The “stem cells” discipline represents one of the most dynamic areas in biology and biomedicine. Marine and aquatic invertebrate stem cell (MISC) biology is of prime research and medical interest. The aim of this COST Action is to consolidate and promote an interdisciplinary network of the European community working on MISC. This will help to develop novel MISC tools and methodologies, promote the MISC discipline in the front interest of biomedical disciplines and establishing collaborations with industries.

Call for STSM applications


Call Number 02 for GP2

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) Applications


Call for STSM now open!


Register to become a member of the cost action CA16203
Upload your CV in PDF format



STSM facilitates researchers from COST Countries participating in COST Action CA16203 to go to an institution, organization or research center in another participating COST Country to foster collaboration and to perform empirical research. Participation of “Early Career Investigators” (ECI) in STSM is particularly encouraged. An applicant can be considered as being an ECI when the time that has elapsed between the award date of the applicants PhD and the date of the applicants first involvement in the COST Action CA16203 does not exceed 8 years. PhD students are also eligible and encourage to partake in STSMs.


Specific information concerning STSM

STSMs can have a duration of between 5 days and 90 days (and up to 180 days if the applicant is an ECI – see definition of ECI above).


The financial support is a contribution to the overall expenses incurred during the STSM and may not necessarily cover all of the associated outgoings.


The following funding conditions apply and must be respected:

  • up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
  • typical allowance ranging from 50 to 90 € per day (depending on host country)” The STSM Committee can approve differentiated country rates to cover accommodation and meal expenses based on the perceived cost of living in the host country
  • for ECIs, a maximum amount of EUR 3 500 can be afforded to the Grantee for STSMs with a duration of between 91 and 180 days – For ECIs partaking STSMs with a duration of between 5 and 90 days, the limit of EUR 2 500 must be respected;
  • STSM activities must occur in their entirely within the dates specified in this call.


Financial support is limited to cover travel, accommodation and meal expenses and is paid in the form of a Grant (after its completion; 50% of the grant can be given at the beginning of the STSM only to ITC members for periods longer than one month).

For this call, the Management Committee of COST Action CA16203 “Stem cells of marine/aquatic invertebrates: from basic research to innovative applications” (MARISTEM) has allocated a total budget of EUR 10,000 for STSMs. The amounts granted for each individual STSM will be determined during the evaluation process by the formally appointed STSM Committee. The selection of applicants is based on the scientific scope of the STSM application which must clearly compliment the overall objectives of the Action (but see also Annex to this document).


How to apply for an STSM


Calls will be announced by the Action through its website ( ) . Interested researchers can apply by following the directions provided below and submitting their electronic application and supporting documents to the STSM Coordinator Matteo Cammarata, ( and to the Action ( .




  1. All applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in Section 7 of the COST Vademecum. This document is available at:


  1. All applicants must register for an e-COST profile at – adding their bank account details to their profile.


  1. All applicants must obtain a letter of invitation from the Host institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates prior to submitting an application.


  1. All applicants must complete, submit and download their STSM applications online at:


  1. All applicants must send their submitted STSM application form and the relevant supporting documents to the STSM Coordinator STSM Coordinator Matteo Cammarata, ( and to the Action ( for evaluation by the STSM Committee. The list of supporting documents to be submitted for the evaluation are:


  • a motivation letter which, for PhD students, should also be signed by the supervisor
  • a copy of the online STSM application(downloadable when the online application is submitted – see point 4 above)
  • a CV (including a list of academic publications – if applicable)
  • a work plan of the activities to be performed during the visit highlighting the proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of the COST Action
  • 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


  1. The application will then be evaluated by the formally delegated STSM Committee according to the scientific objectives outlined in the Action’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Maristem (but see also Annex to this document).


  1. The applicant will be formally notified of the outcome of their STSM application by the STSM Coordinator Matteo Cammarata.


  1. Within 30 days from the end date of the STSM, the successful applicant must submit a scientific report to the Host institution and to the STSM Coordinator Matteo Cammarata. The applicant is also responsible for acquiring an official acceptance letter / Email confirmation of acceptance from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution formally accepting the scientific report. This formal acceptance of the scientific report has to be also sent to Matteo Cammarata for archiving purposes.

Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days from the end date of the STSM will effectively cancel the Grant.

(Please note that the COST Association can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants).


The Scientific report must contain the following information:


  • purpose of the STSM
  • description of the work carried out during the STSM
  • description of the main results achieved
  • future collaboration with the Host institution (if applicable)
  • foreseen publications / articles resulting from the STSM (if applicable)
  • confirmation by the Host institution of the successful execution of the STSM



Notification of application outcome: As soon as possible






STSM Evaluation criteria for Maristem


The evaluation of STSM applications and selection of Grantees is performed by the Action’s STSM Committee on behalf of the MC following the listed criteria.


– CV (max 30pts),

– Science (quality of the project, match with the host and feasibility – max 40 pts),

– Pertinence (the scope with relation to WG tasks – max 30pts).

– COST policies on gender balance, early career investigators and geographical inclusiveness will be applied.

It is further aimed to support STSMs of different WG topics.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020

Chairman: Prof. Loriano Ballarin

Vice-Chairman: Prof. Buki Rinkevich