COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Support and Coordination of Research Initiatives in Europe and Beyond

COST is one of the most important pillars promoting research cooperation across Europe alongside Horizon 2020, and thus forms a cornerstone of the European Research Area. COST Actions support thematic networks of researchers and facilitate the mutual exchange of ideas as well as improved coordination of research activities including the dissemination of relevant results. COST also provides a valuable opportunity to involve young or early stage researchers in thematic networks and to contribute towards their training and education through tailored activities.
Owner of programme / investor
  • EU und COST
Target group -
Topic Society, Information technology, Human resources, Life sciences, Materials and production, Mobility, Environment and energy, Further issues
Type of service Funding, Networking
Förderinstrument Finanzierung
FFG Unit of organisation European and international programmes
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Establishing and supporting networks
COST creates networks and thus bundles nationally-funded research initiatives in so-called COST Actions. The actions provide funding for scientific events (e.g. workshops, training schools and conferences), cover relevant travel expenses (Short-Term Scientific Missions, Management Committee meetings etc.) and fund publications. COST does not fund research itself but fosters the infrastructure essential for enabling researchers (from science and industry) from all over Europe and the World to share expertise and collaborate. The strong involvement of young or early stage researchers as well as certain so-called Inclusiveness Target Countries are of key concern under COST.

(No) thematic focus
COST is a research programme open to all fields. Actions from all scientific fields are covered under the programme and frequently involve a multidisciplinary and/or an interdisciplinary approach.

Who can participate?
COST is open to all researchers across all fields of science and technology. An important requirement for a funding proposal is a nationally-funded research initiative (such as contract research, funding from research promotion funds, private funding by companies, equity funding and/or any other funding). A total of 36 European countries (including all 28 EU Member States) and one Cooperating State (Israel) currently participate in COST. COST also supports cooperation with research institutions from so-called Near Neighbour Countries and International Partner Countries.

How can I participate?
COST invites researchers to submit project proposals through a continuous Open Call (with 2 collection dates per year).  Following evaluation of these proposals, between 70 and 100 new COST Actions are funded per year for a period of 4 years. The average funding provided amounts to 130,000 euros per year per Action. Researchers may also apply to join existing COST Actions.

As of February 2015, there are a total of 306 COST Actions, involving researchers from science and industry from an average of 24 countries.