Short Term Scientific Missions

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, fostering collaboration between individuals. The Guidelines for Action Management, Monitoring and Assessment should be followed to ensure the proper implementation of this networking instrument (see


STSM applicants must be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an institution, organisation or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research. The institutions / organisation or legal entity where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home Institutions. The Host Institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant.

Eligible STSM applicants must submit their STSM applications online at the following web address:


The evaluation of each received STSM application is performed by the Action MC. The Action Chair (or Vice-Chair if the Action Chair is affiliated to the Grant Holder Institution) or the appointed STSM Coordinator / Committee can assume this responsibility if the Action MC gives them the mandate to perform this task on their behalf. The evaluation criteria defined by the Action MC should be communicated to all potential applicants.

The selection of successful STSM applicants must be done so in consideration of the scientific scope of the proposed mission and how the mission can support the Action in achieving its scientific objectives.

There should be special considerations made by the Action MC with respect to supporting COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling Early Career Investigators (ECI), broadening geographical inclusiveness


STSM must respect the following criteria:

  • They must have a minimum duration of 5 calendar days.
  • They must have a maximum duration of 90 calendar days.
  • STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.
  • Specific additional provisions have also been made possible to encourage the participation of Early

Career Investigators (ECI) in STSM. To qualify for these specific provisions, the following conditions apply:

  • The mission must have a minimum duration of 91 calendar days
  • The mission has a maximum duration of 180 calendar days.
  • STSM performed by ECI need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.

The COST Association and the Grant Holder of the Action cannot to be considered as being an STSM grantee’s employer. STSM grantees must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.

For more information please read VADEMECUM rules. 

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