INNOGLY Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM)
What are STSMs?
Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits aimed at supporting researchers’ individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration. STSMs finance researchers participating in INNOGLY to go to a legal entity based in a COST Full/Cooperating Member, an European RTD or a NNC (according to the new Annotated Rules: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2021-11-01-1.pdf) to perform research that contributes to the goals of INNOGLY. The following link including the list of all countries/entities following within each one of the above mentioned categories: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/Annex-I-level-A-Country-and-Organisations-Table-REVISION.pdf. Thus, by the new rules, the STSM can now take place basically anywhere in the world.
Participation of “Early Career Investigators” (ECIs) in STSM is encouraged. An applicant fits the ECI definition if the period between the applicant’s PhD award date and the date of the INNOGLY STSM application does not exceed 8 years. PhD students as well as other research staff are also eligible to partake in STSMs.
Open call Deadlines – GP3
INNOGLY has 3 defined calls for STSMs within 3rd Grant period:
- 25th February – the applicant can start the mobility from March 21st,
- 20th April – the applicant can start the mobility from May 16th,
- 15th June – the applicant can start the mobility from July 13th.
This means that you can submit your application at any time you desire, but the applications will be evaluated after the deadline has passed. The STSM committee will divide the budget until the budget is consumed.
The GP3 finishes on 31 October 2022, so that the STSMs must be completed preferably by September 15 2022 and at latest by September 30 2022 to be reimbursed in the GP3 budget, as defined by the COST STSM rules. The INNOGLY STSM rules follow the new annotated rules (https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2021-11-01-1.pdf), which are presented on INNOGLY webpage (https://innogly.eu/). Currently, 25,000.00UER of annual budget within the GP3 is available, which allows approximately 10 STSMs, depending on the requested amount of funding. Criteria for awarding are explained further ahead on this page and follow the general rule defined by the new annotated rules (https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2021-11-01-1.pdf). Goals for the STSMs and criteria might be adjusted from year to year as the work of INNOGLY continues and will be refreshed on the INNOGLY webpage.
Duration and eligible expenses
Duration: Although the minimum duration is not defined by the new annotated rules, Innogly STSM committee agrees that shorter visits than 5 days do not allow substantial research to be performed, but rather just a visit to the foreign laboratory. This is why middle-term visits of 3 weeks or more are encouraged.
The financial support: is a contribution to the overall expenses incurred during the STSM and does not cover all the associated expenses. Financial support is limited to cover travel, accommodation and meal expenses and is paid in the form of a grant.
The following funding conditions apply:
- up to a maximum of EUR 4.000 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
- A maximum daily allowance for accommodation and meal expenses is defined by the daily allowance rates applicable to COST travel expenses for meetings: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/Daily-Allowance-table_November_2021.pdf.
- Please note that the previous rule: “up to a maximum of EUR 300 can be afforded for travel expenses” does not apply any more;
- STSM activities must occur within the dates specified in this call.
Who can apply?
STSMs are open for PhDs, PostDocs, and advanced career researchers employed at institutions in countries defined in the first paragraph. Please, bear in mind that researchers cannot apply for an STSM within their own country.
STSM applicant 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. The institutions/organisation or legal entity where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home Institutions. The Host Institution is the institution/organisation that will host the successful applicant.
Priority will be given to Early Career Investigators (ECI) (maximum 8 years since obtaining their PhD at the time of application) and PhD students working on INNOGLY-defined topics within working groups.
Particular consideration will also be given to candidates moving from/to COST Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs), as listed here: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/Annex-I-level-A-Country-and-Organisations-Table-REVISION.pdf.
Awards throughout the annual grant period (for the GP3) will be made to support scientific excellence, and to support a variety of researchers with respect to gender equality, career stage, affiliation, and nationality.
How can you apply?
This is a step-by-step guide to applying for an STSM and the criteria by which STSM applications will be assessed. More in-depth information can be found at the new Annotated Rules: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2021-11-01-1.pdf). Please contact Marko Anderluh (STSM coordinator) (marko.anderluh[AT]ffa.uni-lj.si) if you have any queries.
The application process is as follows:
1. Applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in the new Annotated Rules: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/10/COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2021-11-01-1.pdf). We further suggest to the applicants to use the following document including Guidelines on Applications to Individual Grants such as STSM: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/12/Grant-Awarding-userguide.pdf.
2. Applicants must submit an application using e-COST https://e-services.cost.eu/user/login/STSM. If you do not already have an e-COST account you will first need to ‘create an account’ – which will include providing the details of the bank account where the grant will be lodged if your STSM application is approved and the STSM successfully completed.
3. Applicants must obtain a letter of invitation from the Host Institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates should their application be approved.
4. Applicants must complete, submit and download their STSM application online at: https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm.
5. Applicants must send their application form and the relevant supporting documents for evaluation, to Marko Anderluh (STSM coordinator) (marko.anderluh[AT]ffa.uni-lj.si).
The list of supporting documents to be submitted for the evaluation are:
•Letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior Researcher at the Host institution.
•The submitted STSM application form (downloadable when the online application is submitted – see above).
•A letter including an overview of the proposed activities that will be performed, a workplan for the visit, a description of the proposed contributions to the scientific objectives of the INNOGLY Action (how it fits to a specific WG), an outline of the host’s scientific expertise/resources in support of the STSM. The letter should be maximum 8 pages, the font should correspond to Times New Roman size 12 pt with single line spacing and standard margins of 2 cm.
•A letter of support from the Applicant’s Home Institution.
•A Full C.V. (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).
6. The INNOGLY STSM committee organises assessment of the STSM proposal: STSM selection team assess the proposal (see ‘STSM Selection Criteria’) – may seek expert but impartial advice to inform their decision. If approved, the STSM coordinator sends application and approval to Grant Holder & Action Chair for final check. The mobility period proposed cannot start before the evaluation process is over, as defined by the precise timeline above.
7. The Grant Holder sends the applicant a grant letter and the STSM should not be started until the Applicant has received the official Grant Letter from the Grant Holder. The STSM must be performed according to the mobility period agreed upon and indicated in the Grant Letter. In case any change is needed the Applicant should ask the formal approval of the proposed change by informing in due advance the STSM Coordinator Marko Anderluh. If the STSM Coordinator agrees with the proposed change, the Grant Holder is notified about it and a new Grant Letter is issued. The mobility must end no later than September 30 2022.
8. After the STSM, the investigator submits a scientific report to the STSM Host and STSM coordinator within 30 days of completing the STSM. This must include: the purpose of the mission; description of work carried out; description of main results/outputs; plan of future collaborations with Host (if applicable); planned publications resulting from STSM (if applicable); confirmation of successful STSM by Host. Useful guidelines are available at the following link: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/12/Grant-Awarding-userguide.pdf
9. STSM Coordinator and Action Chair approve the final report. The Grant Holder executes payment to STSM Applicant.
Criteria for Awarding STSM
STSM funding will be awarded according to the COST key principles of:
•Balance (gender, national, topic-based)
Criteria for evaluation will be as follows:
•The relevance and application of the research to the field of the Action – a detailed work plan will help determine if the scientific aims of the work will be relevant and applicable to the Action’s aims (1-5 points).
•The quality and clarity of the proposed research – The STSM application should be of high quality, arguing clearly and cogently the importance and timeliness of the research (1-5 points).
•The choice of Host institution – the applicant must give specific scientific reasons for visiting their chosen Host institution. We will also be tracking the geographical distribution of the Host institutions to ensure there is an evenly-spread network for knowledge transfer.
•The home institution of the researcher – We will take into account the number of applications from each institution to ensure a fair spread of researches across the network. Involvement of ITC countries will be a plus (1-5 points)
•The profile of the researcher – We will take into account the researcher’s potential of successfully completing the STSM on the basis of their previous work and achievements commensurate to their career stage. In line with COST policy, we will preferentially award STSMs to early career investigators (PhD + <8 years). This should not discourage more experienced researchers from applying (1-5 points).
•For ECIs, the support provided by senior colleagues.
•The publication/output potential of the research carried out – Based on the STSM work plan and detailed publication/output plan (1-5 points).
The INNOGLY STSM Committee
- Prof. Marko Anderluh (coordinator)
- Dr. Laura Polito
- Dr. Miloš Hricovini
- Dr. Sergio Moya
- Dr. Ondřej Vaněk