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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening the existing networks and fostering collaborations between researchers involved in a COST Action.

From the begining, POSITIVe COST Action have funded 35 Short Term Scientific Missions. For the following years, depending on the budget a number of STSM will be funded (two calls per year).

Application deadlines:

CALL 1 (Done) - April 25th 2015   (extended to May 5th)

for STSM to start after July 1st 2015 (and end before October 31th 2015)

CALL 2 (Done) - October 31th 2015 (extended to November 20th)

for STSM to start after January 1st 2016

CALL 3 (Done) -March 31th 2016 (extended to April 30th)         

for STSM to start after July 1st 2016 and end before November 15th 2016 (Fundings on GP3)

CALL 4 (Done) - October 31th 2016 (extended to November 25th)

for STSM to start after January 1st 2017 and end before March 30th, 2017 (Fundings on GP3)

CALL 5 (Done) - March 1st 2017              

for STSM to start after May 1st 2017 and end before November 15th 2017 (Fundings on GP4)

CALL 6 (Done) - October 31th 2017

for STSM to start after January 1st 2018 and end before March 30th, 2018 (Fundings on GP4)

CALL 7 (Done) - March 1st 2018

for STSM to start after May 1st 2018 and end before October 31th 2018 (Fundings on GP5)

 A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action POSITIVe, while at the same time allowing those partaking in the missions to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and / or methods not available in their own institutions / organisations.

Priority in STSM funding will be given to Early Career Investigators (ECI: young researchers within a time span of up to 8 years from the date they obtained their PhD/doctorate)

To learn more about POSITIVe STSM Eligibility Criteria, Application Process, Deadlines, Evaluation Criteria and Financial Support click here

Two types of STSMs: 'regular' and 'special'

According to MC decision in Norwich, from September 2016  POSITIVe Action recognises two different types of short-term scientific missions (STSMs): “regular” and “special”.

Both types of STSM are available to all eligible candidates from any institution from the POSITIVe network.

The same criteria regarding the eligibility and financial support apply to both types of STSMs.

Equal funds (50% of budget for STSMs in each GP) will be allocated to both types of STSMs.

Both types of STSMs aim to support the exchange between individuals and institutions, to strengthen the network, and are excellent opportunity for young researchers to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and methods not available in their own institutions.

What is different?

The “regular” STSMs have bottom-up approach and candidates, in collaboration with their hosts, propose the objectives of their missions within the scientific scope of the POSITIVe Action. 

Applications for “regular” STSMs must follow the pre-defined deadlines (available at the website and disseminated in advance through email).

Proposals for “regular” STSMs are evaluated using 5 criteria (research, training, researcher, implementation and impact) by the STSM Committee.

The “special” STSMs aim to explicitly support work to be performed within the working groups, towards direct objectives of the POSITIVe action.

The “special” STSMs have top-down approach and the objectives of the mission are proposed by WG leaders in collaboration with the experts in the field that will host and coordinate the mission.  

As they should be able to respond fast to urgent matters in WG, applications for “special” STSMs do not need to follow the pre-defined deadlines. The Call for “direct” STSM is, in general, open all the time. The Call for specific topic is launched upon the decision and definition within each WG, and potential candidates are informed about the particular mission through website and circular email. Candidates who are interested to work on the pre-defined objectives should contact WG leaders or the Host scientists.

Applications for “special” STSMs are evaluated mostly based on research interests, experience and expertise of the candidates, and taking into account gender and geographical balance. Evaluation for “direct” STSMs is performed by the host scientist (as an expert in the field) and the WG leader. 

A detailed list of evaluation criteria

To ensure fairness and impartiality of the evaluation process STSM Committee has established a set of criteria to be applied in the evaluation of STSM proposals. These criteria are defined to respond to the main aim of the COST Action STSMs, namely: “to specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, whilst at the same time allowing those partaking in the missions to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and / or methods not available in their own institutions / organisations”.

To enable transparency of the process, this document describes the criteria used for the evaluation. It provides guidance to the applicants in structuring their proposals for STSM and may help them to make a self-evaluation prior to final submission.

For the detailed list of evaluation criteria click here


The STSMs coordinator and 5 other members of the Steering Committee constitute this committee

POSITIVe STSM Coordinator

aleksandra konic ristic

Dr Aleksandra KONIĆ RISTIĆ

University of Belgrade - Serbia

Centre of Research Excellence in Nutrition and Metabolism

University of Belgrade, Serbia


Tel: +381 11 4061747

Mob: +381 63 8588020

STSM Committee Members

  1. Dr. Christine MORAND, INRA – France, Action Chair
  2. Prof. Francisco TOMAS-BARBERAN, CSIC – Spain, Actions Vice Chair
  3. Prof. Tom Van de WIELE, Univ. Ghent – Belgium, WG1 Leader
  4. Dr. Ana RODRIGUEZ-MATEOS, Univ. Duesseldorf – Germany, WG2 Leader
  5. Prof. Marina HEINONEN, Univ. Helsinki – Finland, WG3 Co-Leader