Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM)

STSMs are exchange visits of researchers to the institutes of the community members to perform some specific studies or experiments, thereby enabling mutual enhancement of expertise and experience.

Eligible Applicants
  • postgraduate student
  • post-doc fellow
  • faculty member

of a partner institution of the Action having signed the MoU.

Host institution

Any partner institution of the Action having signed the MoU a non-COST country (exceptional cases).


1 week (5 working days) to 3 months

  • Electronic form (contact:
  • CV + Work Plan + Budget Request
  • Assessment by the MC/Assessment Panel
  • COST Scientific Officer (4 weeks prior to the mission starts)
  • Max. 2500 Euro (for 3 months)
  • Daily allowance
  • Travel: 300 Euro

More information about STMS procedure can be downloaded from the official COST web site at: [STMS procedure .pdf, 1.2 Mb]

STSMs implemented under MAUSE:
Regina Bernhaupt's STSM

ICT&S-Center, Universität Salzburg. Salzburg, Austria

Formal Methods and User Testing? Antithesis or Synergy?

Can formal methods support traditional user testing? What are the connection points between these two branches of HCI? To clear these central questions Regina Bernhaupt spent four weeks during February 2006 at IRIT, University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France.

The LIIHS research group (lead by Philippe Palanque with their members Remi Bastide, David Navarre, Marco Winckler, ...) is currently working on formal models for multimodal interfaces. Regina's background is in traditional user testing for all kinds of interaction techniques and ethnographic studies. The goal of the stay was to develop a new usability evaluation method in the intersection of formal methods and methods for evaluation user experiences.

The results of this stay are a book chapter on combining formal methods and traditional methods for evaluating multimodal interfaces (MMI) and a publication accepted at the SpaceOps Conference 2006. Another outcome is the participation of the University of Salzburg, ICT&S Center, HCI & Usability Unit in the project IMAGE (development of multimodal interfaces) in 2006, to test the newly developed method.

The visit in Toulouse was a good opportunity to connect to branches of HCI normally not working closely together. I hope that this cooperation will lead to the development of new evaluation methods suitable not only for multimodal interfaces. Thanks to the team for the nice support, for their efforts in communicating in English with me and all their help to make it a pleasant stay for me. And of course ... thanks to Marco, for introducing us to one of the best locations for crepes.

Svetlena Taneva's STSM

ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

How can medical systems design learn from Air-Traffic control systems design?

This was the question which lead me to LIIHS at University Toulouse 3 in France. I learned about the design and usability evaluation methodologies being developed at LIIHS for Air Traffic Control systems, and safety-critical systems in general. Then, together with the local team, we explored the idea of transferring and modifying these methodologies to tailor them to the medical domain. The key area we focused on was model-driven software engineering that accounts for potential human error and communication breakdown. Specifically, we looked at how one can incorporate knowledge about errors into the design of a system in order to produce a more error-tolerant and safer medical application.

We applied our ideas to a case study - the adverse events reports associated with a telemetry patient monitoring system made by a major medical manufacturer. We showed how our approach could have predicted and prevented numerous adverse events. Over the last thirty months, 19 out of 21 reports about this system submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience database (MAUDE) are associated with communication breakdowns; 89% of the breakdowns resulted in a life-threatening situation or in the patient's death. This could have been avoided. An adverse event minded approach to design would have contributed to a safer and more error tolerant telemetry system.

Our cooperation continues beyond my short stay in Toulouse - we are currently writing a paper with our results. Overall, it was a great learning experience and a very productive visit. My thanks to MAUSE for making this possible!