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Call for applications for
Short-Term Scientific Missions
Call No. 2

Herewith the Cost Action 18207 Bottoms-Up announces its 2021 call for applications for “Short-Term Scientific Missions” (STSMs). STSMs can take place between 3rd May 2021 and 15th October 2021. Please note that dates are flexible, the duration of the mission will vary individually, according to the agreement between the guest scientist and the host institution. Due to current situation caused by Covid-19, missions of several weeks are encouraged. All STSM activities must occur in their entirety within the dates specified above.


Purpose of STSM

To foster cross-country exchange between scientific institutions and organizations with the aim of learning new methods. In particular, the STSM has to advance knowledge related to the topic of the Cost Action 18207 “Biodiversity Of Temperate forest Taxa Orienting Management Sustainability by Unifying Perspectives”. The Action created a platform for forest multi-taxonomic and structural data that currently encompasses more than 3,000 plots across 12 European countries. STSMs will be selected especially towards the topics mentioned below that will integrate the platform finalization and enhance its impact. Further ideas are encouraged to take current projects into account (an overview can be found here).

Suggested STSM topics

These suggestions are headlines/keywords only and the applicants are highly encouraged to develop their proposal with the provided host (see contact information at the end of this document).

STSM1: Spatially collate and analyse landscape information on plot, stand, site and landscape level (climate topography, soil) to the database; Hosts: Dimitrios Fotakis [Link] or Francesco Chianucci [Link]

STSM2: Harmonise spatial scales across datasets; Host: Sabina Burrascano [Link] or Dimitrios Fotakis [Link]

STSM3: Assessment of indicators of Sustainable Forest Management in the sampled sites; Host: Yoan Paillet [Link]

STSM4: Collaboration in collection of stand structural data to integrate EURAC dataset; Host: EURAC [Link]

STSM5: Integrate and harmonise management information into database; Host: Tommaso Sitzia [Link]

STSM6: Collate and analyse functional trait data for taxonomic groups database ; Host Sabina Burrascano [Link] or Francesco Chianucci [Link]


Our offer

The work carried out toward the above-mentioned topics will allow the applicant insights into cutting edge science and to be included in the platform consortium, with the possibility of being involved in the platform publications. The applicants will also have the opportunity to propose analyses and manuscripts to be developed with the database.


Financial support

The following conditions apply:

  1. A maximum amount of 2 500 Euros can be requested and deducted, this amount raises to 3 500 Euros for researchers having received their PhD less than 8 years ago with a mission length of more than 3 months.
  2. The rules of the COST Vademecum apply [Link]. Please read the document carefully in advance and acknowledge in your application that you strictly follow it.

Financial support is limited to cover travel expenses, accommodation, meal expenses on a per day (160 Euros) basis 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 panel. The selection is based on the scientific scope of the application, which must clearly contribute to the topics suggested above or listed on the Bottoms-Up webpage.


Who can apply

Researchers from one of participating Cost countries. Desired host institutions are provided under suggested topics or can be lead authors of ongoing projects listed on the Bottoms-Up webpage.


How to apply

Each individual applicant should send the following documents to the coordinator of the CA18207 STSMs, Dr. Johannes Penner, via Email as a single pdf file (max. 5mb) containing the following documents:

  • A letter of motivation, including a scientific research proposal for the envisioned activities at the host institution. A clear link to the suggested topics or ongoing projects of the Cost Action is required (maximum of 3 pages).
  • A specific time frame, including quarantine measures if applicable and a “plan B” in case of change of regulations (after submission of the application) which do not permit travelling in person to the host institution. (maximum of 2 pages).
  • A letter of support from the home institution, including a confirmation that a STSM is possible under current Covid-19 regulations of the home institution and home country.
  • A letter of invitation from the host institution, including a confirmation that a STSM is possible under current Covid-19 regulations of the host institution and host country and that “plan B” is approved.
  • A brief CV (maximum 2 pages) with a list of publications.
  • List of estimated costs for the requested STSM.


Applications will be reviewed on an incoming basis, latest two weeks after submission with a decision provided latest three weeks after submission. Rounds of reviews will start on 19th April and end 4th July 2021, allowing the earliest STSM to start in May 2021.



The STSM panel will judge applications based on their scientific quality, feasibility, diversity of contributions to the Cost Action and diversity of applicants. Applications from Early Career Investigators (ECI, maximum 8 years after receiving the PhD) and Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC) are especially encouraged.



Latest 30 days after the end date of the STSM (but anyway until 31st October 2021), the successful applicant must submit a scientific report to the host institution, the STSM coordinator (Johannes Penner) and the Action Chair (Sabina Burrascano). The scientific report has to cover a statement of how the project aims were achieved, a description of the work carried out and the outcome/results as well as expected publications that may arise from the STSM (if applicable). The applicant is also responsible for acquiring an official acceptance letter or 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 send to the Grant Holder (Sabina Burrascano) and the STSM coordinator (Johannes Penner) for archiving purposes. Failure to submit the scientific report within the deadline will 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).


Contact information

If you do have specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact:
Sabina Burrascano (STSM host & action chair), Email:
Francesco Chianucci (STSM host, training school coordinator) Email:
Dimitrios Fotakis (STSM host & STSM panel member) Email:
Sebastian Kepfer Rojas (STSM panel member) Email:
Chiara Paniccia (STSM host) Email:
Yoan Paillet (STSM host, WG5 leader) Email:
Johannes Penner (STSM coordinator) Email:
Tommaso Sitzia (STSM host, WG2 leader) Email: