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General information:

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are aimed at supporting individual mobility to go to an institution or laboratory in other COST country to foster collaboration, to learn a new technique or to gain access to specific instruments and/or methods that are not available in the applicant home institution.

The proposals should contribute to the main goals of the COST action: create a broad network of scientists from four different areas of expertise, namely Gravitational Wave (GW) physics, Geophysics, Computing Science and Robotics, with a common goal of conceiving innovative solutions for the analysis of the data of Gravitational Waves detectors and for handling/ suppression of instrumental and environmental noise. To learn more about the scientific objectives, please see here.

Application Rules:

Eligible Candidates
Any person with a complete e-COST profile that:
  • is currently engaged in an official research programme as a PhD student;
  • is a postdoctoral fellow;
  • or can be employed by, or affiliated to a research institution.
Candidates from a participating COST country* can select a host institution from:
  • a different participating COST country;
  • an approved COST Near Neighbour Country**;
  • an approved International Partnet Country Institution***.
Candidates from an approved COST near Neighbour Country can select a host institution from:
  • a participating COST country

* Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom.
** Israel
*** Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) at United States, LIGO Laboratory California Institute of Technology at United States, Swinburne University of Technology at Australia.
Application Procedure
Eligible candidates can submit their STSM applications at: After creating a new STSM Request, fill in the online form choosing the corresponding Action Number (CA17137). The following additional information is encoded in the online form:
  • STSM Title;
  • Grant period: please select “2019-05-01 -- 2020-04-30”
  • Duration:
    • from 5 up to 180 days (if the candidate is an Early Career Investigator - ECI* )
    • from 5 up to 90 days (if the candidate is not an ECI).
    • Note: The STSM visit should finish before than March 30th, 2020.
  • Motivation and Workplan summary, specifying:
    • Abstract (max 200 words): a brief summary of the whole project;
    • Aim & Motivation (max 400 words): explain the scientific and/or other motivation for the STSM;
    • Outcomes (max 300 words): describe the expected results to accomplish with the STSM;
    • Integration with the COST action (max 300 words): explain the contribution of the proposed STSM to the scientific objectives of the Action, specifying the relation with the working group(s) activities;
    • Techniques (max: 400 words): detail on what techniques or equipment the candidate may learn to use, if applicable;
    • Planning (max 300 words): The plan/steps to achieve the proposed objectives;
    • References: up to 5 most relevant papers/projects.
  • Bank Details
  • Host institution details, including:
    • Letter of support from the Home Institution;
    • Written agreement from the Host Institution that the STSM applicant can perform the activities detailed in the STSM work plan on the agreed dates.
  • Requested financial support:
    • up to 3500€ (if duration is from 91 days to 180 days)
    • up to 2500 (if duration is from 5 days to 90 days).
    • Note: The grant estimation must not exceed the 160€/day. If accepted, the provided financial support can always be smaller than requested.
* Person with less then 8 years from the date they obtained the PhD;
Final Selection
The applications will be evaluated by the COST Action 17137 Core group following the COST Excellence and inclusiveness Policies (geography, age and gender equality). Moreover, it will be considered the following criteria:
  • Relevance to COST Action objectives;
  • Scientific quality and anticipated outcomes of proposed plan;
Preference will be given to applications:
  • From an Early Career Investigator (ECI) or PhD. student.
  • Visits to/from a participating COST Inclusiveness Target Country (ITC*).
* Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Turkey.
Final Report
If approved, the candidate will have to submit, within 30 days after the end of the STSM:

- A Final Scientific Report. A template can be found at - A Host approval of the report stating that the STSM took place and the goals outlined in the work plan were reached.

Both documents can be upload directly into the e-COST portal. The payment of the grant can only be made after the approval of this report.


Application & Final Results
Starting February 1st, 2019, the call for STSMs will be continuously opened until the budget has been spent, i.e., applications can be submitted at any time, and decisions will be made until the end of the grant period. The proposals will be collected every month (on the 15th) and the results communicated within the following two weeks.

For more information about the STSM application procedure, see:

Approved applications:
    Home institution country: Portugal.
    Host institution country: Slovakia.
    Duration (days): 14.
    Title: Machine learning in neutron stars physics.
    Summary: The STSM improved my knowledge on deep neural networks. I became aware of the impact of the deep neural network structure and the data preprocessing on its learning capacity. My future research will benefit from the work developed during the STSM.
    Home institution country: Italy.
    Host institution country: fYR Macedonia.
    Duration (days): 31.
    Title: Scalable machine learning methods for gravitational waves.
    Summary: The action has helped me to be involved in a very interesting research problem, and it has allowed me to reach effectively different experts in the fields of physics and machine learning. The STSM gave me the opportunity to perform joint work to achieve some of the goals defined in the COST action. In particular, I was able to exploit my background in machine learning models for predictive modelling and anomaly detection, in combination with the diverse experience of the host in the parallelization of algorithms with Spark and MapReduce. Moreover, I was able to assess the scalability performances of the machine learning models developed, on a distributed cloud infrastructure, thanks to a Microsoft Azure grant held by the host.
    Home institution country: Croatia.
    Host institution country: Italy.
    Duration (days): 14.
    Title: A system for rapid analysis of seismic waveforms.
    Summary: The action has helped me in kickstarting a new research collaboration with a group of researchers in seismology. My time at INGV, Rome, was well spent.
    Home institution country: Hungary.
    Host institution country: France.
    Duration (days): 5.
    Title: The effect of precision on narrow-band all-sky search algorithm.
    Summary: Offline collaboration can get us 80% of the way. Half of the missing 20% is kicking off the work, discussing either next to a dining table or a white board, while the second half is comes around publication of the results. The STSM has helped a lot in polishing our work to become of production quality.
    Home institution country: Poland.
    Host institution country: Italy.
    Duration (days): 5.
    Title: Training period at GSSI in view of KAGRA underground sound campaign.
    Summary: STSM allowed me to spend a full week dedicated to Newtonian noise cancellation which is one of Cost Action goals. Discussion and brainstorming with other scientists about this kind of noise, which affects performance of GW detectors at low-frequency, were useful and given me new ideas to carried on my research project.
    Home institution country: Finland.
    Host institution country: Romania.
    Duration (days): 7.
    Title: Machine Learning for Laser Physics.
    Summary: The STSM was about a computer scientist getting a taste of the research/experiments done at the ELI-NP site in Magurele, Bucharest, Romania by physicists in our COST action. ELI-NP stands for Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics I have learnt quite a bit about laser physics during the week spent there We have come at various hypotheses about the analysis we could perform on the possible experimental data. We plan to work together on these ideas, using machine learning algorithms. Meeting the Romanian researchers collaborating on these ideas was a great pleasure. In some ways, the high point of the visit was the talk given by Dr Kip Thorne on gravitational waves. He is such an inspirational speaker!
    Home institution country: Spain.
    Host institution country: France.
    Duration (days): 8.
    Title: Improving gravitational wave detection and analysis with machine learning algorithms.
    Summary: The gravitational waves community work in strong collaboration between its members, and notably between the LIGO and Virgo Collaborations. As both detectors rely on similar technology, exchanges concerning their signal analyses are particularly fruitful and lead to a better sensitivity for the multi-detectors network of gravitational waves, enhancing both the detection and analysis of signals. This STSM lead to spend a week dedicated to direct exchanges concerning the improvement of gravitational waves detection and analysis, enabling a faster convergence of the projects with creative brainstorming sessions that would not have occurred in the case of remote communication, therefore serving its purpose of facilitating the development of research between groups.
    Home institution country: Spain.
    Host institution country: Italy.
    Duration (days): 5.
    Title: Implementation of GW machine learning code at PIC’s computer center.
    Summary: IFAE became a full member institution of the Virgo Collaboration only in early November 2018. We want to study the coalescence of binary systems and the determination of the mass spectrum and angular momentum of the objects involved. From the beginning, we adopted a deep learning approach in the analysis of the LIGO/Virgo data, since it is particularly suitable for the identification of a well-defined signal pattern over a much larger continuous background. Being really new in this field, personally and as a group, this STSM has helped me to get really acquainted with the technical aspects of the management of large sets of data and in applying deep learning to address classification problems. Even if the STSM lasted only 5 days, the possibility to interact directly with experts in the field and to discuss together with the IFAE students the strategies to follow will certainly result in a much faster progress than having worked alone.
Statistics of the approved applications up to now

1st call for STSMs

2nd open call for STSMs