FAIRNESS STSM & ITC conference call

Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Grant coordinator


Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are institutional visits aimed at supporting mobility and fostering collaboration by researchers and scholars participating in the Action to visit an institution in another Country.

An STSM should specifically contribute to the objectives of FAIRNESS COST Action.


The 3rd FAIRNESS STSM Call will be received according to the following timetable:

Application RoundDeadline for applicationNotification of application untilSTSM Start Date
Round 101/03/202415/03/202415/03/2024 – 31/07/2024
Round 201/06/202415/07/202401/08/2024 – 30/09/2024

Please note that all STSM should be completed before 1st November 2024

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are institutional visits aimed at supporting mobility and fostering collaboration by researchers and scholars participating in the Action to visit an institution in another Country.

An STSM should contribute to the objectives of FAIRNESS COST Action.


  • Minimum duration of 5 calendar days that includes traveling.
  • There is no maximum duration for the STSM, though the budget is limited to EUR 3500 by COST (see section 6 in FAIRNESS STSM Call 2024  for details) and may depend upon the ongoing Grant Period funding and the number of approved applications.
  • STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime. The COST Association and the Grant Holder of the Action cannot be considered as being an STSM grantee’s employer. STSM grantees shall make their own
    arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security,and pension matters.


  1. Obtain an Invitation Letter from the Host Institution, describing the work plan and the period of visit.
  2. Submit the STSM application online at https://e-services.cost.eu/activity/grants, selecting Apply for New Grant and then STSM Grant.
  3. In the platform the applicant should provide:
    • the STSM title
    • a motivation and work plan (max 2000 words), and should include:
      • the scientific Aim & Motivation for the STSM and the scientific outcomes the applicant aims to accomplish with the STSM,
      • the proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of FAIRNESS and those more specific to the relevant WG,
      • the techniques or equipment the applicant may learn to use, if applicable,
      • the steps for achieving the proposed aim (planning).
  4. Additionally, the following information are required for the submission:
    • Budget request and justification
    • CV (including a list of academic publications -if applicable), which will be uploaded anyway in the e-cost platform when you create an e-cost account
    • Letter of support from the Home Institution
    • The written agreement from the Host Institution that the STSM applicant can perform the activities detailed in the STSM work plan on the agreed dates

The applicants will get a confirmation e-mail for their successful reception of their application fromthe e-cost platform.


The applications will be evaluated by the STSM Committee within two weeks after the submission deadline and the results will be communicated to the applicants. 


  • The eligible applications will be evaluated and graded by each member of the STSM Committee and all grades will be summed up.
  • The scientific scope, motivation of the STSM, and relevance to FAIRNESS research, as derived from the four components of the motivation and work plan summary (see section 4 in FAIRNESS STSM Call 2024) will be evaluated. Each component will get a grade from 1 to 5 (Very poor to Excellent).
  • Special considerations with respect to supporting COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling Early Career Investigators (ECI), broadening geographical inclusiveness will be taken into account.
Please note that high priority will be given to STSM proposals that strongly promote the FAIRNESS COST Action,
either by pushing forward the current
initiatives or by leading to new initiatives.


The STSM Grantee has 30 calendar days from the end date of the mission to submit a scientific report to the STSM Coordinator and to a senior researcher affiliated to the Host Institution. However, in any case, the scientific reports must be submitted before 10 October 2024. The template for the final report can be found here: https://www.cost.eu/STSM_report_template.

In addition to the scientific report, the Grantee is expected to prepare a communication activity for a larger audience that will be published in the FAIRNESS website. For the type and the preparation of the communication activity, the Grantee will be in contact with the Communication manager Dr. Peter Marčiš  (marcis.petogmail.com) and the Grants awarding coordinator Gert-Jan Steeneveld (Gert-Jan.Steeneveld@wur.nl).

Payment of the Grant is subject to the STSM scientific report being approved by the STSM Committee and the Host Institution. Written approval of the STSM scientific report will be uploaded in e-COST for archiving purposes.

Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC) conference grants

Conference Grants are aimed at supporting PhD students and Early Career Investigators (ECI < 8 years from PhD) from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs) participating to the Action to attend international science and technology related conferences not specifically organised by the COST Action.

  • Conferences must take place before 30 September 2024
  • After the conference a scientific report and the relevant documentation must be submitted within 30 days of the end of the conference or before 10 October 2024, whichever comes first.


  • Applicants must be a PhD student or an Early Career Investigator (ECI).
  • The applicant’s primary affiliation must be in an institution located in FAIRNESS (CA20108) participating Inclusiveness Target Country (ITC). The ITCs are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.
  • Attendance at European conferences is preferred (but elsewhere will be considered). Online conferences are also accepted.
  • Applicants must be first author and presenter of an oral/poster presentation at the conference and be listed in the official event/conference programme.
  • FAIRNESS COST Action (CA20108) should be acknowledged both in the book of abstracts and in the oral/poster presentation following COST guidelines


A fixed financial contribution to the overall expenses incurred during the participation in a conference (not more).The following funding conditions apply and must be respected:

  • Up to a max of EUR 2000 for onsite meeting
  • Up to a max of EUR 500 for virtual meeting

Also, when meal and accommodation expenses are supported by the hosting institution as part of the provisions offered in their conference package, the amount for subsistence afforded to each eligible participant must be deducted from the Grant.

The amount granted for each application will be determined during the evaluation process.

Multiple applications to several Actions by the same person to attend the same conference is strictly forbidden and may lead to the cancellation of the grant

How to apply

Interested researchers should:
The following documents are required:
  • CV of the applicant
  • a short description of involvement in the FAIRNESS COST Action,
  • letter from the conference organizers stating that the abstract has been accepted as an oral/poster presentation
  • the abstract submitted to the conference
  • invitation letter from the conference organizers (if available).
How to use STSM/ITC conference grant – experiences and practical advice. (Jelena Dunjić)