Short Term Scientific Missions

Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) GP3

iCOn-MICs – Call open for STSM Grants!

The Grant Awarding Committee of the COST Action CA19119, iCOn-MICs: Investigation on Comics and Graphic Novels in the Iberian Cultural Area offers for its third Grant Period (GP3) Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) providing financial support to eligible applicants to carry out a project that contributes to the scientific objectives of this Action. This time there will be no deadline for applications, and instead the Committee will accept applications on a continuous basis until the end of GP3 (October 2023).

Please note that, in keeping with iCOn-MICs’s openness towards the Latin American region, we will give preference (though not exclusivity) for this GP3 to missions within our member countries such as Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Brazil.

iCOn-MICs features five working groups:

  • WG1: Historical approach to Iberian comics’ cultural heritage
  • WG2: The metamorphoses of contemporary Iberian comics
  • WG3: Iberian comics as a form of intercultural dialogue
  • WG4: Building bridges for research-society-industry transfer
  • WG5: Comics as a tool for teaching, learning and communication

We also have a transversal WG, ‘autorAs’, WGAS, dedicated to the study of comics produced by women in the Iberian cultural area, which one can join after signing up for one of the main WGs.

Please go to the tab “Working Groups” on the iCOn-MICs website ( for more information on each working group and consider in which group or groups your project fits best. Also note that STSM grants are a fixed contribution based on the applicant’s budget and their application’s evaluation. This grant does not necessarily cover all expenses, as it is intended only to contribute to travel and subsistence costs.

STSM grants are open to all researchers from institutions and countries participating in the COST iCOn-MICs Action or approved institutions. An STSM cannot be funded in the same country where the applicant resides.

General rules

  • Applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in Section 8 of the COST Vademecum, including Eligibility RulesEvaluationand Selection of ApplicantsCriteria for STSM and Financial Support. We also encourage applicants to read these other relevant documents: the STSM User Guide, the document about Handling Travel Requests, and the Rule of Travel Reimbursement, which can be consulted here.
  • Applicants must apply using the e-COST platform by completing, submitting, and downloading their STSM application online at; during this process, applicants will need to attach their updated CV, a letter of acceptance by the host institution, and an letter of support from your home institution. If you do not already have an e-COST account, you first need to “create an account,” which includes providing the details for the bank account where the grant will be lodged if your STSM application is approved and the STSM completed.
  • Applications and all documents related to applications must be in English.
  • The minimum period of an STSM is five days.An STSM also needs to be carried out in its entirety within one grant period.
  • The earliest starting date is two months from applying, although it may be possible to start earlier under exceptional circumstances if approved by the STSM coordinator.
  • The STSM topic is up to the candidate to choose but should ideally relate to one of the iCOn-MICS working groups’ activities.
  • The grant will be reimbursed AFTERthe grantee has completed their visit and submitted a scientific report detailing the activities carried out during the STSM, within 30 calendar days of the end of the research visit. Applicants must keep within the deadlines, or they will not be reimbursed.
  • Researchers from Inclusiveness Target Country (ITCs) can receive 50% of the grant upon completing the first day of the STSM. The remaining 50% will be paid after the grantee has completed their visit and submitted a report.
  • STSM grantees must make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, social security, and pension matters.

Assessment criteria
The STSM grants are awarded according to the COST key principles of excellence, inclusivity, and balance:

  • The quality of the applicant is based on the written application.
  • Gender, institutional, and geographical balance will be taken into consideration, as well as the overall balance of STSMs attributed to each working group.
  • Applicants coming from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs) also have priority. These are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, North Macedonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey.

The STSM Committee scores applicants A (90% or more), B (89-80%), C (70-79%), D (65–69%), or E (65% or less) by summing up the scores of the whole research proposal and its parts. The criteria for evaluation are the following:

  • The relevance andapplicability of the research to the scientific aims and scope of the Action. A detailed work plan with timelines helps determine if the application is compliant with the Action’s overall goals (1-5 points).
  • The quality and clarity of the proposed research. The application should argue the importance and timeliness of the research (1-5 points).
  • The choice of the host institution. The applicant must give specific scientific reasons for visiting their chosen host institution. The involvement of ITC countries is a plus (1-5 points).
  • The home institution of the researcher. We consider the number of applications from each institution to ensure a fair spread of research across the network. Involvement of ITC countries is a plus (1-5 points).
  • The profile of the researcher.We consider the researcher’s potential of completing the STSM based on their previous work and achievements commensurate to their career stage (1-5 points).
  • The publication/output potential of the research carried out. Based on the STSM work plan and detailed publication/output plan (1-5 points).


Note: Please contact Grant Awarding Coordinator Ana Matilde Sousa ( if you have any queries.

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