Short-term Scientific Missions (STSM)


Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are institutional visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, fostering collaboration between individuals. The Guidelines for Action Management, Monitoring and Assessment should be followed to ensure the proper implementation of this networking instrument.



STSM applicants must 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. The institutions / organisation or legal entity where applicants pursue their main strand of research are considered as Home Institutions. The Host Institution is the institution / organisation that will host the successful applicant.

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 CA18217 does not exceed 8 years.



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:

  1. up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;
  2. up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses;
  3. STSM activities must occur in their entirety within the dates specified in this call.

*Please note, that in compliance with the Vademecum the maximum amount which can be reimbursed is up to EUR 3 500, however, within this call the applicant´s total costs can be reimbursed up to EUR 2 500.

Financial support is limited to cover travel, accommodation and meal expenses and is paid in the form of a Grant.

The amounts granted for each individual STSM will be determined during the evaluation process by the 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 and be related to a specific Working Group.



To achieve the main objective described in Action MoU, the following specific objectives must be accomplished:

  1. Research Coordination
  • To describe, compare, and review the methodologies and interpretive criteria used by diagnostic laboratories across Europe for identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of veterinary pathogens.
  • To map and compare the availability, structure, and evidence-base of veterinary antimicrobial treatment guidelines in Europe.
  • To create a European standard specifying minimum requirements for development of harmonised and evidence-based veterinary antimicrobial treatment guidelines.
  • To use the standard for developing European animal- and disease-specific treatment guidelines, and supporting the adaption of these into national guidelines.
  • To establish a strain database with information on veterinary pathogens stored across Europe.
  • To use strains from the new database for:
    • Development of veterinary clinical breakpoints for improved antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
    • Improving the identification of veterinary pathogens by MALDI-TOF.
    • Initiating collaboration with research groups and companies developing rapid and precise methods for detection and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of veterinary pathogens.
  • To identify key knowledge gaps and propose future research to tackle the current challenges of microbiological diagnostics and antimicrobial therapy in veterinary medicine.
  • To set a priority list of innovative future research for optimising antimicrobial treatment in animals.
  • To outline how European countries can advance to a common high level of veterinary antimicrobial stewardship.
  • To disseminate knowledge, tools, research results, and the proposed solutions to a broad audience (EU agencies, national policy makers, veterinary organizations, clinical practitioners, general public, etc.) via a common website, scientific papers, conference contributions, newsletters, social media, and a white paper.
  1. Capacity Building
  • To build a sustainable network of European stakeholders from the fields of veterinary microbiology, clinical pharmacology, epidemiology, clinical practice, and communication collaborating within and across disciplines towards the common goal of veterinary antimicrobial stewardship.
  • To facilitate – through investigations, training schools, workshops, and STSMs – an expansion of the currently sparse critical mass of specialists within veterinary microbiology and clinical pharmacology in Europe. This objective is particularly important for ECIs and for countries with limited resources.
  • To cooperate with non-European world-leading experts within each scientific field covered, thereby ensuring mutual benefits and the best possible platform for any research and educational activities within the Action.
  • To establish cross-sectorial collaboration between stakeholders from academia, industry, stakeholder organisations, and national/international agencies, thereby facilitating broad dissemination and implementation of results, and a network with strong potential to influence political decision-making on veterinary antimicrobial stewardship.



The application process in details is as follows:

  1. All applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in Section 8 of the COST Vademecum. This document is available here.
  2. All applicants must register for an e-COST profile at – adding their bank account details to their profile.
  3. The applicant must obtain a letter of invitation from the Host institution confirming that he/she can undertake the STSM on the given dates prior to submitting an application.
  4. The applicant must complete and submit his/her STSM application online at:
  5. The applicant must send their STSM application form submitted to e-COST (pdf) and the relevant supporting documents to Prof. Dr Paul Nguewa, STSM Coordinator (



The applications will then be assessed by the STSM Committee, which will perform the scientific and budgetary assessment of the applications against the perceived contribution that the proposed visit will make against the scientific objectives outlined in the Action’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).



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 eCOST system.

The scientific report should cover statement of achieving the project aims, description of the work carried out and the outcome/results, expected publications that may arise from the STSM (if applicable).

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.

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).



STSM Coordinator: Dr Paul Nguewa;

Action Chair: Dr Peter Damborg;

Action Vice Chair: Dr Els Broens;