ALIEN Challenge promotes Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) to facilitate knowledge exchange and acquisition, and to implement action objectives, by fostering collaboration, technology transfer and by tackling various research needs.
63 STSMs have been completed during the first three years of the Action.
Researchers interested in applying for an STSM should first read the information below to establish whether they are eligible to apply for an STSM and how to calculate the requested grant.
The application procedure is explained on the Instructions page.
The selection of applicants is based on the scientific scope of the STSM application which must clearly compliment the overall objectives of ALIEN Challenge. More information regarding the selection procedure can be found on the Criteria page.
Successful applicants will need to submit a scientific report to the Host Institution and to the STSM Co-ordinators within 30 days from the end date of the STSM, and they will be responsible for acquiring from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution confirmation of formal acceptance of the scientific report. Successful applicants will also be asked to submit a poster on their STSM and a summary profile piece for the Action’s website.
Who is eligible to take part in STSM?
Participation of ‘Early-Stage Researchers’ (ESR) in STSM is particularly encouraged. An applicant can be considered as being an ESR when the time that has elapsed between the award date of the applicant’s PhD and the date of the applicant’s first involvement in the COST Action ALIEN Challenge does not exceed 8 years. PhD students are also eligible to partake in STSMs. Other applicants must be employed by or affiliated to an institution or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing scientific research.
STSMs are not available to BSc/MSc students with no additional affiliation to an organisation/research centre.
Eligible ‘Home’ and ‘Host’ combinations can be found on the page Eligible 'Home - Host' combinations
The STSM Grant
STSM can have a duration of between 5 days and 90 days (and up to 180 days if the applicant is an Early Stage Research (ESR) – see definition 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. Financial support is limited to cover travel, accommodation and meal expenses and is paid in the form of a Grant. The cost of research materials is not eligible for consideration as part of the grant.
Please note that the awarded grant will be paid only after the STSM has been completed – therefore the applicant must have approval and prior financial support e.g., from their own institution.
The following funding conditions apply and must be respected:
- up to a max of EUR2500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
- up to a max of EUR160 per day can be afforded for accommodation & meal expenses;
- for ESRs, a max amount of EUR3500 can be afforded to the Grantee for STSMs with a duration of between 91 & 180 days – For ESRs partaking in STSMs with a duration of between 5 & 90 days, the limit is EUR2500;
- STSM activities must occur in their entirety within the dates specified in this call.
STSM awards may be combined with other funding sources, but these must be acknowledged in the application.
Please note that failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days from the end date of the STSM will effectively cancel the Grant.
COST can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants.
ESR - An applicant can be considered as being an ESR when the time that has elapsed between the award date of the applicant’s PhD and the date of the applicant’s first involvement in the COST Action ALIEN Challenge does not exceed 8 years.
- Submitting a proposal
- Formal Report after the STSM