Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between researchers. The aim of a STSM as defined by COST Annotated Rules is to contribute to the scientific objectives of a COST Action. These Missions aim at strengthening the existing COST Actions by allowing scientists to go to an institution or laboratory in another COST country to foster collaboration, to learn a new technique or to take measurements using instruments and/ or methods not available in their own institution/ laboratory.

The following table shows the scenarios available to eligible STSM applicants from institutions involved in INTERACT:

Institution Type
Eligible as Applicant’s Home Institution
Eligible as STSM Host Institution
COST Member: Legal entity in COST F/C Member
COST Member: Legal entity in CPM
At COST Partner Member’s costs (dedicated budget line)
Specific Organisations: EC/EU
At EC, EU body, office or agency cost (minimisation of cascade funding)
Rule applicable to territory where it is vested
Specific Organisation: European RTD Organisations
Rule applicable to territory where it is vested
Specific Organisation: International Organisations
Rule applicable to territory where it is vested
Legal entity in a NNC
IPC / Third States

For details on COST Members see here.

For details on COST Full (F) / Cooperating (C) Member, Partner Member (CPM), Specific Organisations, Near Neighbour Countries (NNC), International Partner (IPC) and Third States, please, see here.


Applications should be submitted according to the procedure detailed below:

Step 1: Formal registration of the STSM request via the e-COST platform.

An eligible applicant submits a request for a STSM via the on-line tool in the eCOST platform.

To that aim, the applicants need to supply the required administrative/financial information and, also, upload the following supporting documents:

  • Grant application: This form includes details on the (i) goals of the STSM; (ii) associated workplan; and (iii) expected outputs and contribution to the Objectives and Deliverables of the COST Action. The template can be downloaded from the eCOST platform (see ‘Download Grant Application template’ in the figure below) and also from here.
  • Invitation Letter: An Invitation Letter signed by a senior researcher affiliated to the Host institution.
  • Letter of Support: A Letter of Support signed by a senior researcher from the Home institution.
  • Motivation Letter: A letter summarizing the main scientific goals and need for the STSM, as well as its relevance for the applicant, home/host institutions, the INTERACT project, etc.
  • Applicant’s CV: A full CV including a list of academic publications, if applicable.

When uploading supporting documents, please, select the following options in the dropdown menu ’Document Type’ (see figure below):

Supporting document
Menu option
Grant application
Grant application
Invitation Letter
Confirmation Host
Letter of Support
Motivation Letter
Applicant’s CV

When preparing the STSM documentation, applicants are STRONGLY encouraged to check the Evaluation Criteria listed below.

Applications must be submitted at least 1 month before the mission starts, to allow enough time for processing the request 

Step 2: Evaluation of the STSM application.
The Grant Awarding coordinator organizes the evaluation of your STSM application.

Step 3: Approval by the Core Group.

The Action Chair or the Grant Awarding coordinator informs the Grant Holder that the proposed STSM has been approved. Depending on budget availability and duration of the Mission, a maximum grant of 1200,00 EUR per grant will be allocated.

Step 4: Notification letter from the Grant Holder.
The Grant Holder sends you a formal Grant Notification letter.

Step 5: Start of the Mission.
After the reception of the Grant notification letter, you can start your mission.


  • All STSM activities must occur in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the action lifetime. Grant Periods run from November 1st of year n to October 31st of year n+1.


After completing your mission, the grantee is required to upload the following documents to the on-line tool in the eCOST platform for approval:

  • Scientific Report: Following this template.
  • Letter/email from Host institution: An official letter/email from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution formally accepting the Scientific Report above.

The STSM Grantee has up to 30 calendar days from the end date of the mission (and always within 15 days from the end date of the Grant Period) to submit the documents, failure to do so will effectively cancel the grant.

Payment of the Grant is subject to the scientific report being approved by the Action Chair and/or the Grant Awarding Coordinator/Committee and a senior researcher affiliated to the Host institution. This formal acceptance of the scientific report must be sent to the Grant Holder for archiving purposes.


Grant applications will be evaluated against the following criteria and indicative list of questions:

  • CV of the Applicant:
    • Applications of ECIs and PhD students are given priority.
  • Workplan & Schedule:
    • Is the workplan well defined and structured?
    • Is the schedule of activities realistic?
  • Expected outcome
    • Which WGs/VTs/HAs of INTERACT are potentially interested in the results of this STSM?
    • Is the STSM focused on a specific scientific objective(s) of INTERACT?
    • What are the expected outcomes of the STSM (publications, generation of datasets, …)?
  • Scientific Networking
    • What is the support offered by the Host Institution to the applicant?
    • Could the work described in the STSM be performed without researcher mobility?
    • Is it expected that the STSM provides new networking activities among the Home and Host Institutions (e.g. exchanges, setup/joint participation in other collaborative projects)?
  • Financial Plan
    • Consider an average of 60 to 80 EUR per night reasonable, in addition to travel costs. If above this amount, an explanation/justification should be provided.
  • COST Policies:
    • Is the applicant from an Inclusive Target Country (ITC)?
    • Is the host from an Inclusive Target Country (ITC)?
    • Is the applicant a female researcher?


Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the detailed information provided by COST. Please, carefully read COST Annotated Rules – Annex 2 (Networking Activities Organised through a Grant Awarding Process).