The fifth call for STSM is opened.

The Core Group of the CONFREMUS COST Action is announcing the fifth call for STSMs proposals.

Deadline: 4th July 2022.


The details are described below.

STSM rules


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 focus on the 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 the 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 Work and Budget Plan, the Management Committee of CONFREMUS has decided to allocate a budget of up to 7 000 €. This amount can be increased depending on possible budget savings.

Potential hosts for STSM applicants.

Herewith you can find announcements of potential hosts for STSMs (the list is not exhaustive):

STSM host Mill of Kalborn (Luxemburg) – click here

Timeframe for this STSM call

Deadlines for applications: to be submitted till 4th July 2022.

Notification of applications outcomes: 14 days after the closing the call.

Period of STSM: All STSM activities must occur in their entirety until 15th September.

Report submitted: up to 30 days after STSM completion.

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 (only for representatives of COST Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs)) 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, the Core Group and finally by Chair of the Management Committee.

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 STSM Section 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 visit e-COST https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm, choose “Grant Application” from the menu on the left, then tick “Apply for grant”, then choose STSM panel (tick “Continue”), fill-in the fields with your personal information. IMPORTANT: first choose proper COST Action, then at Grant Period choose AGA-CA239-3, otherwise you will not be able to encode the proper dates of the STSM.
  5. In the next panel, you can download Grant application template, complete it, submit and download the STSM application online. 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, MC chair(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 on e-COST or here): 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.

The names of the files submitted must allow the reader to identify the type of the document and should contain: name of the applicant_type of the document, e.g. Myname_report; Myname_CV etc. If the applicant submits more than one STSM grant proposal, they should be identified by place or the period, e.g. Myname_report_Croatia.

Applications for STSM grants MUST be written in English, submission of the documents in national languages will cause decline of the submission. If the grant application contains text copied from any other STSM application (including own) it will be declined without possibility of resubmission.

Pay special attention on planning dates of the STSM – they should be the same as the dates of the invitation by the host and listed in letter of support from your home institution.

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, 2022).
  • 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 (leaders of Working Groups, STSM coordinator, Grant Coordinator, Information Officer and MC chair).

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.

Then the proposal is verified against formal integrity (dates, places, concordance with CONFREMUS aims) and budget allocated to the call. If any inconsistencies will be identified the proposal can be called for resubmission or rejected without the possibility of resubmission (see above). If proposal will be finally accepted by the chair, applicant will be notified within 14 days after submission deadline and list of accepted grants will be listed in confremus.eu web site (see below). Those not successful may revise and resubmit their applications for upcoming collection dates (see section deadlines).

For the sake of information and transparency, the accepted proposals will be also send to the Management Committee members for their information.

Final report

The candidate will have to submit the Final Report, within 30 days after the end of the STSM, not later than 30 Sep.2022 in the case of autumn calls, 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.

The example of properly written report can be found here.

Both documents can be upload directly into the e-COST portal. Photos from the visit in the report file are welcomed.

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 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. Report will also be send to Management Committee members for their information and general transparency.

Additional information

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

Accepted applications are listed below:

STSM proposals accepted in the January 2022 call:

reference Applicant Name Title Country of Applicant Applicant Primary Institution Host Time Application status
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-3328444c Nicoletta Riccardi Contributing to fill the knowledge gaps in diversity and distribution of European freshwater mussel species. Italy CNR Institute of Water Research Blattfish e.U., Austria 01.07.-15.07.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-357badcc Anna Łabęcka The role of parasites as multipliers of invasive species and climate impacts on native European mussels Poland Jagiellonian University Inst. Of Water Research, Verbania, Italy 01.07.-15.07.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-398779dc Maria Urbańska Contributing to fill the knowledge gaps in diversity and distribution of European freshwater mussel species. Poland Poznań University of Life Sciences Czech University of Life Sciences 01.07.-15.07.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-48f01504 Andre Santos Population genomics of the Portuguese freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera Portugal CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research College de France, France 18.04-08.05.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-4d1a5d7a Stoimir Stojanovski Planning of research on parasites of mussels in Republic of North Macedonia and learning techniques of freshwater mussel parasit North Macedonia PSI Hydrobiological Institute, Ohrid Department of Biological and Environmental Science University of Jyväskylä, FINLAND 21.05.-31.05.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-6917a367 Maria Urbańska Transnational cooperation to develop a conservation plan for Microcondylaea bonellii. Poland Poznań University of Life Sciences University of Zagreb, Dept. of Biology 11.05.-16.05.2022 pending
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-7c4a97e7 Maria Urbańska Transnational cooperation to develop a conservation plan for Microcondylaea bonellii. Poland Poznań University of Life Sciences URBANZERO Institute for Holistic Environmental Management, Slovenia 05.05.-10.05.2022 pending
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-8bd52509 Silvia Giorgia Signorini Development of analytical methods to assess epigenetics traits in freshwater bivalves Italy Università degli Studi di Milano Eawag, Department of Aquatic Ecology, Switzerland 04.04.-12.05.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-96e7e752 Jake Dimon Use of physical surveys and molecular techniques to monitor freshwater mussel diversity across Iberian basins United Kingdom University of Nottingham Univ. Of Porto, CIBIO 13.04.-27.04.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-a9ca020c Dariusz Halabowski Intra-specific impact of a simulated drought on the behaviour of Unio delphinus Poland University of Silesia in Katowice Univ. Of Minho, Portugal 01.07.-01.08.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-abdb58b5 Simone Varandas Contributing to fill the knowledge gaps in diversity and distribution of European freshwater mussel species Portugal University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro 01.07.-15.07.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-b8fb490a Dijana Blazhekovikj – Dimovska Learning techniques of freshwater mussel parasite examination and planning of research on parasites of mussels in Republic of No North Macedonia Faculty of Biotechnical Sciences, University “St. Kliment Ohridski” – Bitola University of Jyväskylä, FINLAND 21.05.-31.05.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-bfdc05c7 Nicoletta Riccardi Transnational cooperation to develop a conservation plan for Microcondylaea bonellii Italy CNR Institute of Water Research URBANZERO Institute for Holistic Environmental Management, Mirna, Slovenia 06.05.-10.05.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-d4a2606b Paulo Castro Acute responses of Freshwater Mussels Portugal University of Minho Karlstad University, Sweden 30.03.-9.04.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-e627c844 Vanessa Modesto Conservation plan for Microcondylaea bonellii: tailored strategy for in-vitro breeding. Italy Italian National Research Council Institute of Water Research IRSA Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Czechia 16.05.-31.05.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-fa7a30f8 Nicoletta Riccardi Transnational cooperation to develop a conservation plan for Microcondylaea bonellii Italy CNR Institute of Water Research University of Zagreb, Department of Biology, Croatia 11.05.-15.05.2022 accepted
E-COST-GRANT-CA18239-ff8c7fb6 Manuel Lopes Lima Genetic diversity of freshwater mussels of Central Europe Portugal CIBIO/InBIO – Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources Czech University of Life Sciences Prague 01.07.-15.07.2022 accepted

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.