1st Call for Short Term Scientific Missions


The 1st Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) under COST Action FP1406: PINESTRENGTH is open. We invite STSM candidates to submit their applications from 23th November until the 7th December 2015.

Objectives of STSM

Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are exchange visits between researchers involved in a COST Action, allowing scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another COST country, to learn new techniques or gain access to specific instruments or methods not available in their own institutions.

Important dates

Call launched: 23th November 2015

Application deadline: 7th December 2015

Decision by the evaluation committee: 21th December 2015

The deadline for realisation of STSM: between 1st January 2016 and 24th April, 2016.

Scientific focus

Experimental work plan in the STSM application of candidates has to contain one of the objectives of COST Action FP1406 PINESTRENGTH (see MoU), with priority to the following topics suggested by the Core Group:

• Detection of Fusarium circinatum in seed of Pinaceae traded within and imported into Europe.

• Testing susceptibility of European conifer species and their provenances to F. circinatum.

• Biological control of F. circinatum at the nursery, individual tree and landscape scale (e.g. mycoviruses, endophytes, etc)

• Development of tools for rapid detection of F. circinatum (molecular techniques, spore traps, etc)

• Generation of risk maps for F. circinatum based on future climate change scenarios

• Estimation of the potential economic losses and their consequences on employment caused by F. circinatum

Duration of exchange visits

STSMs can run for a minimum one week (5 working days), maximum 3 months (6 months for Early Career Investigators [ECI]) and must start and finish within the Action’s Grant Periods.

Please notice that the deadline for realisation of STSMs must take place between January 1st 2016 and 24th April, 2016.

The financial support for STSM

The financial support is a contribution to the costs of a STSM and should normally cover only travel and subsistence. The financial contribution for a STSM will be a fixed grant based on the Applicant’s budget request and the evaluation of the application by the STSM assessment committee.

The calculation of the financial contribution for each STSM must respect the following criteria:

• up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;

• up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

For ECIs, the calculation for an increased financial contribution must respect the following criteria

• up to a maximum of EUR 3 500 in total can be afforded to ECIs for missions with a duration of between 91 and 180 days;

• up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

The Action Chair, Vice Chair and STSM Coordinator can approve differentiated country rates to cover accommodation and meal expenses based on the perceived cost of living in the host country.

How to apply

The applicant should to complete:

– A fully completed COST STSM application form (use the online registration/submission tool:

– supporting documents (CV, detailed but concise work plan, list of publications, motivation letter)

– A written agreement of the host institution, singed appropriately (remember you need to ask a host institution if it is possible for them to support a STSM project)

– A letter of support from the home institution

– A detailed explanation/breakdown of the living expenses with application

Such documents are to be sent to:

– the future Host of the STSM

– the Chair of the COST Action, Professor Julio Javier Diez Casero

– the Vice Chair of the COST Action, Professor Stephen Woodward

– the STSM coordinator, Dr Verica Vasic

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the detailed information provided in the COST VADEMECUM document as well as on the COST STSM website.

Also, for more information and enquiries please contact the STSM coordinator of the Action Dr Verica Vasic

Looking forward to your response

Best regards,

Dr Verica Vasic