The aim of a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) shall be to contribute to the scientific objectives of a COST Action.
These Missions (Exchange Visits) are aimed at strengthening the existing networks 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. They are particularly intended for young scientists.
The duration of a STSM is minimum one week (5 working days) and maximum 3 months, which can be extended to the maximum of 6 months for Early Stage Researchers, that is, PhD students or scientists with no more than 8 years of experience after their PhDs.
The financial contribution for a STSM is a fixed grant. This means that it normally covers travel costs (up to 500€) and subsistence (up to 160€ per day) and need not cover all costs, e.g. it will not cover health insurance, social or personal security or similar. Its amount is based on the applicant’s budget request and the evaluation of the application by the STSM assessment committee (the ENeL Steering Group). The total of STSM grant should normally not exceed EUR 2,500 (or EUR 3,500 for early stage researchers for a visit that lasts above 3 months).
In some special cases there can be exceptions to these rules, but they have to be approved by the Management Committee and the COST office.
The STSMs are scheduled for the whole duration of ENeL Action. The budget negotiated for the second grant period 1 January 2016 – 31 December 2016 includes 20,000 EUR for at least 8 STSM missions (a preliminary budget is based on a rough estimation 1 STSM = 3 months = 2,500 EUR).