STSM


CA20127
1st Grant Period Call for STSM (Short-Term Scientific Mission) – 2022

STSMs for the 1st Grand Period are now CLOSED.

Purpose: A Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) consists of a visit to a host organization located in a different country than the country of affiliation by an Action participant for the specific work to be carried out on topics related to the WIRE COST Action and for a determined Action Grant Period. It aims to support individual mobility, strengthen existing and establishing new networks, and foster collaboration within the Action. An STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific goals of WIRE. Thereforethe topic of the STSM has to be clearly framed within one of the Working Groups:

WG 1: Raw Materials

Biomass wastes feedstocks for biorefineries cover a wide range of underused and undervalued residual streams depending on the source, including forestry wastes, agro-industrial wastes and effluents, or municipal solid wastes (MSW). Therefore, identifying and surveying the availability and distribution of these feedstocks is key for further biorefinery implementation. As such, WG1 has as main objectives: (i) the assessment and promotion of sustainable waste biomass supply chains; (ii) the comparison of different methodologies for pretreatment, harvesting or collection and (iii) the general logistics and cost-efficiency regarding waste biomass supply chains.

WG 2: Biorefinery Conversion Technologies

Waste streams have major potential to be converted into addedvalue products, namely energy, fuels, and chemicals due to their energy content and high concentration of hydrocarbon compounds. Taking into account the wide variety of waste streams in terms of composition and properties, as well as the list of final products to which they can be transformed, several technologies are equally available to be implemented in an integrated biorefinery. These technologies include combustion with energy recovery, gasification, pyrolysis, torrefaction, hydrothermal carbonization, anaerobic digestion, electrochemical techniques, fermentation, hydrothermal liquefaction, and many others, which may be coupled to other subsequent processes to generate energy (e.g. via gas turbines or combustion engines), gaseous or liquid fuels (e.g. via watergas shift, methanation or Fischer-Tropsch), and other chemical products (e.g. via catalytic reactors for methanol or ammonia production). The main objective of WG2 is to collect knowledge for the establishment of a collaborative framework (fundamentals, trends, practices, databases) focused on biorefinery technologies for waste valorisation to added-value products. This will enable the selection of the best solutions to process material feedstocks defined by WG1 and to assess their potential implementation in a determined geographical region. The final products will then be further evaluated by WG3 for their potential applications.

WG 3: Biorefinery Applications

The sustainable processing of biomass into a broad spectrum of marketable products is inherent to the concept of biorefinery. Therefore, identifying market applications will play a key role in this WIRE COST Action. Bio-based industries must facilitate and contribute to the production of advanced materials and products (solid, gas, liquid) that form the basis for innovation in the industry. These industrial value chains include end-user products such as biofuels, energy storage materials, electricity, bio-based chemicals, fertilisers, polymers, pharmaceuticals, composites, membranes, electronics, building materials, and others. From the number of different application areas, 15 research on biorefineries is, however, quite fragmented. The main objective of this WG is thus to enhance the interaction between groups working on different types of advanced processes and materials to accelerate innovation and deployment of novel market solutions.

WG 4: Communication and Dissemination

Communication and dissemination are essential to ensure success and achieve the desired impact of the WIRE COST Action. Both internally, and externally, a proper strategy will determine whether or not researchers and stakeholders get engaged and committed to the purposes of the Action. For this, a dedicated WG is created. The main objective of this WG is to ensure that (i) the activities and events are adequately promoted and publicitized in advance, (ii) the findings and developments of this Action are properly communicated to the interested parties (e.g. biorefinery and bioenergy companies; policymakers; NGOs; biomass industry associations; universities) throughout the Action, and that (iii) the dissemination effort endures and remains even after its completion.

More information on the topics is available on WIRE webpage

Eligibility criteria: STSM travel grants are available only to researchers and innovators participating in the WIRE Action with affiliation in a COST or in a NNC country.

Period of STSM travel grants and application deadlines: The call is open until September 30th 2022 or until the budget for STSM during Grant Period 1 has been fully allocated. 

Duration: The minimum STSM duration should be 5 days (including travel). There is no limit to the maximum duration of an STSM but it has to be accomplished within the first Grant Period (i.e. no later than October 27th 2022). 

Funding: Financial support for STSM takes the form of a travel grant awarded to individuals, not intended to cover employment costs but it only provides a contribution for travelling, accommodation and subsistence expenses, implementation of the project, delivery of the report to the COST Action MC and overall effort.
The maximum amount to be awarded is €4000 per grant. Applicants’ budget request in their application has to carefully take into consideration the duration and location of the STSM. Final decision on the awarded amount will also be based on their consistency. 
Grants are paid after the completion of the activity and approval of all required documentation. However, STSMs grantees may request up to 50% pre-payment of the approved grant. This amount is subject to availability of funds and approval by the Grant Holder Institution. 

Application: Applicants must have an e-COST profile at https://e-services.cost.eu/ and must upload their CV in their e-COST profile. This information will be visible in the Action for evaluation purposes 

Applications must be submitted electronically through the e-COST platform. Information to be provided in the application is the following:

To be filled in e-COST:
– Title
– Start and end date (within the active Grant Period);
– Budget requested by the applicant;
– Information about the host institution and contact person.

To be uploaded to e-COST:
– Application form (template available on e-COST) describing: Goals, description of the work to be carried out by the applicant, expected outcomes and description of the contribution to the Action MoU objectives with a clear indication of WG;
– Confirmation letter from the Host Institution on its availability in receiving the applicant
– Support letter from home institution (in case of PhD students)

Additional information on the submission via the e-COST system can be found in the Grant Awarding User guide: https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2021/12/Grant-Awarding-userguide.pdf)

Evaluation: The grant applications will be evaluated on a continuous basis (first come, first served) within 10 days from the receipt of the application. Applications will be evaluated until the availability of the budget. Evaluation criteria are based on the consistency of the proposed activity with the Action MoU objectives and on the consistency of the requested amount with the time duration and location. Priority will be given to Young Researchers (i.e. non-tenured PhDs and post-docs, under 40 years) and Innovators (individuals). 

Funded applications and reimbursement: Once the STSM has ended, the grantee must submit a report on the outcomes of the visit. The report must be submitted within 30 days after the end date of the STSM or 15 days after the end of the Grant Period. Failure to submit the required report on time will effectively cancel the grant. The grant will be paid in full within 30 days after the approval of the report. 

Further information can be found at https://www.cost.eu/uploads/2022/02/COST-094-21-Annotated-Rules-for-COST-Actions-Level-C-2022-02-15.pdf or by contacting the Grant Awarding Coordinator Mara de Joannon (mara.dejoannon@stems.cnr.it)