STSM application and funding procedure
This document details relevant conditions and steps to apply for an STSM and receive financial support.
The herewith provided guidelines complement but do not overrule the COST Vademecum as official reference.
Who can apply for an STSM?
“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.” An STSM applicant must specifically contribute to the research coordination and capacity building objectives of the COST Action for which he/she is submitting a STSM application.
Applications for STSMs are submitted via e-COST, therefore any applicant must have registered an e-COST profile. In addition, beforehand, the applicant should have signed up to the enetCollect Action following the formal procedure as detailed here.
How to apply for an STSM and receive financial support?
STSM applications have to be submitted via the dedicated form on the e-COST system. The overall procedure of applying for an STSM, being approved, carrying out the STSM, and receiving the financial support includes the following steps (for extensive details on the STSM application workflow see also the COST guidelines ‘STSM_userguide.pdf’).
- The STSM applicant files an STSM application on e-COST.
- The STSM coordinator sends the application for approval/rejection by Core Group vote.
- If the STSM aplication is voted positively, the STSM coordinator informs the STSM grantee and request him to book its transport tickets.
- The STSM grantee book the transport tickets and accommodation and send the receipts to the STSM coordinator,
- The STSM coordinator adjust the amount of the grant to “price of transport tickets + price of the accommodation + 20 euros * number of meals”,
- The Grant Holder (GH) sends the Grant Notification letter to the STSM grantee.
- The STSM starts.
In case the STSM applicant applied for a pre-payment (only applicable for applicants from ITC countries)1: the STSM host sends confirmation that the STSM was started as scheduled and the GH makes the payment of the 1st installment, after receiving the host’s confirmation.
The STSM ends.
The STSM grantee uploads the scientific report and host approval of the report within 30 days from the end of the STSM stay. Submission of supporting documents is mandatory, otherwise the grant is canceled.
The STSM coordinator approves/rejects the scientific report.
The GH makes the payment of the grant after approval of the scientific report / host approval and within 45 days from the end of the STSM stay.
What information needs to be included within the STSM application on e-COST?
- Applicant details
STSM details (more information on this section are given below)
Letters of support from home and host institutions, CV
Additional information on the section ‘STSM details’:
Start and end dates have to correspond to the dates of arrival and departure at the host institutions (any STSM related preparatory or follow-up work that is not carried out at the host institution is not considered part of the STSM period).
The motivation and workplan summary should include the following information:
a) Aim & motivation for the STSM, WG that the STSM is related to.
b) Proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of the Action (and the particular WG).
c) Techniques that will be applied/learned during the STSM.
d) Planning of the steps carried out during the STSM.
Additionally, we also ask you to provide the following information:
e) indicate the year of PhD degree if you have one or, if you don’t have one, indicate it explicitly.
f) indicate if you request a pre-payment (only applicable for applicants from ITC countries)1:
g) Details regarding the financial support in order to demonstrate the adequacy of the amount requested, including (1) estimated travel cost with link to the offer of a provider (e.g. Skyscanner) and (2) estimated subsistence cost (hotel/housing) with link to an offer of a provider (e.g. booking.com). In order to take into account the fluctuation of prices between the time of the proposal and, when the STSM is accepted, the actual moment of the booking of the tickets and accommodation, the STSM applicant should request an amount a tad larger than the one computed at the time of the proposal. The amount will then be adjusted as explained in the step 5 above.
STSM proposals lacking the above requested information will be rejected.
[ Footnote(s) ]
1 STSM applicants with an affiliation in an institution in an ITC country can request a pre-payment of 50% of grant. This is payable under two conditions: that the GH has sufficient funds to cover 50% of the grant in advance and that the host confirms to the GH that the mission has started. (Definition as detailed in ‘STSM_userguide.pdf’)