STSM consists in a visit to a host organization located in a different country than the country of affiliation  by a researcher or innovator for specific work to be carried out and for a determined period of time.

STSM  benefit to:

  • STSM Grantee: receives funding for implementing a project with an international team and gains new knowledge or access to equipment or techniques not available in the home institution;
  • STSM Host: receives an international partner in their institution and can develop long lasting collaboration.

A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the Ocean4Biotech 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.


  1. All applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in the COST Annotated Rules (pages 98-102).
  2. All applicants must register for an e-COST profile at – adding their bank account details to their profile.
  3. All applicants must obtain a letter of invitation from the Host institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates, prior to submitting their application.
  4. Applicants are encouraged to contact the respective working group(s) leader(s) prior to submitting their application to ensure that the proposed outcomes of their STSM agree with the objectives of this action.
  5. Eligible STSM applicants must submit their STSM applications online at the following web address: 
  6. The application will then be assessed by the formally delegated STSM Committee against the perceived contribution that the proposed visit will make against the scientific objectives outlined in the Action’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
    STSM Committee members: Marija Kataržytė (Lithuania), Susana P. Gaudencio (Portugal), Christine Edwards (United Kingdom), Johan Robbens (Belgium).
  7. The applicant will be formally notified of the outcome of their STSM application by the STSM Coordinator immediately upon the positive reply of the STSM committee.
  8. Applicants positively notified for funding, may start their STSM according to the date specified in the application.
  9. The successful applicant must submit a scientific report to the Host institution and to the STSM Committee not later than 30 calendar days from the end date of the STSM or 15 calendar days after end of Grant Period (15th of November), whichever date comes first. 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 also has to be sent to the STSM Coordinator. Payment of the Grant is subject to an STSM scientific report being approved on behalf of the STSM Committee and by a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution.

The list of documents to be submitted for the evaluation are:

  • The submitted STSM application form (downloadable when the online application is submitted – see point 5 above); Applicants must clearly state which workgroup(s) will their STSM contribute to.
  • Letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host institution;
  • A letter of support from the Home Institution;
  • A Full CV (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).


Each STSM proposal will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality
  • Connection to the objectives of COST Ocean4Biotech Action
  • Awaited output/chance for publication
  • Involvement of inclusiveness target countries (ITCs)
  • Gender balance
  • Young researcher – a researcher or innovator under the age of 40.

It is further aimed to support STSMs of different WG topics.
Priority will be given to new applicants.



STSM must respect the following criteria:

  • They must have a minimum duration of 5 days.
  • They must have a maximum duration of 90 days.
  • STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.



An STSM Grant is a fixed financial contribution which takes into consideration the budget request of the applicant and the outcome of the evaluation of the STSM application. STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking a given mission. A STSM Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee.

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

  • Up to a maximum of EUR 4 000* in total can be afforded to each successful applicant.

STSMs grantees may request up to 50% pre-payment of the approved grant. This amount is subject to availability of funds and approval by the Grant Holder Institution. The request of prepayment shall be submitted to the Grant Holder Manager.

*Decided by the Action MC or Core Group on proposal of the evaluators, based on the request of the applicant and should reflect the duration and location of the STSM