Exchange & Training
These Missions (Inter-laboratory Exchange Visits) aim at strengthening the existing COST Actions by allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory in another COST country to foster collaboration, to learn a new technique or to take measurements using instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory. They are particularly intended for Early Stage Researchers.
- Please follow this link to apply for a Short-Term Scientific Mission, or contact with the STSM Managers (Carmen-Mihaela Popescu and David Mannes).
The selection of the applicant is the responsibility of the Management Committee (MC) of the Action. The Applicant should normally be engaged in a program of research as a post graduate student or postdoctoral fellow or be employed in an institution of a COST Country having accepted the MoU of the Action. This institution shall be actively participating in the COST Action. For the period of the STSM neither the MC of the Action nor the COST Office nor the Grant Holder may be considered as the employer and grantees must make their own arrangements for all health, social, personal security and pension matters.
Home and Host Institution
The home and the host institution can be public or private. A STSM may only be approved:
- From a home institution in a COST participating country to a host institution in a COST participating country or to a formal approved host institution in a non-COST country.
- From a formally approved home institution in a Near Neighbour country to a host institution in a COST participating country.
In exceptional cases, the COST Office reserves the right to analyse the possibility of reimbursement of any person designated by itself or by the Management Committee of an Action or by a Domain Committee to further the interests and aims of COST. Short-Term Scientific Missions between different Actions may be considered by the Management Committees of both Actions. The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution, before submitting his/her application.
Short-Term Scientific Missions, minimum one week (5 working days), maximum 3 months, shall be made within the time frame of the operation identified in the proposal and within the period of the respective Action. For Early Stage Researchers (less than PhD + 8 years) the COST Office may approve an extension to duration beyond 3 months, but normally not more than 6 months in total.
The financial support is a contribution to the costs of a STSM and may not necessarily cover all the costs in each case. The grant should normally cover only travel and subsistence. The financial contribution for a STSM will be a fixed grant based on the Applicant’s budget request and the evaluation of the application by the STSM assessment committee. The calculations of this contribution for a STSM must be based on the following rules: the reimbursement rate per day is EUR 160 maximum and up to EUR 500 may be attributed for the travel expenses. The total of a STSM shall normally not exceed EUR 2500 (EUR 3500 for Early Stage Researchers). Any exception needs special justification and prior approval from the COST Office.
In any case the costs associated with the STSM must not exceed the limits set in the rules for reimbursement by COST of expenses for experts eligible for reimbursement. An advance payment may be made in exceptional circumstances, which will require additional special justification.
Registration and Deadlines
The Applicant must use the on-line registration tool. (see below: How to submit an application). Applications may be submitted according to the schedules stipulated by the MC of the relevant Action, bearing in mind that delays must be taken into account for the assessment and administrative procedures.
The application together with the MC approval should be sent to the COST Office at least 4 weeks before the STSM starts.
The Management Committee of the Action will make the scientific and budgetary assessment and take the final decision. In our Action this is delegated to SC.
The Action Chair or the STSM coordinators have inform the Grant holder about the decision. After checking the application for the compatibility with the existing rules and procedures the Grant holder will inform the Applicant about the outcome of the assessment and will arrange the necessary formalities for the issue of the grant in case of a positive result and availability of funding. The decisions and assessments regarding all STSM applications shall be reported to the next MC meeting and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
How to Submit a Short-term Scientific Mission (STSM) Application
In order to receive a STSM grant, the applicant must:
- Obtain the written agreement of the host institution, before submitting an application;
- Complete the online application form (Applicant’s title, name, work place, postal address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address; name, postal address, telephone, fax and email of the prospective host at the receiving institute; the planned dates and length of stay; the title of the planned STSM; a short description of the proponed workplan (about 250 words); a short CV; a budget request with breakdown for the costs of the STSM; bank details)
- Send the completes file as e-mail attachment together with the necessary supporting documents (CV, full work plan, list of publications, motivation letter stating the benefits to be obtained from the STSM, letter of support from the home institution etc.) to the STSM host institution and to the Action Chair and the STSM coordinators.
Assessment of the STSM
The Action Chair and the SC Members will arrange the assessment of the STSM.
Approval from the Management Committee
The STSM coordinators inform the Grant Holder that the proponed STSM has been approved. This information can be in the form of an e-mail.
COST Office Grant letter
The Grant Holder will send to the Applicant a Grant letter generated from e-COST in which he/she is informed about:
- The approval of the STSM and;
- The level of the financial grant given.
STSM Scientific Report
After completion of the STSM the grantee is required to submit to the host institution, Action Chair and STSM coordinators short scientific report on the visit within 4 weeks after his/her stay. It 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 or to result from the STSM (if applicable);
- Confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM;
- Other comments (if any).
Notice of completion
The SC is responsible for approving the final report. The STSM coordinators will send a short notice to the Grant Holder with the confirmation that the STSM has been successfully accomplished and that the grant can be paid.
After receipt of the approval by email, the Grant Holder will execute the payment of the grant.
Training Schools are aimed at widening the knowledge of the Action activities, providing intensive training on a new and emerging subject and offering familiarisation with unique equipment or know-how in one of the laboratories of the Action. In this section you can find all the information concerning the Training School organized whithin Action FP1302.
Have a look at the Cost Office video on training schools.
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