Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM)
Call for Applications

Aims and Scope of STSMs within SMARTCATs COST Action:

The Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) program of the COST Action CM1404 aims at fostering collaboration and strengthening existing networks between Action Partners and Working Groups (WG) and enhancing skills, particularly among Early Career Investigators (ECI), and extending the knowledge-base of Action Partners. STSMs involving industrial partners are actively promoted. This is also expected to increase the entrepreneurial skills of the ECIs, thus, supporting the Action to become an incubator for future start-ups and spin-offs.

The STSMs are the building blocks of the COST Action and very important tools to reach the SMARTCATs COST Action aim:

Addressing the ‘grand challenge’ of matching the most promising Smart Energy Carriers with the advanced energy conversion technologies

The topics of the STSMs have to be well framed within one of the Working Group activities. In particular, the STSMs have to be related to (follow the link for detailed description of the topics):

WG1: Smart Energy Carriers gas phase chemistry: from experiments to kinetic models

WG2: Chemistry for control of by-products in Smart Energy Carrier conversion

WG3: Chemical and optical advanced diagnostics for Smart Energy Carriers conversion monitoring

WG4: Standard definition for data collection and mining toward a virtual chemistry of Smart Energy Carriers

WG5:Integration of fundamental knowledge towards technology application for Smart Energy Carriers exploitation.

STSM proposals that do not directly fit with the activities of any WG but are relevant to the overall SMARTCATs aims may be considered if funds are available.

For further details, please read carefully the Memorandum of Understanding of the Action or contact the STSM Manager (Iliyana Naydenova, or the Action Chair  (Mara de Joannon, or the Action Vice Chair (George Skevis,

Who can apply for a STSM?

The Applicant should normally be engaged in a program of research as a PhD student (or relevant degrees) and/or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an Institution or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research. This institution must have accepted the MoU and shall be actively participating in the COST Action. An STSM may only be approved: from a home institution in a participating COST country to a host institution in a participating COST country; as well as to an approved host institution in Near Neighbour country (NNC) institution; non-COST country (the so called IPC institution) or to an approved Specific Organisations (EC and EU Agencies, European RTD Organisations, International Organisations). Other possible scenarios available to eligible STSM applicants are from an approved home institution in a NNC or European RTD Organisation to a host institution in a participating COST country.  The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution, before submitting his/her application.

What documents are needed for a STSM application?

To submit a proposal, the applicant has to:

1. Fill out the STSM application form at

2. Send by email to the STSM manager ( and to the Grant Holder ( an application package containing:

• The personal details of the applicant, the details of the home and host institutions and the type and length of stay.

• A detailed, recent CV with a list of publications (if applicable) should also be submitted.

•An up to two pages abstract should be submitted explaining the purpose of the stay and what is to be accomplished. The abstract should also include a detailed explanation about how the STSM will contribute to the aims of the Action.

•The application should also include a letter of support from the host institution.

How is the evaluation procedure carried out?

The evaluation of the proposals will be made mainly based on potential outcome for the Action. However, due to the existing limitations in available budget, other considerations such as length (and cost) of stay will be made. Another issue in the review process is to achieve an even distribution of participants over the 5 working groups, observing the gender balance and the inclusiveness principle. A significant part of the STSMs is planned to be held in industrial companies having accepted the MoU of the Action and having assigned their availability to host STSM.

Financial matters: How much money can be awarded?

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 STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to performing a given mission. It is expressly required to keep the required amount as low as possible.

The applications will be evaluated as they will be submitted. This 2nd year first call will close on 30 June 2016. A second call will be launched based on funds availability. The STSMs have to end by 30 April 2017 (end of 2nd Action Grant Period)

The STSMs and the related budget must respect the following criteria:

– Minimum duration of 5 days;

– Maximum duration of 90 days;

– Up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 in total can be afforded to each eligible STSM applicant;

-Up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses. An amount of EUR 60 to 90 for the daily allowance in particular for longer stays and EUR 300 for the travel is recommended, but not obligatory.

Specific additional provisions have been adopted by the CSO to encourage the participation of Early Career Investigators (ECI) in STSM. An ECI is any researcher within a time span of up to 8 years from the date he/she obtained his/her PhD/doctorate (full-time equivalent) until completing the entire STSM procedure!

The specific additional provisions for ECI-STSM are applicable when the STSM is carried out in its entirety within a single Grant Period and within the Action’s lifetime, and satisfies the following criteria:

– Minimum duration of 91 days;

-Maximum duration of 180 days;

– Up to a maximum of EUR 3 500 in total can be afforded to eligible ECI applicant;

– An amount of EUR 60 to 90 for the daily allowance is recommended in particular for longer stays and EUR 300 for the travel is recommended, but not obligatory.

After the completion of the STSM, the grantee is required to submit to the host institution and the STSM‑programme manager a report on the visit within 4 weeks after his/her stay. The report should contain the following information:

1) Purpose of the STSM;

2) Description of the work carried out during the STSM and the major results;

3) How the STSM has contributed to the Action’s aim;

4) Future collaboration with the host institution (if applicable);

5) Foreseen publications/articles resulting from the STSM (if applicable);

6) Confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM;

7) Publications resulting from STSM activities must acknowledge COST Action CM1404.