3rd call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)


PlantEd 2nd Grant Period

STSM period 01/05/2020 to 31/10/2020

The 3rd Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs), the first in the 2nd Grant Period, under the COST Action CA18111 PlanEd is open. We encourage STSM candidates to submit their applications from 2 March 2020 until the 31 May 2020.

NB Deadline for applications has been extended.

NB Due to the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty regarding near-future travel restrictions, it is advised to not plan any STSM before at least July or even later.


Objectives of STSM

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks, fostering collaboration between COST Action Participants. A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, whilst at the same time allowing those partaking in the missions to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and/ or methods not available in their own institutes.

Important dates

Call launched: 2 March 2020
Application deadline: 31 May 2020
Expected decision: 5 June 2020
STSM period: 1 May 2020 and 31 October 2020. The minimum period is five days and the maximum is 180 days.

Eligibility

This call is open to all participants from participating COST countries, approved NNC institutes and approved European RTD organisation (a host can be anyone in the Action, incl IPCs, for details see the attached PDF file below). Priority will be given to Early Career Researchers (ECIs, less than 8 years of experience from obtaining PhD). A balance between Working Groups, gender and geographical range will also be considered. STSM applicants must be engated in an official research programme or be affiliated with an institute or legal entity carrying out research.

Scientific Topics

Experimental work plan in the STSM application of candidates should be developed within the scope of one of the Action Working Groups:

  • WG1 – Technical platforms
  • WG2 – Impact assessment
  • WG3 – Policies and regulations
  • WG4 – Perceptions and opinions
  • WG5 – Integration and communication

It is also possible to focus the STSM period on the drafting of a funding proposal together with a host, such as Marie Curie Fellows or other existing programmes that are suitable for e.g. postdoctoral research.

Financial Support

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. The calculation of the financial contribution for each STSM must respect the following criteria:

  • Up to a maximum of EUR 3000 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
  • Up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

The Action Chair, Vice Chair and STSM Coordinator can approve differentiated country rates to cover accommodation and meal expenses based on the perceived cost of living in the host country.

Following the COST rules, the grant is paid after the STSM has been completed and the report approved (see below). The grant will be paid directly to the bank account entered in the e-Cost system.

How to apply

The applicant should complete:

  • A fully completed COST STSM application form (use the online registration / submission tool: www.cost.eu/stsm
  • A motivation letter
  • Applicant CV
  • A written agreement of the host institution
  • A letter of support from the home institution
  • A financial data (amount for travel and subsistence). Please use the information to calculate the subsistence amount depending on the host country.

Such documents send to the official site of the Action and spread to:

Potential STSM hosts

An applicant is free to contact any researcher of the Action in order to suggest and negotiate an STSM proposal. Also researchers from NNC and IPC countries (see link above) can serve as STSM hosts.

We are working on a solution to make the list of all the 340 Action participants availabe. In the meantime, you can find a list of all Action Management Committee members, substitutes, and Action Observers here. You can also find descriptions of excellent research by PlantEd participants in the Book of Abstracts from the 1st PlantEd conference.

Evaluation of proposals

The evaluation of the applications is performed by the STSM Committee together with the Action Chair or Vice Chair. The evaluation criteria consider the scientific scope of the proposal and how the mission can support the Action in achieving its scientific objectives, as well as how the mission will contribute to the professional development of the applicant. Also ECI status, geographical balance, and gender balance will be considered. The STSM Committee will also aim to achieve a balance of granted STSMs among the five Action WGs.

In case of approval, the STSM Coordinator will first inform the Grant Holder by e-mail. The Grant Holder will subsequently inform the successful applicants by sending them a Grant letter with an official approval of the STSM application, a “Payment Request” (to be completed after the completion of the STSM) and the level of the financial grant given. The Applicant has to confirm the acceptance of the grant by returning the Grant letter with his/her signature. In case of rejection, the STSM Coordinator will inform the applicant by e-mail.

After the STSM

The grantee is required to submit a scientific report to the host institution, Action Chair, Vice Chair, Grant Holder and STSM Coordinator for approval within 10 days after the end date of the STSM. N.B. Please notice the short reporting period for this call – this is important!

The report should contain:

  • A scientific report
  • An official letter/confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM

The Action Chair and STSM Coordinator are responsible for approving the scientific report. The failure to submit the scientific report within 10 days will effectively cancel the grant. Once approved, payment of the STSM grant will be made by bank-to-bank transfer to the grantee.

Contact

For more information and enquiries please do not hesitate to contact the STSM Coordinator:

Dr Vladislava Galovic, PhD
vladislava.galovic@gmail.com

Any further information may also be found in the following file:

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