Call for Conference Grant Applications

Call for Conference Grant Applications

Conference Grants are aimed at supporting PhD students and ECI researchers from Participating ITC to attend international science and technology related conferences not specifically organised by the COST Action.


With the current emergence of Terabyte(TB)- and very soon Petabyte(PB)-scale astronomical and Earth observation systems, the traditional approach to basic functions such as data searching, analytics or visualization are becoming increasingly difficult to handle. Simple database queries can result now in data subsets so large that they are incomprehensible, slow (or even impossible) to handle, and impossible to visualize with commodity visualization tools. Astronomy and remote sensing complement each other, as they are on the quest for new Big Data interpretation capabilities: both disciplines have peculiar data, typical data processing and analysis chains, and specific models to be fed with data. However, both disciplines lack the capabilities for easily accessible semantics-oriented browsing (usage of higher level descriptive expressions) in large data archives. Therefore, joint efforts to design and develop innovative Big Data tools should help users in many different fields and set new standards for many communities. This has identified several broad challenges to this line of reasoning that need multidisciplinary approach through international networking of experts and professionals. These challenges are then channelled into Action Objectives:
Challenge A: Digital curation and data access
Challenge B: New frontiers in visualization
Challenge C: Adaptation to new high performance computing (HPC) technologies
Challenge D: New generation of scientists in the age of interdisciplinarity
For more detail see the description of the Action in Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Eligibility Rules
  1. Conference Grants are exclusively reserved for PhD students and Early Career Investigators (ECI) with a primary affiliation in an institution located in an Inclusiveness Target Countries (see the list here).
  2. The applicant must make an oral/poster presentation at the conference in question and must be listed in the official event/conference programme. The main subject of the oral presentation / poster presentation / speech at the approved conference must be on the topic of the Action and must acknowledge COST (see Section 9 of the COST Vademecum).
  3. The participation of each applicant must be pre-approved by the Action MC1. Attendance at European conferences is preferred. However, conferences held elsewhere can also be considered.
Evaluation Criteria
  • Is the conference aligned with the relevant technical/scientific fields of the Action, as defined in the MoU? (see description of the BigSkyEarth Action)
  • Is the CV of the candidate relevant for the workplan?
  • Is there added-value for the Conference Grant applicant?
  • Is there added-value for the BigSkyEarth?
Financial Support

A Conference Grant is a fixed financial contribution which takes into consideration the budget request of the applicant and the outcome of the evaluation of the application by the STSM committee. Conference Grants do not necessarily cover all of the expenses related to participating in a given conference. A Conference Grant is a contribution to the overall travel, accommodation and meal expenses of the selected Grantee.

The calculation of the financial contribution for each Conference Grant respects the following criteria:

  1. up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 in total can be afforded to each successful applicant,
  2. up to a maximum of EUR 160 per day can be afforded for accommodation and meal expenses,
  3. up to a maximum of EUR 500 can be claimed for the conference fees to be incurred by the selected

In addition, when meal and accommodation expenses are supported by the hosting institution as part of the provisions offered in their conference package, the amount for subsistence afforded to each eligible participant must be deducted from the Grant. Documentary evidence of the conference fee amount must be provided by the applicant.

How to apply
  1. Log-in into e-COST and click on the ITC Conference Grants tab. Detailed instructions (including User Guide) are available here.
  2. Send a copy of your documentation to the STSM coordinator (uros.kostic @
  3. The MC Chair informs the applicant about the evaluation results after 2 weeks. If the Conference Grant is approved, a grant letter is sent to the applicant.
  4. The applicant needs to send back a scanned copy of the signed Grant Letter by e-mail within 3 weeks.

There are no deadlines for applications – applications can be submitted at any time!

After the conference

The grantee is required to submit a scientific report (1 page) to the MC Chair and the STSM Coordinator for approval within 30 days after the end date of the Conference in question, containing:

  1. Purpose of the Conference participation;
  2. A short abstract of the presentation;
  3. Forseen future collaborations resulting from the Conference (if applicable);
  4. Foreseen publications/articles resulting from the Conference (if applicable);
  5. Other comments (if any).

The grantee will receive a reminder from the STSM Coordinator to submit the scientific report. The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant.

The STSM Coordinator is responsible for approving the scientific report and informing the MC Chair that the STSM has been successfully accomplished. This is followed by the payment of the grant as a lump sum contribution towards the expenses incurred.

1) Management Committee: A group of researchers, engineers or scholars representing COST Member Countries and / or the COST Cooperating State that have accepted the MoU. They are in charge of the coordination, implementation, and management of an Action’s activities as well as supervising the appropriate allocation and use of the COST funding with a view to achieving the Action’s scientific and technological objectives. They are nominated by the COST National Coordinators.