STSM Guidelines

The Management Committee of COST Action CA16228 “European Network for Game Theory” encourages candidates to submit applications for Short Term Scientific Missions (henceforth, STSMs) that are planned to begin till April 30th 2018.

What is a STSM (Short Term Scientific Mission)?

A STSM is a research visit of an individual researcher to an institution in another country, to foster collaboration or to learn new techniques. COST Action CA16228 on European Network for Game Theory (GAMENET) will support several such STSMs each year by means of travel grants. These travel grants are particularly, but not exclusively, intended for “early-stage” researchers (PhD students and people within at most eight years of receiving their PhD). We specifically encourage female researchers and researchers from COST Inclusiveness Target Countries to apply.

What are the Evaluation Criteria for STSM Applications?

The main criterion for evaluating application is research excellence and the expected contribution of the suggested visit to Game Theory and to the research agenda of the action.

In addition, the committee will also encourage applications of researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries, female researchers, and early career investigators.

Who Evaluates STSM Applications?

The STSM Committee members are: Yuval Heller (IL, STSM Officer,, Vangelis Markakis (EL,, Joana Pais Ribeiro (PT,

The STSM committee is responsible for phrasing STSM calls, evaluating STSM applications, and
recommending how much to fund each STSM application. The STSM may consult the relevant working group chair/vice-chair, and/or the action chair/vice-chair. Final approval of these recommendations will be done by the action’s Core Group.

What Are The Deadlines for Applications?

There will be two deadlines for applications for the coming grant period (November 1st 2021 – April 30th 2022):

  1. Deadline of October 31th 2021, for visits in the period of November 10th 2021 – January 31th 2022.
  2. Deadline of January 20th 2021, for visits in the period of February 1th 2022 – April 30th 2022.
    Applications that will be submitted before the relevant deadlines will be fully considered. Applications submitted after the deadlines may be considered if there is a remaining budget for the relevant four-month period (but it is often the case that all the budget is allocated to the applications submitted before the deadline.)

Who Can Apply?

You should be a researcher affiliated with an institution in one of the COST countries participating in Action CA16228 and you should be engaged in research that is relevant to Game Theory, and related to one of the action’s working groups.

Where Can You Visit?

You can visit either a host institution in one of the COST countries participating in Action CA16228 (other than the country you are currently affiliated with) or one of the formally approved institutions in non-COST countries.

What Can You Apply for?

Every STSM has to last at least 5 calendar dates and at most 90 calendar dates. Early Career Investigators are allowed (and encouraged) to apply for longer visits of 91-180 days. Short trips to far-away places (incurring high travel expenses) are discouraged. Travel grants for STSMs may not always cover all the costs: applications for trips partly funded from other sources are particularly welcome. Every applicant should try to secure matching funds from alternative sources. The absolute maximal subsistence rate that you may apply for is 160€ per day (accommodation and meal expenses), and should be appropriate in view of typical accommodation costs in the region of the host  institution. A new COST rule: the absolute maximal travel support  for an STSM application is 300 euro (excluding accommodation and meals).

Applicants should carefully check travel costs before applying. The amount you request for travel should be the amount you actually expect to spend (or less, in case you have additional funding from elsewhere), i.e., the intention is not to simply specify a generous upper bound.

We expect that most applications will be for a budget of up to 1,000-1,500€ (so far, the maximal grant allocated for an STSM in this action was 1,500€ ).

STSMs can only be used to fund research visits. In particular, the following activities cannot be funded under this scheme: (1) conference trips; (2) participation in activities organized by COST Action CA16228, including summer schools.

Additional details on COST STSM eligibility rules is given in the COST Vademecum’s Section 7.

Application Procedure:

To apply, please follow the steps outlined below. Whenever these instructions differ from instructions you see elsewhere (e.g., in generic emails received from the e-COST system), always follow the instructions shown here.

  1. Discuss your intentions with your host and agree on a research plan and precise dates for your visit. Prepare a summary of your research plan of at most 250 words (approximately half a page); this should clearly state what you intend to do and how this will contribute to the scientific objectives of the Action (which are to advance research in game theory). This plan should give a clear idea of what you intend to work on during your trip, why your chosen host is an appropriate choice, and how your planned work is related to GAMENET. Find out whether there are other sources to partially fund your trip.
  2. Complete the application form at (temporary, it is not possible yet to apply to grants there, we expect that it will be fixed till mid March 2019). If you have never participated in any COST activity before, you will first have to open an e-COST account and complete your personal profile (including, e.g., your bank details). Make sure you select the correct Action number (CA16228). Enter all the information requested. Under “Motivation and work plan summary”, please enter:
    1. The  up-to-250 words research plan mentioned above.
    2. your current position (e.g., PhD student, professor, etc.); your home institution and department; and (in case you are a PhD student) the name of your supervisor.
    3. A couple of sentences explaining the expected costs (travel and subsistence).  Make sure you have read the information on the amounts of funding you can request before completing the form (see “What Can You Apply for?” above).
    4. One sentence about other sources of funding you have explored (i.e., either that you failed to obtain outside funding, or how much you have been able to secure and where from).
  3. After entering all the fields in the form, please upload (in the next page) three files:
    1. Updated CV.
    2. A pdf with the host institution letterhead signed by the host (or his/her departmental administrator) confirming that you have been invited to visit their institution and that you will receive appropriate support while there.
    3. A pdf with the home institution letterhead signed by the applicant’s superior (i.e., signed by a  supervisor for a Ph.D. student, or signed by the head/vice-head of the department or a departmental administrator for a professor) confirming that the applicant’s department supports the application.
  4. We will try to make funding decisions within three weeks. Your travel grant is official only once you have downloaded the so-called Grant Letter. At that time, you will also receive information on how to claim your expenses.

Reporting Requirement After the visit:

STSM beneficiaries will be prompted to submit a short report on the research visit within four
weeks of returning from the trip, via a link provided in a notification email received from e-

The fields to be filled on eCOST are:

Please also upload a short pdf with the host institution letterhead signed by the host that approves the scientific report.

We will process your reimbursement within a few weeks after we have received your report and your host’s confirmation. Note that we might not be able to reimburse you if you do not make the four-week deadline.

Acknowledging COST in your papers

If you publish a paper that, at least in part, has been made possible due to an STSM (or any other activity organized by this COST Action), then please acknowledge this fact in the paper if at all possible, and please send an email about this publication to This will help us to justify the existence of this network to the COST Association in Brussels, and it will help them to justify the same to the higher echelons of the Brussels hierarchy. You could write something like this: “This work has been partly supported by COST Action CA16228 European Network for Game Theory” (including the “IC16228” is particularly helpful).

Additional details on COST STSM eligibility rules is given in the COST Vademecum’s Section 7.