Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between Researchers. A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific 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 and / or methods not available in their own institutions / organisations.


The 2016 call is now closed. A new call will be launched at the start of the new Grant Period in May 2017.

Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are aimed at strengthening existing networks by allowing scientists to go to a COST Action CYSTINET partner in another CYSTINET COST Country (Table 1), approved NNC/IPC institution, or an approved specific organisation to support individual mobility and foster collaboration. STSMs are particularly intended for young scientists.


Table 1: CYSTINET participating countries

Austria Norway
Belgium Poland
Czech Republic Portugal
Denmark Romania
France Serbia
fYR Macedonia Spain
Germany Sweden
Greece Switzerland
Italy United Kingdom
Latvia Slovenia

Call topics:

The COST Action TD1302 CYSTINET funds STSMs that specifically contribute to the following objectives:

  • Epidemiology of Taenia spp. within and outside Europe:
    • Studying the transmission dynamics of Taenia spp.;
    • Assessing the economic and health burden of the parasites;
    • Assessing the economic and health burden of the parasites dynamics of Taenia spp.;
    • Proposing efficient taeniosis/cysticercosis surveillance systems
  • Diagnosis and NCC/Taeniosis case research:
    • Defining more harmonised NCC case management procedures (evidence based) and endorse a reporting system for NCC cases within the European Union;
    • Examining treatment failure for taeniosis;
    • Looking into optimisation, large-scale validation, inter-laboratory ring-trials and commercialisation of existing (serological) diagnostic tests for Taenia spp. and tackle in an innovative way the problem of high cost and/or need for expensive laboratory equipment for most techniques, (which makes them non-applicable in endemic areas), in collaboration with private diagnostic companies;
    • Carrying out fundamental analyses of the parasite (at the genomic, transcriptomic, and protein level);
    • Looking into optimisation of control tools (such as treatment of animal cysticercosis, treatment/vaccine development).
  • Control and prevention:
    • Identifying the optimal control and prevention tools within and outside the European Union for both diseases with a focus on new, integrated, innovative systems;
    • Harmonizing surveillance and reporting

Who can apply?

STSM applicants must be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an Institution or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research. The institutions / organisations where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home institutions. The Host institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant.

Applications from Early Career Investigators (ECI – researcher within a time span of up to 8 years from the date they obtained their PhD/doctorate (full-time equivalent)) will be privileged and gender balance will be taken into consideration.

Home and Host Institution

The home and the host institutions can be public or private and should normally both be CYSTINET partners (for details see COST_H2020_Vademecum).

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

The COST Association and the Grant Holder of the Action cannot be considered as being an STSM Grantee’s employer. Grantees must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security and pension matters.


STSMs should be a minimum of 5 working days and a maximum of 90 days and shall be made within the time frame of the CYSTINET operation.

An extension to a duration beyond 3 months, but not more than 6 months in total, may be approved for Early Career Investigators.

Financial Support

The financial support is a contribution to the costs of a STSM and may not necessarily cover all the costs. The grant should normally cover only travel and subsistence. The financial contribution for a STSM will be a fixed grant based on the Applicant’s budget request and the evaluation of the application by the STSM coordinator.

A daily allowance of EUR 160 maximum and travel allowance of EUR 500 are recommended. The daily rate for subsistence should be based on the cost living in each respective country (see attached list ‘Daily rates CYSTINET STSM 2015’).

The total cost of an STSM shall not normally exceed EUR 2500 for up to 3 months or EUR 3500 for Early Career Investigators above 3 months.

Any exception needs special justification and prior approval from the COST Office.

How to apply

Registration by the applicant

Before submitting an application, the applicant must obtain the written agreement of the host institution.

Then, the Applicant must complete the online application form available on The on-line registration tool will issue a formal STSM application which should be downloaded and sent by the applicant electronically (as an e-mail attachment) together with any necessary documents which the Applicant may regard as helpful in supporting the application at the evaluation process (such as CV, list of publications, motivation letter, letter of support from the home institute etc.) to:

  • the future Host institution of the STSM;
  • the STSM coordinator Dr Barbara Soba (

Assessment and approval of the STSM

The STSM coordinator will perform the scientific and budgetary assessment of the applications considering the Action objectives and define an acceptable funding level and will inform the CYSTINET Grant Holder that the proposed STSM has been approved.

Assessment criteria:

  • The scientific scope of the application must be in line with the Action objectives (see call topics) and aim:
    • to support individual mobility and foster collaboration,
    • to learn a new technique or
    • to take measurements using instruments and/or methods not available in their own institution/laboratory.
  • The application should comply with COST STSM regulations and eligibility criteria (COST_H2020_Vademecum)
  • The application should follow the budgetary guidelines (see financial support)

The CYSTINET Grant Holder will send the Applicant a Grant letter in which he/she is informed about:

a.         the approval of the STSM and;

b.         the level of the financial grant given.

The Applicant has to return this Grant letter, after accepting the grant with his/her signature.


Report and payment of the grant

STSM Scientific Report

The grantee is required to submit a short scientific report to the STSM coordinator for approval within 30 days after the end date of the STSM containing:

  • Purpose of the STSM;
  • Description of the work carried out during the STSM;
  • Description of the main results obtained;
  • Future collaboration with the host institution (if applicable);
  • Foreseen publications/articles resulting from the STSM (if applicable);
  • Confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM;
  • Other comments (if any).

This short scientific report will be also sent to the host institution for information

Notice of completion and payment of the grant

The STSM coordinator shall approve the final report and inform the CYSTINET Grant Holder that the STSM has been successfully accomplished. After receipt of the approval by email, the Grant Holder will execute the payment of the grant.

The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant.