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 2017 is to contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action CA15226 – CLIMO and to foster collaboration of Early Career Investigators – ECI (less than 8 years from his/her PhD).


Calls for 2017

  1. First STSM call submission deadline: 24, July 2017, call opens: 24, June 2017
  2. Second STSM call submission deadline: 1, December 2017, call opens: 2, November 2017


Planned allocation for 1st STSM call is 60% of total annual STSM budget for 2017 (10.000 € indicatively)
Planned allocation for 2nd STSM call is 40% of total annual STSM budget for 2017/2018 (10000 € indicatively).


All supported STSMs have to be completed before the 15 of March 2018.


Duration of STSM

The minimum duration of a STSM is one week (five working days), while the maximum duration is three months. In special cases a STSM with duration of up to six months can be approved (only for Early career investigators- ECI proponents).


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 2500 EUR in total can be afforded to each successful STSM applicant (up to max 3500 EUR for ECI for missions with a duration of between 90 and 180 days)
  • 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 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.


Application procedure

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 (CA15226_STSMs_Proposal_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 further hosting institution, WG leader and in the copy to the chair of the Action Roberto Tognetti (


STSM topics in relation to Working Groups


Working Group 1 (leader: Violeta Velikova; email:


Working group 1 will be focused on evaluation of adaptation potential of mountain forests to climate changes

The topic of STSMs within WG1 should relate to the following topics:

  • Effects of genetic biodiversity on population, community and ecosystem processes.
  • Role of functional and structural traits for forest ecosystem sustainability. Population diversity based on ecophysiological characteristics.
  • Impacts of biodiversity changes (including biological invasions) on ecosystem functioning, stability and services, and their underlying mechanisms.
  • Understanding phenotype-genotype interactions for ecosystem functioning.
  • Other topics related to the objectives of WG1

Moreover within WG1, at the University of Belgrade, Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy, group for environmental geochemistry, we can offer two STSM positions:

  1. Leaching experiments of soils in controlled laboratory conditions

During this STSM the candidate will have a chance to run leaching experiments in controlled laboratory conditions of soils and bedrock.  The liquid used in experiments can have a wide range of pH values and composition in order to explore for example influence of acid rains.  Both leachate and soil will be analyzed for various parameters (pH, electrical conductivity, available cations, content of organic C, etc.).

Possible duration for the STSM: 3 months

The best time during the year: Any time during the year

  1. Determining the physico-chemical properties of mountain forest soils.

During this STSM the candidate will have a chance to do the following physico-chemical analyses of soils and bedrock: pH, electrical conductivity, grain size analyses, mineralogical composition, aggregate stability, chemical composition, determination of available cations.

Possible duration for the STSM: 6 weeks

The best time during the year: Any time during the year

Contact person:
Dr. Milica Kasanin-Grubin

Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy

University of Belgrade

Njegoseva 12, Belgade


Working Group 2 (leader: Miren del Rio; email:


Working group 2 STSM will be focused on:
a) Field campaign and data base development for empirical study on existing long-term plots and for establishment of new plots for analysing growth trends in beech mountain forests.
In the framework of the WG2 of the action we will develop an empirical study to analyse the effect of different stand structures on beech growth trends and growth reactions to climatic extreme events along European mountain beech forests. In this task we will use long-term plots in beech mixed mountain forests as well as new temporary plots to be installed.
Objective: The applicant will collaborate in the field campaign and data base development of one of the institutions participating in the empirical study. Under the STSM the applicant will be trained in some of the following topics: installation/maintenance of research temporary and permanent plots; tree and stand measurements to characterize stand structure; tree growth measurements to study tree/stand growth trends; data depuration; data base management.
Host: The host institution has to be involved in the empirical study of CLIMO WG2

b) Developing an online database of long-term permanent forest plots established in European mountainous areas.
Objective: The applicant will collaborate in the development of the ESFONET on line data base in the framework of Task 2.1 of CLIMO.
Host: The host institution is Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC). Contact: Lluís Coll (


Working Group 3 (leader: Lisa Wingate; email:

Working group 3 STSM will support collaborations that focus on the development of wireless technologies, research networks and databases that have the capacity to track real time changes in mountain forest characteristics in response to climatic change. This could also encompass remote sensing collaborations to develop tools/products that can be used to identify changes in important mountain forest properties.

In particular WG3 would strongly support STSMs related to any of the following topics:

• Developing wireless technologies to track canopy temperature in plant canopies remotely
• Developing web-based tools to monitor canopy phenology responses to climate change.
• Synthesising tree-ring isotope archives to investigate drought legacy effects on European forest CO2 sequestration
• Other topics related to the objectives of WG3


Working Group 4 (leader: Tatiana Kluvankova; email:

To support objectives of the WG 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 aims 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


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: