Origin Action TD1308: Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM)

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An essential part of the Origin COST action is to support research through the support of collaborative visits. In COST language these visits are known as Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs). They are aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSM are intended especially for young researchers but are open to everyone. The Origin’s guidelines for its STSMs are as follows:

1.     They have to be transnational – i.e. visits must be from one COST member country to another, they can not be within any country.  It should be noted that Master students are not eligible for STMS which are for PHd students and more experienced researchers.

2.     STSMs within the Origin’s Action can only take place between countries that have agreed to be members of the Action. There are currently 28 partners these are listed on the Action home page   http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/TDP/Actions/TD1308?parties.

3.     Applications are made through the COST STSM online system.

https://e-services.cost.eu/w3/index.php?id=91. In the drop down menu under Action number you need to find the link; TD1308-Origins and evolution of life on Earth and in the Universe (ORIGINS). Then proceed to complete the form. Full details on the application process are given on the Action Website

Simultaneously the applicant must send the following information to the Action’s  STSM Coordinator  (nigel.mason@open.ac.uk ) and STSM Secretary (beverley.bishop@open.ac.uk).:

            • A Letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution

            • The submitted STSM application form (downloadable when the online application is submitted)

            • A motivation letter including an overview of the proposed activities that will be performed which must contain a plan of work for the visit highlighting the proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of the respective COST Action (typically no more than two pages of A4). A possible layout consists of 1. short introduction; 2. Detail of the work planned 3.Why the host institute 

            • Potential outcomes (publication etc).

            • A Full C.V. (including a list of academic publications – if applicable

            • A letter of support from the Home Institution (for PhD only)

4.     The Origin’s management team have decided that there should be a minimum period for a STSM of 1 week (5 working days). Financial requests are expected to be limited to under 500 Euros for travel and will be considered by the review committee against real costs. Typical daily subsistence rate will be less than 100 Euros a day and will reflect the costs of the host country. The maximum amount for subsistence in a STSM visit will be 2500 Euros. An average STMS is estimated around 1200 Euros.

5.     A report on the STSM should be sent within one month of the visit. Once approved by the STSM committee the applicant will be reimbursed.


Once submitted your STSM request will be considered by the OriginAction’s STSM review committee. This consists of;

STSM Chair (Professor N.J Mason);  the Action’s Chair (Dr M Gargaud)  and Deputy Chair (Dr W Geppert),  Dr  Zuzana Kanuchova; Dr Inge Loes ten Kate; and five deputy coordinators of the five Action’s workpackage;  WG1 Professor V.Dehant

WG2 Professor T Kee; WG3 Professor P.Lopez-Garcia; WG4 Professor O.Prieto-Balesteros and WG5 Professor Ch. Malatere.


The STSM Committee will review proposals judging the workplan against the stated scientific aims of the Action. Specifically;

            1. Scientific Background - why is the theme of the study important and what has been previously achieved ?

            2. Studies to be carried out  - which work will be carried out and why is the trip necessary for the proposed investigations ?

            3.  Possible outcome and impact - how will the envisaged results contribute to our understanding of the origin of life on eath and the possibility of life on other celestial bodies ?


The Committee will review proposals and send the applicant results within two weeks of submission. NO BOOKING SHOULD BE MADE UNTIL THE COMMITTEE HAS APPROVED THE VISIT. The Committee will issue calls for proposals through the Action website.


CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:



Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Aranzazu SANCHEZ



A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020



Involved countries

View the Interactive Map
of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project

Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.