STSM HOST Expression of Interest


ITC Conference Grants are aimed at supporting ECI* and PhD students** from Participating ITC*** to attend international science and technology related conferences, event or activity on the topic of the Action that are not organised by the COST Action.

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 ITC Conferene Grant 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 application must be submited at least 45/60 days before the conference start date.

ITC Conference Grants are aimed at supporting Early Career Investigators (ECI) and PhD students from Participating. ITC to attend international science and technology related conferences, event or activity on the topic of the Action that are not organized by the COST Action.

* see pages 3-4 from this document


Conference Grants are exclusively reserved for PhD students and ECI’s with a primary affiliation in an institution located in an ITC.

  • * An applicant can be considered as being an ECI when the time that has elapsed between the award date of the applicants PhD and the date of the applicants first involvement in the COST Action 18130 does not exceed 8 years.
  • ** PhD students must demonstrate their enrollment in a PhD Course.
  • *** The following countries are considered ITC: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

If you are interested in, please follow this link.

The following eligibility criteria apply:

  1. Conference Grants are exclusively reserved for PhD students, PhD candidates and ECI’s with a primary affiliation in an institution located in an ITC participating in the Action.
  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 Vademecum).
  3. The participation of each applicant must be pre-approved by the Action MC.

Both oral and poster presentation, but oral presentation will be preferred.
Eligible International Conferences
European Conferences are preferred, but conferences elsewhere can be considered as well.


The maximum financial support for the awarded applicant will be 1500 Euro. If the total cost of the conference is higher than 1500 Euro, the applicant has to proof she/he has been granted the difference from the other source.

For detailed rules regarding eligibility and financial support, please see the relevant sections of the COST Vademecum.


This is a step-by-step guide to applying for an ITC… found at the COST Vademecum. Please contact (ITC Conference Grant coordinator) if you have any queries. The application process is as follows:

  1. On-line registration and application on e-COST but do not submit
  2. The list of supporting documents to be submitted for the evaluation are:

The applications must be send completed and must contain the following documents written in English:

    1. Application form to the COST Action CA18130
    2. Complete printout or Screenshot of your e-COST ITC application
    3. A short Resume (max. 2 pages)
    4. Complete List of Publications
    5. Copy of the last diploma received
    6. A Detailed Motivation Letter (max. 1 (one) A4-sized pages of single spaced text in Times New Roman font size 12)
    7. A copy of the abstract submitted to the conference
    8. Proof of acceptance of the abstract by the conference for an oral/poster presentation
    9. A synopsis of the motivation to participate to the conference (maximum 3 A4-sized pages of single spaced text in Times New Roman font size 12) set out under the following headings:
      I) Description of the conference and of its sessions, with particular focus on the session to which the contribution is submitted;
      II) Justification in what the conference is relevant to the CA;
      III) Justification in what the contribution submitted is relevant to a specific conference session;
      IV) Description of the relevance of the work presented in fulfilling the objectives of the CA 18130 MoU and benefits for the CA 18130;
      V) New knowledge / type of information expected from attending the conference;
      VI) Relevance of attending the conference for the carrier of the ITC grantee, including timeless and relevance of the ITC;
      VII) Networking aspects;
      VIII) Dissemination plan of the results and conference follow up expected; References must be provided as:
      Smith J., Smith2 J., Smith3 J., et al Title of the publication (year) Entire Journal Name, Volume, Issue, pp: first-last.
    10. A brief description of the applicant’s involvement in the COST action (maximum ½ A4- sized pages of single spaced text in Times New Roman font size 12);
    11. A letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the candidate;
    12. A letter stating from the supervisor of the candidate that no other funds are available for the requested costs of this mission (see template);
    13. A budgetary breakdown of the full Conference costs and the needed funds required for the participation to the Conference (with screen shots of travel booking web sites substantiating each expense, printouts or screenshots of the conference web site confirming the effective registration fee, list of meals included in the registration fee).

The candidates should send all the documents electronically in PDF format, as a single PDF file and with the above mentioned order to ITC. Candidates are to keep one complete copy of the entire application with original signatures in paper form.


The ITCs coordination team of the Action will make the scientific and budgetary assessment and decision of the application. The ENFORCE TXRF ITCs coordination team consists of seven scientists, in addition to the Action’s Chair, who is authorized to take the final decision. External advice may be sought.

The ITCs coordination team is constituted by:

  • Laura Borgese, Chair of the CA 18130 ENFORCE TXRF
  • Jasna Jablan, Vice Chair of the CA 18130 ENFORCE TXRF
  • Wojciech M. Kwiatek, ITC Conference Grant Coordinator
  • José Paulo Santos, Co-leader of WG1 or Viktor Mihucz, Co-leader of WG1
  • Diane Eichert, Co-leader of WG2 or Thomas Hase, Co-leader of WG2
  • Eva Margui, Co-leader of WG3 or Yasin Arslan, Co-leader of WG3
  • Pranvera Lazo, Co-leader of WG4 or Diana Guimares, Co-leader of WG4
  • Ramon Fernandez Ruiz, Science Communication Manager

The ITCs coordinating team and other evaluators will not be involved in the assessment of proposals in which they have a personal or financial interest.


ITC Selection Criteria
General Criteria (weight 2)

  1. The ITC Conference Grant serves for the exchange and acquisition of know-how;
  2. Usefulness of the Conference selected to help to develop the career of the applicant;
  3. Scientific quality of the abstract submitted;
  4. Involvement of the candidate in the COST Action CA 18130;
  5. Benefit for the COST Action CA 18130 (if any);
  6. The application serves the goal of fostering collaboration in the field of TXRF analysis, in particular, establishing new scientific contacts;
  7. The application should be financially justified meaning that the estimate of the expenses is reasonable
  • Criteria taken into account for the final decision (weight 1)
  • Justification of the application budget
  • No previous ITC Conference Grant by the same applicant
  • No previous ITC Conference Grant by the same home laboratory for a fair spread of researches across the network
  • Geographical distribution of applicants across the ITC Conference Grant
  • Early Career Investigator (PhD obtained <5 years) or PhD candidate
  • Gender balance across the ITC Conference Grant

Subjective criteria based on the quality of the applicant and the letter of motivation (weight 1)

Registration and deadlines

Open deadlines:

  • February 28th for the Conference period: May – August
  • June 30th for the Conference period: September – December
  • October 31st for the Conference period: January – April
  • Conference period is considered for the beginning of Conference.


The Grantee has 30 calendar days from the end date of the Conference in question to submit either a certificate of attendance and/or a report to the ITC Conference Grant Manager of the Action. and the Action’s Grant Holder. Yes reference to the COST Vademecum page etc should be inserted. Before the other information. I would also keep the same sentences reported in the Vademecum.

Mandatory Acknowledgements

Successful conference grant holders must properly acknowledge their COST financial support, received through the ENFORCE TXRF COST Action CA18130, in their published work (paper, proceeding) as well as on the presentation slides. The ENFORCE TXRF logo has to be put on each slides and presentation support.

Step after the Conference

The grantee is required to submit a scientific report (min 5, max 10 A4-sized pages of single spaced text in Times New Roman font size 12) to the ITC coordination team, within 30 days after the end date of the STSM.

The report should describe

  • Purpose of the Conference;
  • Return from the scientific communities on the grantee’s contribution;
  • Potential impact of the Conference on the grantee carrier path;
  • Knowledge obtained during the Conference (with references and short outlines of knowledge acquired during the various sessions);
  • Future collaboration(s) discussed (if applicable);
  • Visibility of the COST Action;
  • Foreseen publications/articles/proceedings (to be provided separately);
  • Other comment (if any).

In addition the slides of the contribution should be joined as PDF. The failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days will effectively cancel the grant. Please note that the COST Association can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by ITC applicants and grantees.

(Please note that the COST Association can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants).


…please add the following acknowledgement in your paper/presentation:
“Part of this work was supported by the COST Action CA18130 ENFORCE-TXRF”
Send a copy of the article, abstract or other to the ITC Conference Grant Manager and the Action Chair



Ursula Fittschen

Host Institution
Insitute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry
Clausthal University of Technology
Arnold-Sommerfeld-Strasse 4 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany


Our research topics:
The working group has expertise in micro-analysis, elemental analysis in 2D and 3D and elemental speciation. We develop methods for elemental and element species characterization of components used for energy storage and characterization of secondary raw materials. We are especially interested in processes that lead to a change in elemental distribution and species. Current projects focus on the characterization of engineered artificial minerals in recycling slags and transport phenomena in polymer electrolyte membranes used in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries. The work group has a prototype T-star (Bruker nano)  TXRF equipped with a Mo- and a W-anode tube and the capacity for GIXRF, a S2 Picofox TXRF, a laboratory based XANES and XES spectrometer EasyXES100, a flame and a GF-AAS. Furthermore,  he group has excess to ICP-OES and XRD instrumentation.

Proposed topics and schedule

  • our offer to host a STSM is open to unsolicited research proposals, however we are also looking for a candidate to work with us on the following projects:
  • Determination of gas phase Hg using TXRF investigation of different nanoscopic Ag species with respect to Hg capture efficiency study the influence of the physical and chemical structure of microscopic Hg-AgNP specimens on the TXRF analysis
  • Evaluation of suspension assisted TXRF for the analysis of slags. The main emphasize is to study the stability of suspension using different stabilizers and reagents, the lateral distribution of dried deposits, the in depth distribution of dried deposits and the elemental loss during preparation.

The STSM should at least have a duration of a week, longer stays are encouraged. The date should be determined by host and incoming researcher.


Janos Osan

Host Institution
Environmental Physics Department
Centre for Energy Research
Konkoly-Thege M. ut 29-33, H-1121 Budapest, Hungary


Our research group has also access to ICP-OES and IC instrumentation.

The department focuses on multidisciplinary research in the field of environmental impact of energy fuel cycles. Experimental research (involving X-ray spectrometry) is related to fine and ultrafine atmospheric aerosols and final disposal of nuclear waste. Another main topic is numerical simulation of the biological effects of ionising radiation.
The department has an XRF laboratory with possibilities of micro-XRF and TXRF investigations. The TXRF machine consists of a 50-W Mo-anode X-ray tube, multilayer monochromator and sample alignment unit (WOBImodule, TUWien ATI, Vienna, Austria) and works in air. Three SDDs and a Si(Li) detector are available. The equipment is suitable to perform measurements on 20mmx20mm Si wafers or standard 30 mm quartz reflectors. Optical microscopes are available for visualizing the samples. The trainee will have access to the chemical laboratory, in addition to standard pipetting systems a nanoliter injector is available for preparation of calibration samples. The atmospheric particles will be sampled directly on Si wafer reflector surfaces using a dedicated cascade impactor.

Proposed topics and schedule

  • The Environmental Physics Department has several aerosol sampling campaigns in Hungary, involving cascade-impactors intended for TXRF analysis of size-fractionated samples. The STSM candidate can assist in TXRF measurements of aerosol particles deposited on Si wafers and related data evaluation. Recommended STSM duration is two weeks, schedule depends on the availability of the candidate. 

    Our research group is also open to accept an STSM candidate with own proposal and samples for TXRF measurements.


Dariusz Banaś

Host Institution
Department of Atomic Physics and Nanophysics (Institute of Physics) and Center for Research & Analysis (Faculty of Natural Sciences),
Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce
Uniwersytecka 7, 25-406 Kielce, Poland


The research activity of group from Department of Atomic Physics and Nanophysics (Institute of Physics, UJK) and Center for Research & Analysis (Faculty of Natural Sciences, UJK) covers issues related to the use of various spectroscopic and diffraction techniques (WDXRF, TXRF, microCT, XRD, XRR, XPS) for analysis of medical, biological and environmental samples. The extensive experience of the group members is confirmed by numerous scientific publications, participation in many research projects, aimed at commercialization of scientific results and cooperation with industry, as well as certificates of the Polish Center for Accreditation (member of IAF, ILAC and EA). The group’s laboratory (CR&A) has accreditation (No. AB 1622, ISO/IEC 17025:2017 norm) for determining the elemental composition of water and purified wastewater using self-developed procedure for total reflection X-ray fluorescence technique (TXRF), and for elemental analysis of soil samples using wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence method (WDXRF). The laboratory regularly performs analyzes of medical, biological and environmental samples for external stakeholders using the available techniques. In addition, the laboratory collaborates closely with the Holy Cross Cancer Center (HCC) in Kielce. Within Physical Methods Department, joint scientific and research unit of the UJK and the HCC, the group members perform, using the TXRF technique, routine measurements of trace elements in human biological material (serum, urine, hair, cancer tissue) of the Center patients with various diseases.

Proposed topics and schedule

  • The STSM candidate can assist in routine and standardized TXRF measurements (including sample preparation procedure, measurement with Picofox S2 system, spectra evaluation, error analysis and final report preparation) of various medical samples. Recommended STSM duration is two weeks. This possibility is related to the objectives of WG3 group and BIOMEDIAG subgroup.
  • The STSM candidate can visit to laboratory accredited for TXRF analysis of water and soil samples and become familiar with the rules defined in the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard “General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories”. Recommended STSM duration is two weeks. This possibility is related to the objectives of WG2 and WG3 group.