the proposed STSM has been approved
You must receive a formal acceptance Letter (Grant Letter) to be signed and returned.

Have a nice day,
The COST Office

C. Official communication with the STSM Chair

Please send the following documents in one mail to Andrea.

  • Letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution
  • STSM application form
  • A motivation letter from the applicant including a work plan detailing the proposed activities
  • A support letter / Email from the Home Institution
  • A fullV. of the applicant (including a list of academic publications – if applicable)


D. Pre-approval by mail

In case of a positive decision you will receive a MC Pre-approval (Email from STSM Chair = Andrea) confirming that the respective STSM application was successful and that the chosen applicant can commence their STSM within the agreed conditions. The Grant Holder will encode the STSM in the system, and a grant letter will be send to the applicant.


E. After the STSM

Please send to Andrea (in one mail!)

  • A scientific report (in a word or txt file and in a style of a blog post ready to be published on our website – see other STSM’s reports; please attach a photo for the featured image)
  • An official letter / Email from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution formally accepting the scientific report


F. MC Post-approval by mail 

Email from STSM Chair confirming that the STSM was completed successfully; the scientific report was accepted, the administrative requirements have been satisfied and that the Grant can be paid to the applicant. Based on this the GH issues the reimbursement.