Further information or any contact with media should be addressed to the Chair of the Action Prof Hans-Martin Niemeier at


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Action TU1408

Air Transport and Regional Development (ATARD)

> Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM)

STSM (Short Term Scientific Missions)

STSM are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between researchers. A STSM should 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/organizations.

The aim of ATARD is to promote a better understanding on how the air transport related problems of core regions and remote regions should be addressed in order to enhance both economic competitiveness and social cohesion in Europe.

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 or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research.



STSM must respect the following criteria:

  1. They must have a minimum duration of 5 days.

  2. They must have a maximum duration of 90 days.

  3. STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.


Specific additional provisions have been adopted to encourage the participation of Early Career Investigators in STSM. To qualify for these specific provisions, the following conditions apply:

  1. The mission must have a minimum duration of 91 days.

  2. The mission must have a maximum duration of 180 days.

  3. STSM performed by ECI need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.


Financial support: ATARD second grant period

An STSM grant is a fixed financial contribution that takes into consideration the budget request of the applicant and the outcome of the application evaluation. STSM Grants do not necessarily cover all expenses related to performing a given mission. The Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the Grantee. The calculation of this contribution for a STSM is based on the following rules:

  • up to a maximum of EUR 2500 in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant;

  • up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.


For ECIs (Early Career Investigators), the calculation for an increased financial contribution must respect the following criteria:

  • up to a maximum of EUR 3500 in total can be afforded to ECIs for missions with a duration of between 91 and 180 days;

  • up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses.


Therefore, please note that ATARD is only able to provide limited funding and that the end of the second Grant Period is April 30, 2018, hence STSM have to be finished before that date.


For more details on COST STSM, please refer to COST Vademecum (see attachment).

Expressions of interest

Expression of interest should be sent to the Vice-Chair of the Action Ofelia Betancor at containing the following:

  1. STSM application form. Complete through e-COST ( and submit a copy.

  2. A letter of invitation from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host institution.

  3. A motivation letter including a work plan detailing the proposed activities and dates.

  4. A support letter / email from the Home Institution

  5. A full C.V. (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).


Evaluation and dates

The evaluation of STSM applications will be performed by the core Management Committee of ATARD. The selection of successful STSM applicants will take into account the scientific scope of the proposed mission and how the mission can support the Action in achieving its scientific objectives. There should be special considerations with respect to supporting COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling Early Career Investigators (ECI) and broadening geographical inclusiveness.

This call is open for the duration of the second year grant period.


After the STSM

The grantee must submit a scientific report to the ATARD Chair and STSM coordinator for approval within 30 days after the end date of the STSM. The report must detail:

  1. Activities performed during the STSM and main research results.

  2. An official letter/Email from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution formally accepting the submitted scientific report thus validating that the reported activities were performed by the STSM Grantee.


The failure to submit above documents within 30 days after completion of the STSM will effectively cancel the grant.