European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Actions

The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is an EU-funded programme which provides researchers and innovators with funding to set up interconnected, interdisciplinary and collaborative research networks in Europe and beyond.

By focusing on and funding these network activities, COST Actions supports investigators from the academic and non-academic sectors in setting up their individual research networks to investigate a research topic of their choice for four years.

According to the COST Association, proposals for collaborative research projects submitted to EU framework programmes – such as Horizon Europe – which follow COST Actions, have significantly higher success rates in these programmes.

What is funded by COST?

COST Actions provide funding for networking activities in a wide range of scientific topics within the research networks, such as organising:

  • conferences
  • meetings
  • training schools
  • short scientific exchanges
  • other networking activities in a wide range of scientific topics

The aim of these activities is to support the research network in targeting complex ideas in a concerted and targeted approach.

COST does not fund basic research.

Who can be funded by COST?

Researchers and innovators from the academic and non-academic sectors, from all research fields, can participate in a COST Action. This includes:

  • universities
  • research institutions
  • SMEs
  • NGOs
  • industry
  • public institutions
  • other relevant organisations

Researchers can apply at any stage of their career.

Eligibility of the UK to participate

COST is an intergovernmental framework consisting of more than 40 Full Member States, 1 Cooperating Member State (Israel) and 1 Partner Member State (South Africa), and is separate from the Horizon Europe programme. Investigators from these countries can freely participate in COST Actions.

As the UK is a COST Full Member, UK-based researchers and innovators are fully eligible to apply to and participate in COST Actions, regardless of the UK’s status in Horizon Europe.

UK-based scientists and innovators will be reimbursed for their participation in:

  • all COST Action networking activities (meetings, conferences, Training Schools
  • short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs), and virtual mobility grants
  • COST-organised activities, such as COST Academy training

UK-based scientists and innovators are eligible to:

  • be a main or secondary proposer in the COST Open Call for new Actions
  • hold all leadership positions in ongoing Actions
  • host the Grant for a COST Action grant at their institution

Last updated: 28 June 2023

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