The International Training Schools currently being planned as part of CA18211 are important to build capacity amongst researchers and clinicians. It is vital that health researchers build an evidence base for assessing and treating birth related trauma in order that care for women and families is optimised.

We are keen to hear from all our members and particularly from early career researchers. Tell us what type of training you require! Do you need training in relation to specific research methodologies? Do you need skills and training in relation to assessing or measuring trauma? Do you wish to know more about trauma informed care or epigenetics or nutrigenomics? The first Training School will take place in February 2021, do let us know what you require.

Please email ideas or suggestions to (Chair, International Training Committee CA 18211 )

Short Term Scientific Mission

What Are STSMs?

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) are exchange visits aimed at supporting researchers’ individual mobility, strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration. STSMs are intended especially, but not solely, for young researchers.

An STSM should specifically contribute to the scientific objectives of the COST Action while enabling those partaking in the missions to establish new partnerships, learn new techniques, gain access to specific data, instruments and/or methods not available in their own institutions/organisations.

Who can apply?

STSMs are open to Early Career and Advanced Career Researchers, including PhDs and Postdocs. STSMs must be performed between COST countries – researchers cannot apply for an STSM within their own country.

Awards throughout the annual grant period will be made to support scientific excellence and to support a variety of researchers in terms of gender, career stage, affiliation, and nationality.

What can you apply for?

You can apply for a Short Term Scientific Missions duration between 5 and 90 days (and up to 180 days if the applicant is an ECR). The STSM will be a fixed grant to cover part of the travel expenses and living allowance. The cost of research materials is not eligible for consideration as part of the grant.

Please note that the awarded grant will be paid only after the STSM has been completed – therefore the applicant must have approval and prior financial support e.g., from their own institution.

How can you apply?

For a step-by-step guide to applying for an STSM and the criteria by which STSM applications will be assessed, please see here.

STSM awards may be combined with other funding sources, but these must be acknowledged in the application.
In your application, you will have to describe the goal of the proposed STSM, how it contributes to the scientific remit of the COST Action “SharingAndCaring”, the planned expenses and the outputs planned as result of the STSM. For ECIs, two support letters by advanced career researchers will be required.

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

For further queries please contact the STSM committee at

STSM Awards

2020 Awards

Julie Horgan, Midwife

Why does Sweden have a lower Cesarean Section rate?

Julie was awarded an STSM to visit a member university to learn why Sweden had such a low C-section rate compared to Ireland. You can read more about Julie’s learning journey here.

IOL rates in Sweden are lower than in Ireland and other European countries. The rate of inductions in a Dublin based hospital, in 2018 was 33.4%. Nationally labour induction rates in Sweden were 22.1% in 2015. The aim of this STSM research was to obtain information regarding current practice in Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg of protocols and guidelines for IOL.

From Trinity College Dublin, Ireland to University of Gothenburg, Sweden


Throughout the year CA18211 organises a series of meet-ups and training events for seasoned academics and Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The Network actively encourages experienced professionals to mentor ECRs to build future capacity in the delivery of better care.

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Times are GMT/Icelandic

Cheryl Beck

Keynote address by Cheryl Beck entitled:

‘Birth trauma: The ever widening ripple effect’