Call for applications for
Short-Term Scientific Missions
Call No. 4
Herewith the Cost Action 18207 Bottoms-Up announces its 2023 call for applications for “Short-Term Scientific Missions” (STSMs). STSMs can take place between 15th January 2023 and 30th September 2023. 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. 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: Linking Forest dynamic models and multi-taxon forest diversity; host: Sabina Burrascano [Link] or Tommaso Sitzia [Link]
STSM2: Testing the triad framework of forest zoning in Europe through multi-taxon field data: host: Peter Schall [Link]
STSM3: Assessing the invertebrate diversity linked to Tree Related Microhabitats, host: Daniel Whitmore [Link]
STSM4: Sampling multi-taxon biodiversity in Mediterranean and thermophilous forests, host: Andres Bravo Oviedo [Link], Sabina Burrascano [Link], Dimitris Fotakis [Link]
STSM5: Exploring the effect of canopy opening interventions on multi-taxa forest biodiversity at the European level. Host: Flóra Tinya [Link]
STSM6: Alternative forest biodiversity indicators to document international monitoring programmes. Host: Yoan Paillet.[Link].
STSM7: Methods for the analysis of taxonomic and functional metrics of saproxylic beetle assemblage in Mediterranean forests. Host: Estefanía Mico Balaguer.[Link].
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.
The following conditions apply:
- 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.
- 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 apply through the eCOST system (https://e-services.cost.eu/) after creating a personal account. In order to apply, the following documents have to be uploaded in the system:
- 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.
- A letter of invitation from the host institution.
- 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 1st January and end 24th July 2023, allowing the earliest STSM to start on mid-March 2023.
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 2023), the successful applicant must submit a scientific report to the host institution, the STSM coordinator (Silvana Munzi) and the Action Chair (Sabina Burrascano). The scientific report must 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 must be sent to the Grant Holder (Sabina Burrascano) and the STSM coordinator (Silvana Munzi) 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).
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:
Silvana Munzi (STSM coordinator), Email: