5th Call for Short Term Scientific Missions


The 5th Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) under COST Action FP1406 PINESTRENGTH is open. We encourage STSM candidates to submit their applications from 21st May until the 8th June 2018.

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: 21st May 2018
Application deadline: 8th June 2018
Decision by the evaluation committee: 15th June 2018
The deadline for realisation of STSM: between 15th June 2018 and 15th March 2019.

This call is open to all participants, but priority will be given to researchers with fewer than 8 years of experience from the date they obtained their PhD (Early Career Investigators [ECI]). Gender balance policy will be also applied.

Scientific Topics

Experimental work plan in the STSM application of candidates must contain one of the objectives of COST Action FP1406 PINESTRENGTH (see MoU), with priority to the following topics suggested by the Core Group:
• Estimation of the potential economic losses and their consequences on employment caused by Fusarium circinatum
• Generation of risk maps for F. circinatum based on future climate change scenarios
• Testing protocols to obtain consensus on the best available molecular techniques for F. circinatum diagnosis
• 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 (spore traps, remote sensing, etc)


The STSMs must take place between 15th June 2018 and end no later than in 15th March 2019.
STSM must respect the following criteria:
• They must have a minimum duration of 5 days
• They must have a maximum duration of 90 days (6 months for Early Career Investigators [ECI])
• STSM needs to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period

Financial Support

The STSM grant is used to cover costs of travel and subsistence. The financial support should be viewed as a contribution to the costs of the mission and may not cover all costs.
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.

Applicant and Host Institution

The home and the host institution can be public or private. A STSM may only be approved:
• From a home institution in a COST participating country to a host institution in a COST participating country or to a formally approved host institution in a non-COST country
• From a formally approved home institution in a Near Neighbour country to a host institution in a COST participating country

The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the host institution, before submitting his/her application.

How to apply

The applicant should complete:
• A fully completed COST STSM application form (use the online registration / submission tool:
• A motivation letter
• Applicant CV
• A written agreement of the host institution
• A letter of support from the home institution
• A financial data (amount for travel and subsistence)

Such documents send to:
• The future Host of the STSM
• The Chair of the COST Action, Professor Julio Javier Diez Casero
• The Vice Chair, Professor Stephen Woodward
• The Grant Holder of the COST Action, Dr Pablo Martínez-Álvarez
• 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

Best regards,
Dr Verica Vasic
Verica Vasic PhD
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