Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM)

STSM Coordinators: Clara Almagro Vidal (Madrid, Spain), Matthias van Rossum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)


The WORCK Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are Mobility and Collaboration Grants aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between researchers within the COST Action. A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific goals of WORCK, 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 or organisations.

These Individual Mobility and Collaboration Grants are central to WORCK’s aim of promoting innovative and interdisciplinary research on the history and persistence of coerced labour in relation to violence, expropriation and marginalisation. We particularly welcome applications from early career scholars, both from within and outside the network, that explore and explain how their participation can contribute to the WORCK programme and strengthen the development of both their own work as well as that of the WORCK network.

STSM Mobility and Collaboration Grants

There are two types of STSMs within the COST Action WORCK:

  • Mobility Grant: This grant is reserved for PhD students and early career researchers (max. 8 years after PhD) and fosters academic mobility, exchange and mutual learning by contributing to the objectives of the COST Action WORCK and its Working Groups. Priority will be given to scholars without institutional funding and duration will be established in the term of weeks to visit relevant institutions.
  • Collaboration Grant: This grant is open to all active WORCK members and is dedicated to the development of collaborative projects, leading e.g. to (preparing) joint publications or other output or deliverables.

There is no difference in the application process between both types of grants.

Who can apply?

STSM applicants must be individuals engaged in an official research program as a PhD student or postdoctoral fellow, or be employed by, or affiliated to, a university or research institute. The institutions/organisations, 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. Applicants must be a working group member or join one of the working groups at the time of the application.

In general, STSMs must respect the following criteria:

  • They must have a minimum duration of 5 calendar days (including travel) and a maximum duration of 90 days.
  • STSMs need to be carried out in their entirety within a single grant period, and end at least 15 days before the end of the running grant period) and always within the action’s duration (The Action’s 3GP will finish on 31 October 2022).

In order to apply, the applicant must be a person affiliated to an institution located in a participating COST Full Member/COST Cooperating Member, an Action MC Observer from NNC, or located in an Approved European RTD Organisation. Researchers affiliated to institutions from outside the scope of this list (such as International Partners of this action: may host STSM researchers from European COST countries, but may not apply for STSMs themselves.

Awards throughout the annual grant period will be made to support scientific excellence, and to support a variety of researchers in terms of gender, career stage, affiliation and nationality. Particular consideration will also be given to candidates moving from/to COST Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs). Applicants cannot submit more than one application per grant period, and more than two applications in the whole action’s life.

What kind of expenses are covered by STSM funding?

The STSM Mobility and Collaboration 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 the financial contribution for each STSM must respect the following criteria:

  • Up to a maximum of EUR 2,500 in total can be awarded to each successful STSM applicant; of which up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be awarded for accommodation and meal expenses;
  • up to a maximum of EUR 300 can be awarded for travel costs.

The STSM will be a fixed grant to cover part of the travel expenses and a living allowance. The cost of research materials is not eligible for consideration as part of the grant. STSM awards may be combined with other funding sources, but these must be acknowledged in the application and will be taken into account when calculating the amount granted. Please note that, as a rule, the awarded grant will be paid only after the STSM has been completed and the report of the work carried out has been approved.

Upon request, reimbursement of 50 % of the grant can be reimbursed upon arrival to the host institution for YRI scholars (under 40 years of age) and early career researchers (up to 6 years after granting of PhD). Applicants from ITCs that fall under these categories are encouraged to apply.

Applicants requesting it should explicitly state in their application the need for early reimbursement and the how they meet the criteria. Each case will be evaluated individually, also taking into consideration the duration of the STSM and the overall amount of the grant.

How to apply?

Application collection date: In light of the exceptional circumstances brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for STSMs to be carried out during Grant Period 3 (November 2021-October 2022) will be accepted during the entirety of the grant period as long as funds are available. The final decision of the STSM committee will be communicated about 6-8 weeks before the planned research stay. We hope that this measure allows more scholars to benefit from this action and we kindly ask that STSM applicants apply with as much time as possible before the intended travel date to allow for evaluation and to contact the STSM coordinator for further information.

From Grant Period 4 (November 2022-October 2023) onwards, applications can be submitted any time of the year, but will only be evaluated once a year. A reminder for the STSM collection date will be issued for the upcoming grant periods. Please subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on our social media channels to be kept up-to-date.

STSMs are to be applied to individually. Applicants and hosts are required to register on the WORCK website by filling out the form ( and on the e-COST webpage (

Applications are submitted through the e-COST platform ( and will be evaluated by the STSM Committee consisting of representatives of each working group.

Proposals are to have up to 2,000 words and must follow the model established by Cost: The proposal should explicitly address the following aspects:

  1. Motivation
  2. Research plan, including:
    a. Research contribution, state of the art of the field, research questions
    b. Planned activities
      c. Planned output
      d. Period and duration of stay
      e. Budget
  3. Host institution and researcher or research group (qualities and relevance of the host institution in relation the candidate and work plan)
  4. Relation between the proposal and WORCK

Please note that in addition to the proposal the following documents must be uploaded as support documents on the e-COST platform for STSM applications before the end of the open call:

  • Letter from the home institution allowing for the STSM
  • Written agreement or a letter of invitation/acceptance from a representative/researcher of the host institution
  • CV of the applicant (this will be attached automatically, if the applicant already uploaded it to the e-COST platform)
  • STSM Application proposal. The model is available for download here:

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. The STSM committee can request additional information, if considered necessary.

For detailed rules regarding eligibility and financial support, please see the relevant sections of the COST Annotated Rules.

Please note that priority is given to applications proactively addressing the agenda of the COST Action and the individual working groups. Therefore, successful applications balance emphasis on the candidate’s personal research project with consideration of the way in which it could contribute to the work of the action. They address specific tasks included in one or more working group agendas in a very concrete and focused way: A focussed contribution to a very specific agenda or working group is thus likely to be more useful to the project than an attempt to address multiple agendas simultaneously.

Potential applicants are invited to contact the Grant Awarding Coordinator or the relevant working group leaders. Before making contact, they should study the working group agendas carefully and consider which ones relate most closely to the research they propose to undertake. Potential applicants should then draft a brief account of their intentions before making contact and requesting feedback on it. This process will help to ensure that the outcomes and deliverables of the STSMs are devoted to benefitting the action as a whole.

Potential applicants from ITCs and early career researchers with no previous contact with the COST Action are explicitly encouraged to make use of this opportunity.

After Completion of the STSM

Within 30 days of completion of the STSM (or 15 days before the end of the Grant Period whichever is earlier), the STSM grantee must upload a final report (max. 1-2 pages) of the research outcomes together with the agreement of the STSM host. This report must include: a description of the work carried out; a description of the main results/outputs; a plan of future collaborations with the host (if applicable); planned publications resulting from the STSM (if applicable); a confirmation regarding the successful completion of the STSM by the host.

A template for the final report can be found here:

The grant will be paid after the approval of the final report.


In case of non-fulfilment of the Grant, Cost Derogation Procedures will be followed.

Past STSMs

Grant Period Name Host Institution Title Working Group
2 Olli Siitonen (University of Helsinki) University of London

Narratives of violence – The Psychology of killing and the experiences of American soldiers in the Vietnam War

2 Sites and Fields of Coercion
2 Claude Chevaleyre (Université de Lyon) Universität Wien 1 Grammars of Coercion
2 Ivana Mihaela Žimbrek (Central European University) Institute of History, Polish Academy of Science Household Work and Coercion under State-Socialism 4 Intersecting marginalities
3 Isidora Grubački  (Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino, Ljubljana) Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics Coercion, Intersectionality, and Peasant Women’s Work 4 Intersecting marginalities