2nd Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)


The 2nd Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) under COST Action FP1406: PINESTRENGTH is open. We invite STSM candidates to submit their applications from 6th June until the 22nd June 2016.

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: 6th June 2016

Application deadline: 22nd June 2016

Decision by the evaluation committee: 27th June 2016

The deadline for realisation of STSM: between 1st July 2016 and 28th February, 2017.

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 1st July 2016 and 28th February, 2017.

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:

– A motivation letter including detailed but concise a work plan

– A full C.V. (including a list of academic publications)

– 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 Grant Holder of the COST Action, Dr Jorge Martin-Garcia

– The STSM coordinator, Dr Verica Vasic

After the STSM

The grantee is required to submit a scientific report to the host institution, Action Chair, Vice Chair, Grant Holder and STSM coordinator for approval within 30 days after the end date of the STSM. The report should contain:

– A scientific report

– An official letter/confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM

The Action Chair and STSM coordinator are responsible for approving the scientific report. The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant. Once approved, payment of the STSM grant will be made by bank-to-bank transfer to the grantee.

For more information and enquiries please do not hesitate to contact the STSM coordinator Dr Verica Vasic

Kind regards,

Dr Verica Vasic

Verica Vasic Ph.D.

University of Novi Sad

Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment

Antona Cehova 13

21000 Novi Sad


Tel: +381 21 540 383

Fax: +381 21 540 385

Mob: +381 62 27 17 55