What is COST?
COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Co-operation in Science and Technology. It funds pan-European, bottom-up networks, called ‘COST Actions’ of European researchers, engineers and scholars across all disciplines. Cost Actions are are open throughout their lifetime to new members and are adaptable in terms of internal organisation and strategy. These networks intend to coordinate nationally funded research activities throughout Europe, thereby reducing fragmentation of investment and contributing to the European Research Area (ERA) agenda. COST draws the funds for its activities from Horizon 2020, and the new strategy plan has much in common with H2020 goals. COST Actions are an instrument to close the gap between science, policy makers and society throughout Europe and beyond. COST funds networking activities; it does not fund research.
Enable breakthrough scientific developments leading to new concepts and products.
COST Excellence and Inclusiveness: Strengthening of excellence through cross-border networking; promoting geographical, age and gender balance, with special attention to less research-intensive Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC).
COST International Cooperation: cooperation between researchers from COST Member Countries, COST Near Neighbour Countries (NNCs) 7 and COST International Partner Countries (IPCs).
Industrial dimension: Collaborations between researchers and business with focus on SMEs.
COST Actions can pave the way to or establish synergies with EU-funded research projects. Especially younger researchers (“Early Career Investigators“) with less established network may benefit from participating in a COST Action.
The financial support averages EUR 130 000 per year for a four-year period. A minimum participation of five eligible countries is required. Meetings, Training Schools, Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs), and dissemination activities are funded.
COST Open Call is a one-stage submission process and two collection dates and two cycles of evaluation/selection/approval per year (next: 24 March). Researchers can participate in two ways:
1) submit proposals for new COST Actions through a continuous open call
2) join one of the 300 or so COST Actions already in operation.
The concept of a COST Action.
Nationally funded (or to be funded – dotted line) research Projects are coordinated towards a common goal. WG=Working Group