Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at supporting individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between researchers. A STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action, whilst at the same time allowing those partaking in the missions to learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and / or methods not available in their own institutions / organisations.  Specific additional provisions have been enacted to encourage the participation of Early Career Investigators (An individual who is within a time span of up to 8 years from the date they obtained their PhD/doctorate (full-time equivalent)).

1st call for Short Term Scientific Missions applications occurring between 15th July 2019 and 15th March 2020 (Grant Period 4)

The Management Committee of RANCARE announces that 3 Short Term Scientific Missions may be financed by the Action’s budget. All applications must have a direct relation to the RANCARE objectives ( Further details can be found here.

Those interested in applying, are encouraged to read section 8 of the vademecum.

Applications are evaluated against specific criteria.

For further information, interested applicants may contact Dr Georgios Efstathiou, STSM coordinator at

Previous calls

1st call for STSM applications for missions occurring between 1st July 2017 – 15th February 2018
(Call 1 – Grant Period 2, Deadline 30th May 2017)

“STSM was an excellent way how to establish close collaboration between
researchers from different countries. STSM for me was also a good
opportunity to discuss the research focusing on the phenomenon of missed
nursing care with other experienced researchers from different
perspectives. Thanks to STSM I could work on research protocol during
individual mobility at university under a supervision of well-known
expert from the investigated field.”

Renáta Zeleníková,
Czech Republic

“It was really great to spend a month in Maastricht in the Netherlands. The STSM in the Department of International Health, Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences in Maastricht University was a great opportunity to meet with other researchers interested in leadership. We could talk, discuss and argue. But at the end we all looked at the same direction – to make leadership much more effective at every level of nursing practice. One of the most important results of STSM mission was the idea that efficient and effective leadership may be one of the answers to the problem of rationing nursing care in nursing profession. Now it will be much easier to establish future collaboration between nurses and other medical specialists. I have many new friends. And Maastricht before the Christmas time was marvelous and really like in a fairytale.”

Joanna Gotlib,

2nd call for STSM applications for missions occurring between 15th October 2017 – 30th March 2018
(Call 2 – Grant Period 2, Deadline 10th September 2017)

“The STSM gave me the opportunity to meet with other researchers and people from academia who share common scientific interests. I had the chance to learn from researchers that already have conducted research in the field of rationing and missed nursing care and develop clinical research skills in several areas of this phenomenon. In addition, the experiences that I obtained from the STSM gave me the tools to cultivate a relationship with the other researchers and establish future collaborations.”

George Savva,

The STSM in Bozen, Italy at the Claudiana “Landesfachhochschule für Gesundheitsberufe” was an excellent opportunity to work in an international team on the analysis of the implicit rationing of nursing and its influencing factors data, which were collected in two empirical studies in Italy and Switzerland. The intensive work on this data and the discussion of the results gave us some new insights regarding the factors that seems to contribute to the shown similarities and differences in the rationing levels, like difference in the culture, responsibilities, scope of duties, qualification of the nurses. Furthermore, the STSM was for me a great opportunity to foster the pre-existing collaboration, to connect with other researcher and co-operators from the Claudiana and to exchange ideas about future project.

Maria Schubert,

For me, doing a fellowship abroad was a “pending issue in my life”. STSM provided me the oportunity to accomplish it, and therefore I am very thankful to them.
My STSM has been in Plymouth University and Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in United Kingdom. It has been great to know how a National Health Service safeguard patient safety in so many ways, from the beside and organisational point of view, including having simulation units in different hospital. I met many researchers, nurses and lecturers what created an “eye-opening experience”. It has been a great time to work in some research projects with an international expert on the field from whom I can learn a lot. Moreover, we are starting some collaborations within universities and other visits. It has been a pleasure to work with such warming people. Looking forward to go back and keep working with them. Highly recommended experience.

Mireia Llaurado-Serra,

3rd call for STSM applications for missions occurring between 1st January 2018 – 8th April 2018
(Call 3 – Grant Period 2, Deadline 10th December 2017)

The STSM at the Department of Nursing Science, the University of Turku in Finland gave me an amazing opportunity to meet professionals from the field of nursing and discuss with them the phenomenon of implicit rationing of nursing care. Also, these discussions helped me to clarify the concept of my PhD thesis. In addition, the STSM was one of the best experience in my professional career. Within the STSM, I have met a lot of experts from the field and also we have established the future collaboration. However, I have to emphasize that I learned a lot of new things especially in the field of the development process of instruments and it enriched me not just professionally but also personally.

Dominika Kalánková,

4th call for STSM applications for missions occurring between 5th March 2018 and 6th April 2018
(Call 4 – Grant Period 2, Deadline 2nd March 2018)

1st call for STSM applications occurring between 15th July 2018 and 15th March 2019 (call 1, Grant Period 3, deadline 15th June 20 18)

My second STSM at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku was an excellent opportunity to deepen the collaboration since last time. Furthermore, the STSM gave me the chance to discuss my research topic, and I could acquire the important knowledge about the methodology of the research, so I am able to develop the research further. Besides, I attended several courses during the STSM thereby achieving the valuable experiences in different fields of nursing research. I highly recommend this experience, and I am looking forward to future collaboration.

Dominika Kalánková,
Scientific Report

2nd call for STSM applications occurring between 1st October 2018 and 15th March 2019 (call 2, Grant Period 3, deadline 10th September 2018)

The STSM at Virginia Commonwealth University (USA) was absolutely an added value to my PhD program.  Under the guidance of Dr. Terry Jones I identified major themes from my focus group interviews related to how medical surgical nurses prioritize their time. The themes that emerged reflect the context in which nurses must set priorities every day, the system of formal and informal rules used to guide priority setting, the range of strategies that nurses often use to manage their time and minimize missed care in the context of a demanding work environment and, final, the adverse consequences of current priority setting patterns for patients and nurses.

This STSM was a really fruitful cultural exchange, not only in terms of qualitative data sharing. It was an incomparable chance to deepen my understanding of clinical prioritization being led by a senior researcher expert in the field. It was also an opportunity to broaden my network and learn about US PhD program, to enhance my skills in qualitative data analysis, to improve my approach to scientific publication and, last but not least, to share my time with an outstanding colleague, that provided me one of the warmest welcome that I have ever experienced in my life. I feel very thankful and I look forward to continuing this exciting collaboration.

Erika Bassi,
Scientific Report

The STSM at CUT in Cyprus was a very fruitful experience to my professional development as well to forward with the hard task to build a manual for nurse managers about PROMOTING PATIENT SAFETY THROUGH MINIMISING MISSED NURSING CARE. Under the guidance of Prof. Evridiki Papastavrou it was possible to develop this task and also to find strategies to validate this document with nurses in the field. We took part at a Local Workshop in Paphos, organized in colaboration with Cyprus Nurses and Midwives Association.
The opportunity to attend the STSM, as well as the chance to establish personal academic and professional contacts was very useful in my further academic and research career in Portugal and can improve my contribution to Rancare and to the tasks of WG4.
The benefits of the STSM will be also to the Rancare Action and other members of WG4 and to my colleagues and other researchers in Europe focusing on the creation of a Manual about PROMOTING PATIENT SAFETY THROUGH MINIMISING MISSED NURSING CARE – GOOD PRACTICE.
Future collaboration will include the validation of this Manual in other countries through the application a questionnaire in 4 countries through National Nursing Associations and a Final Manual.
Special thanks to Professor Evridiki Papastavrou and the members of the Working Group  4 and its leader Professor Olga Riklikiene.
Raul Cordeiro
3rd call for STSM applications occurring between 10th December 2018 and 15th March 2019 (call 3, Grant Period 3, deadline 10th November 2018)

The STSM gave me the opportunity to visit Department of Nursing Science at the University of Turku. For me as a PhD student, it was an opportunity and experience of a lifetime. During my STSM I met researchers from the Department and learned a lot about their outstanding research programmes. It has been a privilege and honor to work under a supervision of prof. Leino Kilpi. She is such an inspiring person! Also, all of the colleagues in the Department were so friendly and warming. I was far from my home, but did not feel like a stranger at all. I am looking forward to continuing this collaboration! And Turku, experiencing Turku in winter was like entering Narnia through the wardrobe, it was breathtakingly beautiful.”
Ivana Prga
This Short Term Scientific Mission was an excellent opportunity for me to meet and discuss issues related to safe staffing with Professor Jonathan Drennan and his team of the University College Cork in Ireland. During my 5-day stay at Cork, I gained a lot of experience on safe nursing staffing, especially through the research work done by Professor Drennan and his team. The visits at various hospitals as well as the visit at the Ministry of health of Ireland, provided me an insight idea on how the health care system in Ireland works and how innovative practices can be transferred and implemented in Cyprus. I am grateful to Professor Drennan and his team for the kind hospitality and assistance during my visit and to the Management Committee of COST Action RANCARE for funding this visit in Ireland.

Christina Ioannidou-Efstathiou
Scientific Report
4th call for Short Term Scientific Missions applications occurring between 20th January 2019 and 15th March 2019 (call 4, grant period 3, deadline 10th of January 2019)

Τhe STSM gave me the opportunity to visit the Department of Nursing Science at the University of Turku in order to work on Clinical Instruments for Evaluating Health in an international team, leading by Dr Suhonen. The intensive work on different instruments in the literature and the discussion between the team, increased my knowledge and skills in developing, evaluating and implementing instruments into scientific research. I have to admit that I feel more confident now to ‘judge’ if an existing instrument is appropriate (methodologically) for my research and if not, I know what strategies are needed for designing a new one. As an early career researcher, is a very important achievement for me and I am very grateful to the RANCARE. The STSM gave me also the opportunity to attend to the University of Turku which is a center of excellence in research and to start an international collaboration with other researchers from the field. Don’t forget to mention how lucky I am to work with Dr Suhonen, such an inspirational researcher!

Maria Achilleos,
Scientific Report

5th call for Short Term Scientific Missions applications occurring between 15th February 2019 and 15th March 2019 (call 5, grant period 3, deadline extended until the 28th of February 2019)