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 an institution, organisation or research centre in another participating COST Country to perform research that contributes to the goals of INNOGLY. 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. Undergraduates, Master and PhD students as well as other research staff are also eligible to partake in STSMs.
Open call Deadlines – GP2
INNOGLY has an open call for STSMs and there is no planned deadline for the STSMs within 2nd Grant period. This means that you can submit your application at any time you desire, and “first come, first served” rule applies until the budget is consumed. This year’s COST Grant Period has been extended to up to 31 October 2021 (instead of 30 April). I remind you that the STSMs must be completed preferably by September 15 2021 and at latest by September 30 2021 to be reimbursed in the GP2 budget, as defined by the COST STSM rules. The majority of INNOGLY STSM rules follow the general COST Vademecum (https://www.cost.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Vademecum-V8-1-May-2020.pdf, Section 8), and are presented on INNOGLY webpage (https://innogly.eu/) with a minor modification (explained later).
Currently, 20,408.00UER of annual budget within the GP2 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 in the COST vademecum (https://www.cost.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Vademecum-V8-1-May-2020.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: minimum of 5 days, middle-term visits over 3 weeks 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 3500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
- up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be granted for accommodation and meal expenses;
- 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 participating in INNOGLY (INNOGLY involved countries: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA18103/#tabs|Name:parties), or at approved institutions. STSMs must be performed between COST countries – 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), which include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.
International COST participants may host STSM researchers from European COST countries but may not apply for STSMs themselves.
Awards throughout the annual grant period (for the GP2) 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 COST Vademecum. 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 Section 8 of the COST Vademecum, (https://www.cost.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Vademecum-V8-1-May-2020.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.
7. The Grant Holder sends the applicant a grant letter to sign and return. The STSM should not be started until this letter has been signed and returned. The applicant can therefore start the STSM as soon as the STSM grant letter is signed, but not later than a month after the grant letter is signed. The STSM has to be finished at latest by the end of the GP.
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.
9. STSM Coordinator and Action Chair approve the final report. The Grant Holder executes payment to STSM Applicant.
10. Specific provisions have been introduced to enable researchers from ITC participating in the COST Action to request a pre-payment of 50% of their STSM Grant when they complete the first day of their STSM. In such case, the representative of the Host Institution must confirm by e-mail to the Grant Holder that the STSM applicant has officially started the mission on day 1. Only then the Grant Holder can arrange the payment of 50% of the STSM grant. The remaining 50% of the Grant is payable once the administrative requirements have been satisfied after the STSM
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