Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) Applications

We are currently not accepting any grant applications. 

The Multi-Disciplinary Innovation for Social Change (SHINE) COST Action (CA18236) is continuously inviting  STSM applications. We encourage all potential applicants to consider the objectives of SHINE and to apply according to the STSM guidelines. The STSMs must fit in the scientific objectives of one or more SHINE Working Groups (WGs):


  • WG1 Design-led approaches to Social Innovation (SI) and Social Entrepreneurship (SE);
  • WG2 Higher Education Institutions (HEI),Social change and transformation;
  • WG3 Pan-European Public-Sector Innovation Lab responding to and developing public policy;
  • WG4 Quadruple-helix ecosystems, impact and dissemination.


The activities of SHINE aim to demonstrate, through the adoption of MDI methods, how we can respond to social problems with a design-led approach which has a problem-oriented ethos, supporting positive social change and the development of international public policy discourse. Detailed information regarding the objectives and activities of each WG are presented in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the present Action




General information


Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, serving as a key tool to support SHINE COST Action (CA18236). They allow participating scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another Participating WECANet COST Country. STSMs are aimed to promote research collaborations, to learn about new research techniques or to perform numerical modelling or experiments using instruments/tools and/or methodologies not available in or of interest for the home institution/laboratory of the Applicant. An STSM should specifically fit in the scientific objectives of the SHINE COST Action (CA18236). General instructions for application and eligibility criteria are reported below. All rules and regulations of COST Annotated rules 


STSM – Application Guidelines

Criteria In order to apply for an STSM, the following criteria must be fulfilled:

  • The Applicant must be based within an institution in one of the countries participating in the SHINE COST Action (CA18236)|Name:parties
  • The Applicant and its Host Institution must be located in two different countries;
  • The Applicant should be engaged in a research program as a graduate or postgraduate student, postdoctoral fellow or affiliated to an Institution or legal entity that has within its remit a clear association with performing scientific research;
  • The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the Host institution BEFORE the application is submitted.

STSM Financial Rules An STSM grant is a fixed financial contribution, taking into consideration the requested budget and the STSM outcome but not necessarily covering all expenses. An STSM grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee. The calculation of the financial contribution for accommodation and meal expenses must respect the following criteria:

  • The mission must have a minimum duration of 5 calendar days;
  • The mission must have a maximum duration of 90 calendar days. For the first grant period, due to limitations, the maximum possible is 20 days;
  • STSMs need to be carried out in its entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.

 The total sum is EUR 4 000,00 per grant

STSM application procedure

The application procedure follows the STSM User guide:

Click here to download the user guide.

1) Before the STSM Before the start of the application procedure by (signing in and) logging into the eCOST platform (through ), and clicking the STSM application tab, the eligible applicants must prepare the following documents:


  • Letter of support from the Home Institution (see Annex documents);
  • Written agreement from the Host institution that the STSM Applicant can perform the activities detailed in the STSM work plan on the agreed dates (see Annex documents);
  • CV (including a list of academic publications – if applicable);
  • Motivation and Work plan summary (limited to 2000 words), containing: Aim & motivation – explain the scientific and/or other motivation for the STSM and what scientific and/or other outcomes you aim to accomplish with the STSM; Proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of the Action; Techniques (please detail what techniques or equipment you may learn to use, if applicable); Planning – detail the steps you will take to achieve your proposed aim; · Complete an online STSM application at to register the Applicant’s request for an STSM.


Annex documents: Letter of support template, Written agreement template. After submission of an STSM request, a notification will be sent by e-cost to the STSM Coordinator and the Grant Holder Manager. Be aware to precede the STSM request before the deadline of each STSM call! NOTE: You may need to register through the e-COST platform (through ) if you do not have an e-COST profile yet in the e-COST platform.


2) Evaluation and granting of STSM
The evaluation of STSM applications and selection of STSM Grantees is performed by the Action’s STSM Committee on behalf of the Management Committee of the SHINE COST Action. The selection of applicants is based on the scientific scope of the STSM application which must clearly fit in the Action’s scientific objectives. The selection takes into account the COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling Early Career Investigators and broadening geographical inclusiveness.


Scientific scope of the application: 

  • adequacy with the COST Action CA18236 topic, support the scientific objectives of one of the Working Groups – 35 points;
  • Scientific quality of the project: feasibility, originality, potential impact – 20 points;
  • Scientific quality of the applicant and Host institution: skills of the applicant, academic CV, or for PhD students, promoter’s opinion -15 points;
  • Research environment at the Host institution: methodology available, complementarity between Host and applicant background, – 15 points;
  • COST policies: promoting gender balance, ECIs, broadening geographical inclusiveness – 15 points.

 After the evaluation and approval by the STSM Committee, the Grant Holder will notify the STSM Applicant.

3. After the STSM

 Within 15 days from the end date of the STSM, the successful applicant must submit a scientific report. The report should be assembled accordingly to the template.

  • The applicant is also responsible for acquiring an official acceptance letter from the Host institution formally accepting the scientific report. Annex documents: STSM report , Host approval STSM report template. The STSM Grantee must save the documents in pdf before uploading it in e-COST.