Call for Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) on the vaccine efficacy review – 2nd Grant Period

The ESFLU network (https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA21132) is pleased to announce a new call for STSM applications. Deadline for applications: 15/07/2024. Missions must occur between 17/6/2024 and 25/10/2024.

All potential applicants are encouraged to consider the objectives of ESFLU network and to apply according to the STSM guidelines. The STSMs must contribute to the scientific objectives of Working Group 3 of the network.

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are aimed at supporting individual mobility and at strengthening the existing networks and fostering collaborations by allowing scientists to visit an institution or laboratory in another Participating COST Country, or in approved COST Near Neighbor Countries (NNC) Institutions or in approved International Partners Countries (IPC) institutions. An STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, while at the same time allowing applicants to learn new techniques or gain access to specific instruments and/or methods not available in their own institutions. STSM applicants must be engaged in an official research program 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 / organizations where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as home institutions. The host institution is the institution / Organization that will host the applicant.

Within this Grant Period, the network intends to finance one (1) STSM, to contribute to the finalization of the systematic review about vaccine efficacy conducted by WG3:

  • This STSM allows participants to work side-by-side on the review.
  • Participants can discuss the methodology of the analysis and further steps needed to complete the systematic review.

Financial support

STSMs must respect the following criteria: they must have a minimum duration of 5 calendar days including travels. An STSM Grant is a fixed financial contribution which takes into consideration the budget request by 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.

An STSM Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee. For each grant the ESFLU network and the COST Association will reimburse the fixed amount of 2.000 €. Grants are paid by the Grant Holder Institution after the completion of the activity and approval of all required report/documentation. However, 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. 

Gender, geography, ESR balance and qualifications of the applicant will be taken into consideration when evaluating the proposals.

How to apply for Missions

In order to apply for the STSM the applicant should prepare an application as follows:

  • Obtain the written agreement from the host institution that the STSM applicant will perform the activities detailed in the STSM work plan on the agreed dates
  • Obtain a letter of support from the home institution
  • Prepare: A one to two pages project proposal, describing the foreseen activities, following the classical scheme: Objectives, State of the Art, Project Work-plan, Deliverables
  • Full CV, including list of applicant publications and scientific interests.

Subscribe in the e-cost platform and complete the online application form (see https://e-services.cost.eu/stsm) and upload all the requested documents

The ranking (selection) criteria include:

  • Scientific quality and contribution to the scientific objectives of the WG3 of the network
  • Feasibility of the approach and realistic planning of the application
  • Benefits of the STSM (added-value for the applicant, host and home institutions, and COST Action ESFLU)
  • Scientific background and relevance of the candidate to the network’s objectives.

After the Mission 

Once the activity has ended, the grantee must submit the required report(s) and relevant documentation in e-COST within 30 days after the end date of the activity or 15 days after the end of the Grant Period (31 Oct 2024), whichever date comes first.

The required report/documentation for claiming an STSM Grant is a Report to the Action MC on the work developed as described according to the training scopes, main achievements of the STSM, planned future follow up activities and pictures/a few lines for the ESFLU website.

Useful information

Application process, approval and payment procedures are managed through the e-COST platform and are explained in detail in the COST Grant Agreement User Guide. Detailed information on participants’ eligibility, evaluation and selection, financial support, and grant payment procedures can be found in the Annotated Rules for COST Actions.

Templates and more information can be downloaded below.

https://www.cost.eu/STSM_GrantApplication
https://www.cost.eu/STSM_Report

Questions to be addressed to the STSM Coordinator Dr. Papadopoulos Dimitrios (depapado@auth.gr)

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