The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is the EC funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions. Ideas for the Actions come from researchers according to the COST bottom-up approach. You can propose the creation of the network based on your own research interests and ideas – in all science fields.
COST funding exclusively covers collaboration activities, such as workshops, conferences, working group meetings, training schools, short-term scientific missions, and dissemination and communication activities. COST is open to research institutes, universities, small and medium enterprises, industry, public institutions and other relevant organisations or interested parties. COST action runs for 4 years, and on average 31 countries and tens or hundreds of persons participate in a COST Action. COST does not cover research activity itself, instead, it creates conditions for the idea generation and formation of a research consortium that will apply for other national or international research funds.
There are 41 members of COST, as well as 1 Cooperating Member and 1 Partner Member. The 41 COST Member Countries are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, The Republic of North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom. The Cooperating Member is Israel and the Partner Member is South Africa. If you are located in a non-COST country – you are still welcome to participate by joining a running COST Action, become a member of a proposing team for a new COST Action, or work as an external expert.
There are two ways to participate in a COST Action:
- Apply to the annual COST Open Call as a member of a proposing team for a new COST Action.
For this application you should use e-COST, the dedicated grant management tool, and follow the instructions of the Documents and Guidelines. The submission deadline in 2023 is 25th October,
- Join a running COST Action.
Find the COST Action you are interested in the general list. Once you know the Action, choose the participation form.
If you wish to join the Action for a long period, apply to become a Working Group member and/or a Management Committee (MC) member (in the latter case contact the COST National Coordinator (CNC) of your country). Membership is free of charge, and requires registration via e-COST specific for each Action.
If you are interested only in a particular event such as a Training School, Short-term Scientific Mission, workshop, conference, etc. – you can request to participate in it without becoming a Working Group member. Selected events are presented at the central COST portal, but more events and information can be found at the Action web-sites.
If you want to develop a COST proposal and need some help, or already have prepared a COST proposal and want to have an independent review before the submission, or have any other questions – feel free to contact us.
If you want to know more about the COST application process and participation in COST Actions, consider the following resources:
- The COST portal
- Documents and Guidelines
- The COST Youtube channel (including a series of short interviews like the interview with Dr. Emmanuel Pasco-Viel)
- Young researchers share their personal experience of COST
- COST Info Day 2020
- COST Open Info Day 2021
- COST Info Day 2023
- How to submit COST Action research to Open Research Europe
- Subprogram COST Innovators Grant (12 month duration, aims to enhance the pace and success of breakthrough innovations developed during the main COST program)
Image: The COST portal, with modifications