The third call for STSM submissions is closed.

Considering the declared interest of potential participants and available funds, the Core Group of the CONFREMUS Action is announcing the third call for STSM proposals.

Deadline: 9. July 2021, 12PM.


The details are described below.

General information

Potential hosts for STSM applicants.

Herewith you can find announcements of potential hosts for STSMs:

STSM host Mill of Kalborn (Luxemburg) – click here


Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks, and fostering collaboration between COST Action Participants. A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, whilst at the same time allowing those partaking in the missions to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments or methods not available in their own institutions or organisations.

The scope of the COST Action CONFREMUS (CA18239) is to develop and coordinate research activities on the biodiversity and ecological role of freshwater mussels on a pan-European scale in order to establish a network of research developing new approaches to sustaining ecological functions and biodiversity of European freshwaters.

The focus on the current call, which aims to be widely inclusive, is on researchers with emphasis on early career scientists1. Proposals must be in line with the objectives of one or various of the four Working Groups of CONFREMUS. Applicants are invited to get acquainted with the objectives of the Action as a whole and each of the WGs by reading the COST Action MoU available here.

STSM grantees must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.

For this Grant Period, the Management Committee of CONFREMUS has decided to allocate a budget of up to 50 000 €. This amount can be increased depending on possible budget savings.

Timeframe for this STSM call

Deadlines for applications: to be submitted till 9th July 2021.

Notice please, that according to MC decision, all STSMs must be completed with report acceptance before 15th October 2021, later, they cannot be reimbursed.

  • Notification of applications outcomes: 12 July 2021.
  • Period of STSM: between 20 July 2021 and 15 September 2021. All STSM activities must occur in their entirety within this period.
  • Report submitted: 30 days after STSM completion, not later than on 15 October 2021, later they will not be reimbursed (the end of grant period).

Specific information concerning STSMs under CONFREMUS

STSMs must have a minimum duration of 5 days and a maximum duration of 90 days.

The financial support from the COST Action is a contribution to the overall expenses incurred during the STSM and may not necessarily cover all of the associated outgoings.

The following funding conditions apply and must be respected:

  1. Up to a maximum of 3500 € in total can be awarded to each successful STSM applicant.
  2. The requested total amount of grant must be estimated by the applicant based on daily allowances of maximum 160 € per day (which might be reduced in order to elongate duration of STMS) and a maximum of 1200 € for traveling expenses (depending on the distance to cover).
  3. The amounts granted for each individual STSM will be determined during the evaluation process by the Core Group of the CONFREMUS – see below.
  4. Pre-payment will be transferred to Grantee account after Grant Holder will receive confirmation from the Host, that Grantee has arrived to the Host location. Confirmation of arrival should be send by Host to: tzajac@iop.krakow.pl, CC: lipinska@iop.krakow.pl.

Financial support is paid in the form of a grant after the submission of a STSM report, once the STMS is completed and in accordance to the provisions stated in section “Final report” and accepted by STSM coordinator and Core Group.

Application rules

Eligible applicants

Individuals, including researchers and especially early career investigators. STSM applicants must be engaged in an official research programme as a MSc student, PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an institution, organisation or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research.

The necessary formal requirement is a completed e-COST profile.

STSM applicants should come from any of the COST Full Member or COST Cooperating Member country, which are members of the CONFREMUS COST Action (for explanation of terms see the COST Vademecum).

It is also possible to apply for at-hoc participants (not related earlier with the Action).

The institutions / organizations or legal entities, where applicants pursue their main professional activities, are considered as Home Institutions. The Host Institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant. The Host institution may be located in another COST Full / Cooperating / Partner Member country, participating  in the Action CONFREMUS. Preference will be given to Early Career Investigators1 (ECI, for explanation see the COST Vademecum) and to those and other scientists from Inclusiveness Target Countries2, however, securing gender balance.

Application procedure

  1. All applicants must carefully read the rules detailed in Section 8 of the COST Vademecum
  2. All applicants must register for an e-COST profile adding their bank account details to their profile, as requested.
  3. The applicant must obtain a letter of invitation from the Host Institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates prior to submitting an application.
  4. The applicant must complete, submit and download their STSM application online here. The applicant must send their STSM application form submitted to e-COST (pdf) and the relevant supporting documents (see below) to prof. Jouni Taskinen, STSM Coordinator (jouni.k.taskinen@jyu.fi) and copied to prof. Tadeusz Zając (tzajac@iop.krakow.pl)

The list of supporting documents to be submitted in pdf format for the evaluation are:

(a) The submitted STSM application form (downloadable); before completing the form be sure, that it clearly gives an overview of the aims of proposed activities, highlighting their contribution to the scientific objectives of CONFREMUS (proposed plan of work should be consulted with the Host Institution in advance), and why it is important for the applicant and his scientific work; an example of a correctly completed form can be found here.

(b) A letter of support from the Home Institution (downloadable);

(c) Letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution, with the written agreement from the Host Institution that the STSM applicant can perform the activities detailed in the STSM work plan on the agreed dates (downloadable);

(d) A Full C.V. (downloadable); including a list of academic publications – if applicable.

Eligible STSM applicants must submit their STSM applications online here.

In the system, you will create a new STSM Request. Fill in the online form:

The following additional information should be provided:

  • Home Institution
  • the Action Number (CA18239)
  • STSM Title (indicating relation of mission to CONFREMUS)
  • The STSM visit should end before September 15th, 2021).
  • Motivation and workplan summary, with:
    • Abstract (max 200 words);
    • Aim & motivation (max 400 words): explain why you are applying for the STSM;
    • Outcomes (max 300 words): describe the expected results to be accomplished during or as a result of the STSM;
    • Integration with the COST action (max 300 words): describe the contribution of the proposed STSM to the scientific objectives of the Action;
    • Techniques (max: 400 words): describe what techniques or equipment you want to learn (if applicable);
    • Planning (max 300 words): The plan to achieve the proposed objectives;
    • References: up to 5 most relevant.
  • Bank Details
  • Host details (Name, e-mail, institution details)
  • Requested financial support:
    • up to 3500€.
    • Note: Up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.

Evaluation

The Core Group announces the collection date of proposals on the web site. The evaluation of each received STSM application is performed by the Action Core Group.

The applications will then be assessed by the CONFREMUS Core Group, which will perform the scientific and budgetary assessment of the applications against the perceived contribution that the proposed visit will make against the scientific objectives outlined in the CONFREMUS objectives as indicated above.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Scientific quality of the proposal (scientific level of the project and how it is correlated to the aims of the Action) – weight 2;
  • Technical feasibility (is the host equipment or technical knowledge required for the completion of a project, length of the STSM) – weight 1;
  • In case of proposals with equal scientific quality and technical feasibility, priority is given to (1) young researchers and ECIs, (2) researchers affiliated in institutions in COST Inclusiveness Target Countries and (3) proposals equalizing gender balance.

Prof. Jouni Taskinen will formally notify the applicant of the outcome of their STSM application on 4th day after submission. Those not successful may revise and resubmit their applications for upcoming collection dates (see section deadlines).

Final report

The candidate will have to submit the Final Report, within 30 days after the end of the STSM, not later than 15th October, including:

  • Scientific report (click here to download template);
  • Host approval of the report – confirming that the STSM took place and the work plan goals were achieved (downloadable).

Both documents can be upload directly into the e-COST portal. The payment of the grant can only be made after the approval of this report. Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days from the end date of the STSM (or after the 15th October) will effectively cancel the grant. (Please note that the COST Association can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants). The applicant is also responsible for acquiring an official acceptance letter / e-mail confirmation of acceptance from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution formally accepting the scientific report. This formal acceptance of the scientific report has to be sent within that same period of 30 days after STSM is over, to the Grant Holder and vice Chair of the Management Committee of CA18239 CONFREMUS, Dr. Manuel Lopes-Lima (lopeslima.ciimar@gmail.com) and to prof. Jouni Taskinen (jouni.k.taskinen@jyu.fi) for archiving and dissemination purposes.

Additional information

For more information about the STSM application procedure, see the COST Vademecum.

Accepted applications are listed below:

STSM proposals accepted in 16th June call:

Number of proposal: 48332

Name: Noé Ferreira Rodríguez
Home institution country: Universidade de Vigo (Vigo, Spain)
Host institution country: CNR Institute of Water Research (Verbania, Italy)

Duration (days): 9
Title: The role of freshwater mussels in the provision of safe drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater

Number of proposal: 48366

Name: Pedro A. Castrillo
Home institution country: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela(Lugo, Spain)
Host institution country: University of Jyväskylä (Jyväskylä, FINLAND)

Duration (days): 8
Title: Learn techniques for parasite examination of freshwater mussels

Number of proposal: 48359

Name: Pedro A. Castrillo
Home institution country: CIBIO (Vairão, Portugal)
Host institution country: CNR Institute of Water Research (Verbania, Italy)

Duration (days): 14
Title: Captive breeding training of Microcondylaea bonellii

previous STSM CALL (20 MAY 2021):

Number of proposal: 48048  

Name: Füsun Akgül
Home institution country: Turkey, MEHMET AKIF ERSOY UNIVERSITY (BURDUR)
Host institution country: Italy, CNR Institute of Water Research (Verbania)

Duration (days): 16
Title: STSM: Italy-Turkey

Number of proposal: 48113

Name: Alexandra Zieritz
Home institution country: University of Nottingham (Nottingham, United Kingdom)
Host institution country: University of Porto, CIBIO (Porto, Portugal)

Duration (days): 7
Title: Effects of climate change on freshwater mussel behaviour

Number of proposal: 48120

Name: Şebnem Atasral
Home institution country: Karadeniz Technical University (Trabzon, Turkey)
Host institution country: Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Universidade do Porto, Vairão, Portugal

Duration (days): 31
Title: Working Group 1 Diversity STSM Call

Number of proposal: 48138

Name: Rebeca Hoess
Home institution country: Technical University of Munich (Freising, Germany)
Host institution country: Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden

Duration (days): 15
Title: Comparing stressors and restoration measures in freshwater pearl mussel streams in Central Europe and Scandinavia, learning aquaria techniques, and networking

Number of proposal: 48149

Name: Daniel Daill
Home institution country: Consultants in Aquatic Ecology and Engineering “blattfisch e.U.” (Wels, Austria)
Host institution country: University of Bergen, Department of Biological Sciences (BIO), Bergen, Norway

Duration (days): 5
Title: Visit of the freshwater pearl mussel breeding facility in Austevoll (Norway)

Number of proposal: 48152

Name: Alexandra Zieritz
Home institution country: University of Nottingham (Nottingham, United Kingdom)
Host institution country: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria

Duration (days): 10
Title: Taxonomic revision of freshwater mussels of Bulgaria

Number of proposal: 48155

Name: Nicoletta Riccardi
Home institution country: CNR Institute of Water Research (Verbania, Italy)
Host institution country: Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Reseaech, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,

Duration (days): 10
Title: Contributing to fill the knowledge gaps in diversity and distribution of European freshwater mussels species


Number of proposal: 48156

Name: Maria Urbańska
Home institution country: Poznań University of Life Sciences (Poznań, Poland)
Host institution country: Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria

 Duration (days): 10
Title: Contributing to fill the knowledge gaps in diversity and distribution of European freshwater mussels species


Number of proposal: 48158

Name: Maria Urbańska
Home institution country: Poznań University of Life Sciences (Poznań, Poland)
Host institution country: CNR Institute of Water Research (Verbania, Italy)

Duration (days): 16
Title: To what extent pre-adaptation can influence the behavioral response of invasive and native bivalves to thermal stress?


Funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
of the European Union


1 – Early Career Investigator – An individual who is within a time span of up to 8 years from the date they obtained their PhD/doctorate (full-time equivalent).
2 – ITCs: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.