Call for short-term mobility grants to support research and collaborations on prostitution and sex work

Application deadline has now passed.  The next call will be in the autumn 2016.

COST is a European framework supporting cooperation between researchers across and beyond Europe. COST Action IS1209 ‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ (ProsPol) is a research network funded by COST.
     ProsPol invites applications for Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM): these are mobility grants aimed at supporting research and at fostering collaborations on prostitution and sex work research. The grants are available to both Prospol members and to others, non-Prospol members, whose work is relevant to the scope of Prospol.

Some Context: the Aim of the Action

The aim of COST Action IS1209 ‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ (ProsPol) is to exchange, enhance and compare knowledge about prostitution policies across Europe. By offering insight into the empirical effects and contexts of various regulatory regimes and techniques, the Action intends to provide an innovative platform of exchange to enhance understanding of how concepts, policies and practices transfer across national cultures and local contexts, and the implications this has for knowledge exchange and coordination in this field. The Action aims to inform future prostitution research and policy including comparative work between different prostitution policy regimes and their effects.

The aim of Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

The aim of STSMs, as defined by COST guidelines, is to support individual mobility, strengthen the existing Action network, to allow scientists/researchers to gain access to resources that are not available in their own countries, and to foster collaborations to contribute to the scientific objectives of the Action.  


* STSMs applicants must be engaged in a research programme as postgraduate (PhD) students or postdoctoral fellows, or be employed by or officially affiliated to an institution or legal entity. Institutions may be public or private (for example NGOs, universities, research institutions/centres, etc).
* Early Career Researchers (PhD + 8 years) are particularly welcome to apply.
* STSMs applications are open both to Action members and to those who are not members of the Action.
* Applicants need to bear in mind the following geographical rules, established by COST.

Possible STSM scenarios are:

Participating COST Countries and Cooperation States:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

NNC institutions: Centre for Independent Social Research, Moscow, Russian Federation

- From a participating COST country, you can apply for a STSM in cooperation with this institution
- Members of Centre of Independent Social Research can apply for a STSM in participating COST countries

IPC institutions: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; and George Washington University, United States of America


Standard STSMs last a minimum 5 days and a maximum of 90 days; they need to be carried out in their entirety within one single period (i.e. the STSM cannot be spread over two or more periods).

      The STSMs of this call have to take place between 16th March 2016 and 30th April 2016.
Available Funding

A STSM grant is a fixed contribution based on the budget requested by the applicant and the
evaluation of the application by the appropriate Action body. The aim of this grant is to support the costs associated with the exchange visit. This grant will not necessarily cover all
expenses; it is intended only as a contribution to the travel and subsistence costs of the participant.

The calculation of the contribution for a STSM must be based on the following rules:

* The reimbursement rate per day is EUR 100 maximum;
* The most economical means of travel;
* A maximum EUR 2 000 in total can be afforded to the grantee.

Application  process

Before the STSM

1. In order to receive a STSM grant, the applicant must obtain the written agreement of the host institution, before submitting an application.

2. The Applicant must use the on-line registration tool to register his/her request for an STSM: The tool will produce a STSM Formal Application.

3. The STSM Formal Application has to be downloaded and sent by the Applicant electronically (by e-mail, as attachment) to the future host institution of the STSM (for information) and to the STSMs Coordinator (Niina Vuolajarvi:, together with the following supporting documents in electronic format:

A project outline of approximately 3 pages.  The project outline needs to include:

a) An Executive Summary (maximum 300 words)
b) The Proposal. This needs to clearly describe the: context and the scientific objectives of the visit; the need for the visit; a justification of the chosen duration; a reasoning for contribution of the STSM to the goals of the Action (including which Action working group the project fits in, see Action’s Memorandum of Understanding:; a detailed description of the outputs that the visit intends to generate; a detailed timeline; and any other relevant information.  
c) Budget requested: with details of estimated travel cost and accommodation expenses. Travel expenses will need to be supported by evidence from a travel website (Opodo, Expedia, Skyscanner etc)
d) Short biography of the applicant
e) Written endorsement of the host institution.

After the STSM

a) The grantee is required to submit: a) a 3-page scientific report to the host institution (for information), to the MC Chair (Isabel Crowhurst: and to the STSM coordinator (Niina Vuolajarvi:; b) proof of travel to/from the destination country (e.g. ticket or invoice), clearly showing the dates agreed when the STSM was approved; c) a short summary (400 words maximum) of the work carried out during the STSM to be uploaded on Prospol’s website, in the news section (; d) confirmation by the host institution of the successful execution of the STSM.

These documents need to be submitted within 15 days of the end date of the STSM.

The 3-page report needs to contain detailed information about:

b) Purpose of the STSM;
c) Description of the work carried out during the STSM;
d) Description of the main results obtained;
e) Future collaboration with the host institution (if applicable);
f) Foreseen publications resulting from the STSM (if applicable);
g) Other comments (if any).

Failure to submit the scientific report within 15 days will effectively cancel the grant.

When the MC Chair receives and approves the scientific report, the grant can be paid.

Please note, if dates of the STSM are changed before this commences, it is necessary to communicate this to the STSM coordinator in order receive their approval.


The COST VADEMECUM containing guidelines for STSMs is available at (COST Vademecum (Part 1) - COST Actions, Chapter 6: STSM).

More information on COST Action IS1209 ‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ (ProsPol) can be found here:
And here:

In case of any question, please contact IS1209 Prospol Action STSMs Coordinator:

Niina Vuolajarvi,
ISCH COST Action IS1209 ‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ (ProsPol)






© Copyright 2012 by ProsPol Action IS1209. All rights reserved.