BNMI Short Term Scientific Missions

BNMI Short Term Scientific Missions (STMS) Program:

The STSM program will strategically contribute to the BNMI scientific aim of maximizing image-based research outputs by enabling 1) collaborations on innovative imaging methods, 2) access to imaging technology for scientists lacking them locally, and 3) knowledge transfer to support careers and regional development.

Funding, Execution and Duration – STSMs can have a duration of between 5 days and a month. The financial support on offer is a contribution to the travel and accommodation expenses incurred during the STSM. The cost of research materials or microscopes fees is not eligible for consideration as part of the grant.

The following funding conditions apply and must be respected: A STSM grant usually covers travel and accommodation and is paid in the form of a Grant. The financial support granted by a STSM is a contribution to the costs of the project/mission and may not necessarily cover all the costs. In general, grants will represent a maximum contribution of about 8 500 NOK from BNMI to the applicant. Please, note that the STSM grant will be paid to the successful applicants on completion of the STSM and after evaluation of the final STSM report.

Please note: The STSM is not targeted to ” full service “, but should rather support scientists in a collaborative way to develop tools and knowledge to perform their own work in biological imaging.

Eligible ‘Home-&-Host’ Combinations – Applicant and Host Imaging Core Facility:

  • The applicant must be engaged in an official research program as post-graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or research staff, or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an institution or legal entity in the Nordic countries, which has within its remit a clear association with performing research.
  • The BNMI Host imaging core facilities: Host imaging core facilities can be located anywhere in Nordic countries. Applicants typically agree with the imaging core facility of their choice to host the mission. Please, note that the applicant is responsible for choosing and contacting the hosting imaging core facility and for organizing the application process. 

Registration and deadlines – Applications may be submitted according to the schedules stipulated by the BNMI Board, bearing in mind that delays must be considered for the assessment and administrative procedures. The application should be sent to the Mobility grant coordinators at least 4 weeks before the mission starts.


The steps to apply are straightforward: 

Step 1 – Formal STSM application and annexes

  1. Obtain a written agreement of the hosting imaging core facility before applying & submit to the coordinators with the other documents listed below (Letters of support from the Home and the Host institution) 
  2. Submit a Detailed work plan / project description 
  3. Submit a Motivation letter
  4. Submit a short CV with list of publications (if applicable)

Please contact the BNMI Mobility Grant Coordinators, Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez ( and Sigurður Rúnar Guðmundsso( for further questions.

Step 2 – Assessment of the STSM

Upon each STSM Call Closing date, the BNMI STSM Evaluation Committee will perform the scientific and budgetary assessment of the applications and the previously defined evaluation criteria. The committee will also define an acceptable funding level for the approved applications. The amount of the awarded Grant can never be higher than what the applicant requested. 

If the application is rejected, the Evaluators and the BNMI Mobility grant coordinators must provide a justification to guide the applicant in her/his resubmission.

STSMs selection criteria

  1. The application serves the goal of fostering collaboration among the Nordic countries in the field biological imaging strengthening the existing networks by allowing (i) Early Career Investigators (ECI*), PhD students, postdocs, and (ii) experienced Imaging Scientists to visit an imaging core facility in another Nordic Country.
  2. The STSM serves for the exchange of know-how, meaning that researchers either exchange expertise due to the planned scientific visit, get practical skills by learning unique “technology” not available in their home institution and/or learn new theoretical methods or experimental approaches
  3. The scientific quality of the proposed STSM is high, its timeliness is justified, and the work plan for its realization is well founded.
  4. The application should be financially justified meaning that the estimate of expenses is reasonable.


  • Relevance of the STSM goals with BNMI objectives (25 %)
  • Relevance of the Hosting imaging core facility expertise to support the STSM goals (15 %)
  • Realistic goals of the project as compared to its targeted duration (20 %)
  • The STSM serves the goal of fostering collaboration in the Field biological imaging (10 %)
  • Life Scientists evolving in a research Lab: Potential for publication and/or dissemination of the results. Scientific relevance and timeliness (30%)

Criteria considered for final decision after evaluation 

  • If the applicant was involved in a previous BNMI STSM.
  • Geographical distribution of applicants across the same STSM call.
  • If applicant is Early Career Investigator or PhD student.
  • Gender balance across the same STSM Call.

*An applicant can be considered as being an ECI when the time that has elapsed between the award date of the applicant’s PhD and the date of the applicant’s first involvement in the BNMI does not exceed 8 years.

Step 3 – Final Report after the STSM

Formal final report after the STSM

Successful applicants must submit a scientific report to the hosting imaging core facility and to the STSM Coordinators within 20 days from the end date of the STSM. The applicant will be responsible for acquiring from the Head/Director affiliated to the hosting imaging core facility confirmation of formal acceptance of the scientific report. The report should describe:

  • Purpose of the visit (Statement of the project aim(s) and objectives).
  • Description of the work carried out (Describe the work that was undertaken).
  • Future collaboration with hosting imaging core facility (Describe any likely follow-on work with the hosting facility arising from the visit- if applicable).
  • Projected publications/articles resulting or to result from the STSM (Mention any publications that may arise from the visit – if applicable).
  • Confirmation by the host of the successful execution of the mission (Provide a brief affirmation by the Host Head/Director -with their signature- that the STSM was carried out successfully. It can be included in the report or as a separate accompanying document).
  • Other comments (if any).

No payment will be made from the BNMI Hub until this report is submitted. The scientific report will also require the final approval of Mobility grant coordinators in order to affect the payment of the Grant.

NOTE: Publications resulting from STSM activities should acknowledge BNMI support.

Successful applicants will be asked to submit a brief of the STSM outputs for the BNMI’s website describing in summary the scientific report which will also be made available online and be prepared to participate in the BNMI’s events with a poster about their STSM when applicable or when requested by the STSM coordinators.

A brief synopsis for the BNMI website containing

  • Name
  • Institution
  • Hosting imaging core facility
  • Research Interest (one sentence) 
  • Summary of research completed in STSM (<400 words) 
  • Wider benefit of the STSM to the participant (<200 words) 
  • Key Outputs 
  • If possible, please include a photograph of you alongside your collaborators and a short quote describing your experience
  • A Poster on the STSM when attending BNMI events or when called upon by the Action Chair or STSM Coordinator