Mu.Ta.Lig - COST ACTION CA15135

Short-Term Scientific Missions

Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are Inter-laboratory Exchange Visits serving as a key tool to strengthen MuTaLig (CA 15135). They allow participating scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another COST country, or an approved Near Neighbour Country (NNC) or International Partners Countries (IPC) institution. They are aimed to promote collaborations, to learn a new technique or to perform experiments using instruments and/or methodologies not available in the home institution/laboratory. They are particularly envisioned, albeit not exclusively, for Early Stage Researchers (ESR) (pre- and post-doctoral, with no more than 8 years of experience following the award of their PhD).

General instructions for application and eligibility criteria are reported below. All rules and regulations of COST do apply. To submit your STSM application and any queries relating to this, please email the STSM Manager, Prof. Maria Laura Bolognesi at:

1. Before the STSM

In order to apply for a STSM, the following criteria must be fulfilled:

  • The Applicant must be based within an institution in one of the countries participating to MuTaLig
  • The Applicant and its Host must be located in two different countries;
  • The Applicant should be engaged in a research program as a graduate or post-graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or affiliated to an Institution or legal entity that has within its remit a clear association with performing scientific research;
  • The Applicant is responsible for obtaining the agreement of the Host institution BEFORE the application is submitted;
  • An STSM should have a minimum duration of 5 working days and maximum duration of 3 months (only for ECI (Early Career Investigator) and in case of particular activities, duration can be extended till 6 months)
  • The maximum budget for a 3-month application is 2500 euro
  • Researchers may benefit of only one STSM during the course of MuTaLig.
  • STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.

How to apply for a STSM:

  1. The Applicant must use the online Application Platform ( to register his/her request for an STSM. After submitting the required information, the registration tool will issue a formal STSM application that has to be downloaded and sent by the Applicant electronically (as an e-mail attachment) to the STSM Manager as well as to the Host.
  2. The Applicant must obtain a signed agreement (invitation letter) from the Host institution.
  3. The Applicant must download and fill the Application Template form
  4. As part of the application, the Applicant must include a full CV
  5. The Applicant must send the complete application as e-mail attachments to the STSM Manager Prof. ML Bolognesi (

2. Assessment

The STSM MuTaLig Committee, chaired by the STSM Coordinator (ML Bolognesi), in collaboration with Rita Guedes and Bart Roman, will evaluate all the submitted STSM applications during the set deadlines which will be published in the website and communicated to the participants by e-mail.

Criteria for Funding

  1. The proposed research activities must be relevant for MuTaLig goals;
  2. STSM is intended as a contribution towards travel and subsistence costs, and cannot be used as a salary;
  3. Priorities will be given to longer STSM (6 months only in very exceptional cases);
  4. Geographical and gender balance issues will be taken into consideration;
  5. Applications from ESR will be privileged.

The results of the application will be communicated to the Applicant by e-mail within 15 days from the deadline. Once approved by the MC (or STSM Coordinator or Committee), the Grant Holder needs to receive the approval and then send a grant letter generated from e-COST to the applicant.

The complete application file, including MC approval, must be received by the Grant Holder at least four weeks before the start date of the STSM.

 3. After the STSM

  1. Within 30 days after the end of the STSM, the grantee is required to submit a scientific report to the Action Chair, the STSM Committee and to the Host institution for approval. The report should be assembled accordingly to the following template: STSM report template

Only after this report has been submitted and approved by the STSM MuTaLig Committee, the payment of the grant will be executed.

The deadline for the applications of the fifth grant period will be: 05/06/2020. The fifth term STSM missions need to end on 17/10/2020 at the latest.