Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)
within the NeuralArchCon Action

What are STMSs?

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at aimed at fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, allowing participant to learn new techniques, to have access to data/instruments/methods not available in their own institution and foster collaboration resulting in joint publications. Every STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the NeuralArchCon (The neural architecture of consciousness) CA18106 COST Action.

Who can apply?

STSMs are open for PhD students, postdocs, and advanced career researchers employed at institutions in countries participating in the NeuralArchCon action, or at approved institutions. STSMs must be performed between COST countries – researchers cannot apply for an STSM within their own country.

What can you apply for?

STSMs must have a minimum duration of 5 days (including travel). The STSMs are fixed grants to cover travel expenses and living allowance1. Other costs, including those directly related to the research are not eligible.

The calculation of the financial contribution for each STSM must respect the following criteria:

The selection of successful STSM applicants will be done in consideration of:

Top priority is given to STSMs that aim to:

STSM awards may be combined with other funding sources, but these must be acknowledged in the application. In your application, you will have to describe the goal of the proposed STSM, how it contributes to the scientific objectives and deliverables of the NeuralArchCon COST Action and the specific WGs goals defined at the MoU, the planned expenses and the outputs planned as result of the STSM.

For detailed rules regarding eligibility and financial support, please see the relevant sections of the COST Vademecum (

When can you apply?

STSMs must be completed fully within one grant period, which typically start on May 1st. Applications will be accepted and filled on a rolling basis, and an STSM can start from May 10th each year, i.e. the 10th day of the grant period. The planned STSM must be concluded and the grant must be claimed no later than April 1st in any grant period, at the latest.This means that STSMs can be applied for at any time, but they cannot be completed between April 1st and May 10th. Special notice regarding 2021: In 2021, grant period 2 has been extended to end on Oct 31 instead of April 30. STSMs thus cannot be completed in the period Oct 1st to Nov 10th 2021.

How can you apply?

  1. Applicants must complete, submit and download their STSM application online at: Although up to 2000 words are allowed in the form, we recommend keeping the application succinct below 1200 words. Be sure to include a brief section on if/how the application meets criteria for top priority.
  2. Applicants must send their application form and the relevant supporting documents for evaluation, to Jordi Solé-Casals (, NeuralArchCon STSM coordinator. The list of supporting documents to be submitted includes: • A letter of invitation from the Host Institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates should their application be approved. • The submitted STSM application form. • A full C.V. (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).

When receiving a grant

[1] Please note that the awarded grant will be paid only after the STSM has been completed – therefore the applicant must have approval and prior financial support e.g., from their own institution. However, specific provisions have been introduced to enable researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs) participating in the COST Action to request a pre-payment of 50% of their STSM Grant when they complete the first day of their STSM. In such case, the representative of the Host Institution must confirm by e-mail to the Grant Holder that the STSM applicant has officially started the mission on day 1. Only then can the Grant Holder arrange the payment of 50% of the STSM grant. The remaining 50% of the Grant is payable once the administrative requirements have been satisfied after the STSM. The ITCs are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.