COST (European Cooperation in Scientific and Technical Research) funds primarily the so-called COST Actions – international networks that connect researchers from both the academic and private sector and focus on a particular research topic. These networks are open – new participants can join an already approved and ongoing COST Action. COST encourages interdisciplinarity and participation of young researchers.
COST Actions are often recommended as an excellent tool for building international research contacts.
COST Actions funds only “networking” activities (e.g. meetings, workshops and conferences, short-term scientific missions, training schools, virtual mobility...), but not research itself. Duration of a COST Action is 4 years.
There is usually 1 deadline each year for the submission of proposals of new COST Actions. Proposals are submitted electronically via the portal e-COST.
Minimal requirements for a new COST Action:
- At least 7 Full or Cooperating Member Countries must participate in a proposal.
- At least 50% of the participating countries must be the so-called “Inclusiveness Target Countries” (ITCs) – Czechia is one of these.
Czech researchers involved in a proposal that is successful must consequently go through the Czech national procedure of joining a COST Action.
Open call for proposals of new Actions on the COST website.
If you participate in a proposal of a new COST Action, please, inform the head of your department and the Project Management Department (Martina Holíková, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Follow also the Funding opportunities news, where internal guidelines and deadlines are announced.
There are several ways, how to participate in a COST Action:
- As a Management Committee Member – maximally 2 can be nominated from each country.
- As a working group member.
- As an ad-hoc participant of an event or activity organised by the Action.
How to join
- Researcher can apply to join an Action as a Working Group member via e-COST. It is possible to join an approved Action in this way from publication of the Action’s Memorandum of Understanding in the database of COST Actions until the end of the Action (duration of an Action is usually 4 years).
- Within this application, it’s possible to express the interest to become an Action Management Committee Member. Management Committee Members are nominated by the COST National Coordinator, who needs a tacit validation by the Action’s Management Committee. The Czech COST National Coordinator is affiliated to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT).
- Researchers from Czech institutions who want to participate in a COST Action as a Management Committee Member (or participate in another way and be eligible for funding from the Czech programme Inter-COST) must also go through the Czech national procedure of joining a COST Action.
- Participation as an ad-hoc participant of an activity carried out by the Action is subject to invitation by the Action’s Management Committee. When such opportunities (e.g. trainings) are open to those interested, it is probably announced by the Action e.g. on its website.
- Within each COST Action, there is one legal entity selected to be the Grant Holder.
- The Grant Holder distributes directly (via e-COST) to individual participants (people) the financial contributions to cover their travelling and other eligible costs connected with their participation in the activities of the Action.
- If e.g. a workshop or a summer school is organised by the Action, the institution organising such an event receives from the Grant Holder a financial contribution from the budget of the Action.
- It may happen that the budget of the Action isn’t sufficient to cover travel costs of all participants of an event organised by the Action. In such a case, (some) participants must cover their travel costs from their own resources.
See also Annotated rules for COST Actions.
But if you find it difficult to discover any useful answers there, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Oh, COST Vademecum, you are sorely missed!
This procedure must be followed by researchers from Czech institutions who want to participate in a COST Action as a Management Committee Member or participate in another way and be eligible to apply for funding from the Czech programme Inter-COST (see below). This applies to those who participated in a successful proposal of a new COST Action as well as to those who are joining an ongoing Action.
Following documents must be sent to the Czech COST National Coordinator (at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports – MŠMT):
- (1) Partial COST project (form) describing how the research of the Czech participant will contribute to or fit into the scheme of the particular COST Action. The partial project must bear the stamp and signature of the legal representative of the institution to which the Czech participant is affiliated.
- (2) Letter of agreement (template) with this partial project from the Action Chair (in case of an ongoing Action) or from the Main Proposer (in case of a newly approved Action).
About COST on MŠMT website (in Czech)
– including a description of the Czech national procedure of joining a COST Action
(“Procedura přijímání projektu COST v ČR”).
Contact point for this national procedure at the Faculty of Science: Romana Hogenová.
Researchers from Czech institutions that are successfully involved in a COST Action and have gone through the Czech national procedure are eligible to apply for research funding from the Czech programme Inter-Excelence II, sub-programme Inter-COST.
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Last update: 3. 8. 2023