Short Term Scientific Missions

TO BE Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM)

Call for the 4th grant period (1st May 2017 – 30 April 2018)


  1.  Objectives

The aim of a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) is to contribute to the scientific objectives of the TO-BE COST Action. STSMs are exchange visits which aim at strengthening the TO-BE network, by allowing scientists to: visit other institution in different countries; foster collaborations; learn new techniques; access instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory.


  1. STSMs Eligibility

A STSM applicant must be engaged in a research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or be employed by, or affiliated to, an Institution or Company or legal entity which has within its remit an association with performing scientific research on transition metal oxides. Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) recently renamed as Early Career Investigators (ECI) – defined as young scientists that obtained their PhD degree less than 8 years ago – are typically envisaged as the major beneficiaries of this programme. However, PhD students and senior scientists are also encouraged to apply.

Under the above conditions, eligibility of a STSM grant application depends on the country of the Researcher’s primary affiliation as registered on their e-COST profile/STSM application/C.V. and where they are currently performing their main strand of research (Home Institution), and on the country of the Institution that is intended to host the STSM applicant (Host Institution). The eligibility conditions of STSM applications in term of Home and Host Institutions are detailed in the following table:

Home Institution Host Institution
Located in an institution in a COST Country or Cooperating State participating to the TO-BE Action In another COST Country or Cooperating State participating to the TO-BE Action
In an approved NNC institution
In an approved (International Partner Countries) IPC institution
In an approved Specific organization
Located in an approved NNC institution In a COST Country or Cooperating State participating to the TO-BE Action
Located in an approved European RTD Organisation In a COST Country or Cooperating State participating to the TO-BE Action



  1. Organizational and financial aspects

Eligible STSM can have duration of minimum 5 working days and maximum 60 calendar days. The financial support will be allocated in the form of a fixed grant. The grant should cover only travel and subsistence (lodging and meals, see below). The financial support on offer is a contribution to the overall expenses incurred during the STSM and may not necessarily cover all of the associated outgoings.

The following funding conditions apply and must be respected:

  1. The maximum total amount requested to the Action for each grant should not exceed EUR 2500;
    2. For accommodation and meal expenses, we kindly ask each applicant to request a maximum amount of EUR 100 per day for mission of up to 8 days, and EUR 80 per day for missions longer than 8 days is established.
  2. STSM activities within this call must be completed within March 10, 2018

The amounts granted for each individual STSM will be determined during the evaluation process by the nominally appointed person(s). The selection of applicants is based on the scientific scope of the STSM application which must be clearly in line with the overall objectives of the Action. The Action Core group, under suggestion of the STMS committee, might redefine for each approved grantee the duration of the STSM and the amount to be allocated, also on the base of the cost of living in each respective country and of the duration of the stay. It is assumed that for stays of several weeks, cheap and possibly self-catering accommodations can be found with the help of the Host Institution.


  1. Application instructions


The opening of the call is July 21, 2017.

A first cut-off date is at midnight of August 25, 2017. The evaluation of applications submitted before such date will be notified by Sept. 6, 2017.

A second cut-off date is at midnight of October 6, 2017. The evaluation of applications submitted before such date will be notified by Oct. 18, 2017.

A third cut-off date is at midnight of December 8, 2017. The evaluation of applications submitted before such date will be notified by Dec. 20, 2017.

STSMs to be funded within this call, whether they are submitted within the first, the second or the third cut-off date will have to end by March 10, 2018.


Applicants should follow the directions provided below and submit their application and supporting documents by logging into e-COST (see STSM_userguide.pdf).


Applicants must apply for membership to the TO-BE Action, if not yet done so, according to the instructions available here and must register for an e-COST profile at – adding their bank account details to their profile. It is highly recommended to carefully read the funding rules detailed in section 6 of the COST Vademecum: COST Action Part 1 – Short Term Scientific Mission (pages 35-36). This document is available at:

All applicants must complete, submit and upload their STSM application online at: The supporting documents to be submitted for the evaluation together with the application form are:

  • A letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution (Annex 1) confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates prior to submitting an application. In case of successful application, such senior Researcher will be appointed as tutor of the applicant for reporting purposes,
  • A letter of support from the Home Institution,
  • A Full C.V. including:

– date of birth;

– current position: e.g. PhD student, Post Doc (specify date of PhD award), Assistant Professor, Employee, Research fellow, etc.

– the number of years since obtaining PhD Degree, where applicable,

– a list of academic publications

  • Scientific workplan (max 2 pages, including motivation and requested grant) including state of the art, methods and objectives. The workplan should highlight the relevance to the Action Objectives, as reported in the TO-BE Memorandum of Understanding (, and the expected added value (including training benefits and know-how transfer) for the Host and Home Institutions and for the applicant.


  1. Evaluation procedure

The STSM committee is composed by:

– Laurence Mechin, WG0-T3 Task leader

– Alex Kalaboukhov, WG0-T3 Vice Task leader.

– Geetha Balakrishnan, Action Vice Chair

Selection criteria will take into account:

– Relevance to the TO-BE Action scientific objectives, as outlined in the Action Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

– CV and profile of the applicant including the fact of being or not being an ECI
– Scientific quality of the proposed project and expected scientific impact

– Expected benefit for the applicant and host institution and interest of the exchange visits (e.g. complementary of techniques, exchanges of samples, discussions about common results, etc)
– Overall balance between countries (with a special eye on countries addressed in COST inclusiveness policies) and genders.


  1.  Obligations of the grantee

Within 30 days from the end date of the STSM, the successful applicant has to submit a scientific report to the Host institution and to STSM Coordinator by logging into e-COST (see STSM_userguide.pdf). The Host Institution, in turn, will provide a copy of the report countersigned by the tutor, together with a letter commenting on the grantee’s activity.
Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days from the end date of the STSM will effectively cancel the grant. COST can request an additional information to substantiate the content of the documents submitted by grantees. Unjustified and severe deviations between original workplan and effective development of the STSM might lead to the cancellation of the grant.

Grantees might be called to publicly present the output of the STSM in a following Action meeting as a short presentation or poster.

Useful documents:

– Call text in pdf format

– Host Institution welcome letter (Annex 1)

– STSM final scientific report (Template at

Go to Ruwix to learn the solution of the Rubik’s Cube and other twisty puzzles like Pyraminx, Square-1 etc.