Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are institutional visits that allow researchers to spend a limited period of time at an institute or laboratory within another COST country, accepted International Partner Country (IPC) / Near Neighbour Country (NNC) institution or International Organisation to foster collaboration and to perform empirical research. Participation of “Early Career Investigators” (ECI) in STSMs is particularly encouraged. The aim of STSM is to provide researchers with access to new research/new techniques relevant to SENSORFINT that may not be available in their own institution.  By this means STSM can accelerate the development of SENSORFINT research, knowledge exchange and collaboration across COST countries as well as being an important component in the individual’s personal development.

Important dates

Call launched: May 20th 2021

Application deadline: June 2nd 2021

Decision by the evaluation committee: June 9th 2021

The timeframe for realisation of STSM: between June 22 nd 2021 and September 30 th 2021. STSM will
be a minimum of 5 calendar days including travel. The maximum for this call is one month.
This call is open to all participants, but priority will be given to Early Career Researchers (ECIs, less
than 8 years of experience from obtaining PhD). A balance between Working Groups, gender and
geographical range will also be considered.

Scientific Topics

Unless specifically identified, any STSM application of candidates to SENSORFINT must contribute to one or more of the following themes related to the scope of the Working Groups of the Action:

  • WG1: The application of Non Destructive Spectral Sensors (NDSS) to process control and labelling within the food industry.
  • WG2: Research looking at integrating several NDSS signals for food integrity applications.
  • WG3: Developing novel algorithms and methods for processing NDSS in real time.
  • WG4: The use of information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in building decision support systems for the industrial implementation of NDSS.
  • WG5: Dissemination and exploitation.

Each successful STSM grantee will have identified an output report, agreed by the STM committee that will need to be completed in full and to the required standard before receiving full reimbursement of expenses. Each STSM grant needs to be completed in its entirety within the single grant period.

Financial support

The STSM grant is used to cover costs of travel and subsistence. The financial support should be viewed as a contribution to the costs of the mission and may not cover all costs. This comprises:

  • Each individual STSM is a contribution up to a maximum of EUR 1000 for each applicant.
  • A maximum of EUR 160 per day for subsistence (accommodation and meals) costs.
  • A maximum of two grants are available.

Eligibility (See for full details)

STSM are available to early, mid and established career researchers from COST countries who satisfy the following criteria: STSM applicants shall be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an institution, organisation or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research.

How to apply

The applicant should complete:

  • A fully completed COST STSM application form (see the template)
  • A motivation letter
  • A work plan
  • Applicant CV (reduced version 4 pages maximum)
  • An agreement with the host institution.
  • A letter of support from the home institution.
  • Financial data (amount for travel and subsistence). Please calculate the subsistence amount depending on the host country.

This information must be submitted via the online application and to the following persons by email:

The Chair of the COST Action (Prof. Lola Pérez Marín,

The Vice Chair (Prof. Tom Fearn,

The STSM coordinator (Prof. Paul Brereton, 

Evaluation criteria 

· Scientific quality excellence 20 %
· Benefit to SensorFint objectives      20 %
· Training benefit for the applicant 20 %
· Experience of the applicant: priority will be given to early career researchers (ECR), post docs or PhD students employed by or affiliated to legal entities with a remit for performing research. 20 %
· Inter-disciplinarity of the research area 10 %
· ITC countries 10 %

Evaluation and selection of participants

Applications shall be reviewed by the SENSORFINT Core Group. The STSM coordinator will manage the process and may propose a subgroup for accelerating the evaluation.

After the STSM

The grantee is required to submit a scientific report to the host institution, Action Chair, Vice-Chair, and STSM Coordinator for approval within 30 days after the end date of the STSM. The report should contain:

  • A scientific report.
  • An official letter/confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM.

The Action Chair and STSM Coordinator are responsible for approving the scientific report. The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant. Once approved, bank-to-bank transfer will make payment of the STSM grant to the grantee.

For more information and enquiries please do not hesitate to contact the STSM Coordinator:

Prof. Paul Brereton

Institute for Global Food Security

Room 02021B, NITC,

Queen’s University Belfast, BT9 5BN

Northern Ireland

Tel +44 (0) 28 9097(4721)

Mob: +44 (0)7717421243



Title of the STSM  
Host Organizer of the STSM (Name, contact details and Institution)  
Host place (City, Country) of the STSM  
Full name of the candidate  
Affiliation (name of the Institution)  
Country of the institution  
Address  of the Institution  
Supervisor in the Institution  
Gender of the candidate  
Email of the candidate  
Early Career Investigator (ECI; PhD≤ 8 y in 2019) (Yes/No)  
PhD (Yes/No)  
Nº of Years since the end of the  PhD  

Type of member of SENSORFINT: Management Committee (MC) member;  Substitute MC member;

Non-MC member.




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