Short Term Scientific Missions

STSM committee:

  • Coordinator: Enric Frago (enric.frago[at]
  • Members:
    • Thure Hauser (tpha[at];
    • Kalliope Papadopoulou (kalpapad[at]

What are STSMs?

The COST Action FA1405 “Using three-way interactions between plants, microbes and arthropods to enhance crop protection and production” is a networking instrument that will coordinate basic and strategic research, to agri-R&D companies and end users interested in Crop-Arthropod-Microorganism (CAMo) interactions. This Action will be funded by the European Union from 2014 to 2019. Within this Action, the short-term scientific missions (STSM) are exchange visits between researchers involved in a COST Action, allowing scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another COST country. They are aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. These STSMs are under the umbrella of the COST Action FA1405, and therefore research involving plants, arthropods and microorganisms is crucial.

This Action has three working groups, and the STSMs will try to balance the number of exchange visits in each of them. These working groups are, the Impacts group which aims at understanding the magnitude and variability of CAMo interactions, and their effect on crop yields; the Mechanisms working group studies the molecular and signalling pathways that mediate CAMo interactions, how they are modulated by abiotic factors, and their effect on crop yield; in the Utilisation working group, Integrated Pest Managers and statistical modellers will work together with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises to predict the outcome of CAMo interactions, and to determine the viability and cost of the proposed solutions in the market. 

Who can apply and what can you apply for ?

STSMs are open for PhDs, PostDocs, and advanced career researchers employed at institutes in participating COST countries or approved institutions. Priority will be given to Early Career Investigators (maximum 8 years since obtaining the PhD) and PhDs working on aspects of three-way interactions between plants, arthropods and microorganisms. Priority will alsobe given to candidates moving from/to COST Inclusiveness Target Countries, which include 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. As a rule, the duration of STSMs is 5-90 days and the grant will cover part of the travel expenses and a modest living allowance up to a  maximum of 2500 euro. For detailed rules regarding eligibility and financial support, please see pp. 29-30 of the COST Vademecum (righthand side “Vademecum”). Note that the Vademecum mentions maximum contributions of 2500 and 3500 euro per STSM, but that in the current year’s budget of our specific Action, we have limited the maximum contribution to 2000 euros per STSM. 

When can you apply ?

In our third annual grant period, there will be three calls. At each call, it is expected that two STSMs can be awarded. Each STSM has to end before May 1, 2018.

Call dates are:

  • 15th May 2018
  • 15th September 2018
  • 15th November 2018

How can you apply ?

You can apply for an STSM online.