Aims and Scope of Short Term Scientific Missions within CLIMO COST Action CA15226

The STSM tool aims at stimulating the exchange and foster collaboration between different research and development facilities and institutions in Europe.

The grant is NOT intended as total reimbursement of all costs that may be associated with the research proposed. Rather, it aims at providing financial support to the generation of knowledge, exchange and progress.


STSM CA15226 – CLIMO Coordinator

Assist. prof. Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh, PhD

University of Ljubljana,

Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources

Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia








The aim of Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) calls for 2020/2021 is to contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action CA15226 – CLIMO and to foster collaboration of Early Carrier Investigators – ECI (less than 8 years from his/her PhD). Further information on the Action is available at:


Calls for 2020/2021

  1. STSM call submission deadline: 15, December 2020, call opens: 15, October 2020


Planed allocation for final STSM call is 12.500 € indicatively.


All supported STSMs have to be completed before the 15th of MARCH  2021.


General instructions for application and eligibility criteria are reported below. All rules and regulations of COST  (last version May 2020) do apply (see section 8 for STSM).


Duration of STSM

They shall have a minimum duration of 5 calendar days that includes travel. STSM need to be carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period and always within the Action’s lifetime.


STSM Financial Support

An STSM grant is a fixed financial contribution. The grant usually covers travel costs, accommodation, and meal expenses of the Grantee. The financial support is a contribution to the costs of a STSM and may not necessarily cover the whole costs.

The calculation of the financial contribution for each STSM must respect the following criteria:

  • Up to max of 3500 EUR in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant
  • STSM < 4 weeks, max = 1000; < 2 months, max = 2000; <3 months, max = 2500; 3-6 months, max = 3500
  • Up to max of 160 EUR per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses


The Action Chair, STSM Deputy Coordinator and STSM coordinator can approve differentiated the financial contribution to cover accommodation and meal expenses based on the cost of living in the host country, in consideration of the applicant provenance and the number of applicants.


Specific provisions have been introduced to enable researchers from ITC participating in the COST Action to request a pre-payment of 50% of their STSM Grant when they complete the first day of their STSM. In such case, the representative of the Host Institution shall confirm by e-mail to the Grant Holder that the STSM applicant has officially started the mission on day 1. Only then the Grant Holder can arrange the payment of 50% of the STSM grant. The remaining 50% of the Grant is payable once the administrative requirements have been satisfied after the STSM. 


STSM Application procedure


The application procedure follows the STSM User guide, from July, 2019


Applicants interested in undertaking a STSM are invited to submit their application by using the on-line registration tool: Applicants must be based within an institution in one of the countries participating in CLIMO. The formal STSM application should be downloaded from the above website for your own record. In your communication, please always add your STSM reference number which is automatically generated by e-cost office after online registration.


The application form, together with the CA15226 template for STSM proposal (CLIMO-STSM_Template), a motivation letter, CV including a list of publications, letter of acceptance from the hosting institution and letter of support from home institution has to be sent to the CLIMO’s STSM coordinator Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh (, as well as to the STSM deputy coordinator Pietro Panzacchi (, the

further hosting institution, WG leader and in the copy to the chair of the Action Roberto Tognetti (


STSM topics


STSM must contribute to the scientific objectives of one or more CLIMO WG:


  • Working Group 1: APPROACHES AND DEFINITIONS OF CSF (leader: Andrew Weatherall; email:


Working group 1 is focused on the development of criteria and indicator for evaluation of adaptation potential of mountain forests to climate changes.




  • Working Group 2: EUROPEAN SMART FOREST NETWORK (leader: Miren del Rio; email:


In the framework of the WG2 we are developing two empirical studies on 1) existing spruce-fir-beech long-term plots; 2) new temporal plots on mountain beech forest with different stand structure. The main objective is to analyse growth trends and growth reactions to climatic extreme events as basic information to define Climate Smart Forestry in mountain regions.



WG3 will aim at developing and implementing cyber infrastructure to collect and wirelessly transmit to the Internet a fundamental set of forest and environmental measurements from the ESFONET sites. The cybernetic web will provide real-time access to environmental sensor data from established research sites to a single point of entry web site which allow apply visualization and outreach tools to engage researchers, resource managers, educators and the public with smart forest data.




To support objectives of the WG4 in developing incentive-based system (PES) to support Climate-Smart Forestry concept as a possible tool for development of forestry under the impact of Global Change (GC). In particular, we aim to contribution to work plan of Task 4.1: Review of existed theories and practices for valuation of FES in mountain regions with specific focus on European mountains and practice of existed PES schemes. Possible hosts can be selected from CLIMO and PESFOR-W Cost actions.


Criteria for the evaluation of STSM

The criteria by which the STSM applications will be evaluated are:

  • Contribution to the Action
  • Status of an ECI (up to eight years after PhD)
  • Quality of working plan (outcomes)
  • Applicants CV
  • Gender balance


The application must be evaluated by more than half of Core Group members. Positively approved applications will be listed according to the evaluation. The evaluation will be done within 14 days after the call is closed.



Traveling during COVID19

As different countries are implementing different measures regarding circulation of foreign visitors, we advise all STSMs candidates to check individual country stipulations before planning travel, especially regarding quarantine rules.  Please check the COVID-19 – Information for COST Actions web page and the Vademecum and/or the Derogation procedure for further information.


After the STSM

Within four weeks after termination of the STSM, it is required that the grantee submit a scientific report to the hosting institution, STSM coordinator and to the Action chair. The report should contain following:

  • purpose of the STSM;
  • description of the work carried out during the STSM;
  • description of the main results obtained;
  • future collaboration with hosting institution (if applicable);
  • foreseen publications/articles resulting or to result from the STSM (if applicable);
  • confirmation by the hosting institution on successful execution of the STSM;
  • other comments (if any).


After receiving of the approval mail and the scientific report, the Grant Holder will execute the payment of the fixed grant directly to the grantee or the host institution as requested in the STSM application. The Chair of the Action and the STSM coordinator are responsible for approving the scientific report and informing the grantee that the STSM has been accomplished, as well as that the grant can be paid. The grantee is expected to acknowledge the financial support from CLIMO in all outputs arising from the STSM, by including the following text: This [study] is an outcome of CA15226 Climate Smart Forestry in Mountain Regions – CLIMO.


Important links:



STSM CA15226 – CLIMO Coordinator

Assoc. prof. Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh, PhD

University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Forestry

Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia



STSM Deputy Coordinator
Dr. Pietro Panzacchi
University of Molise and Free University of Bolzano/Bozen