COST /European COoperation in Science and Technology is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1971. It is the longest-running European framework supporting international cooperation between researchers and scientists.
COST provides support for enhancing international coordination of nationally funded research through funding, networks of scientists and researchers created in different scientific and technological fields. These networks are called “COST Actions”. COST currently consists of 41 mainly European countries as full members, including Greece as its founding member, one associate member (Israel) and one partner member (South Africa) (https://www.cost.eu/about/members/). COST Actions are open to researchers from universities, public and private research institutes, as well as to non-governmental organisations, industry and SMEs
By Ministerial Decision adopted unanimously by representatives of the Governments of all COST member countries, the COST Association, based in Brussels, was established on September 19, 2013 , in order to provide legal basis for the implementation of COST actions.
COST actions are implemented through a range of networking tools, such as meetings, working groups, conferences, workshops, publications, short-term scientific missions and dissemination activities. COST finances all the above activities. It does not fund research per se.
The COST mandate consists in reducing fragmentation of European research investment and promoting international cooperation in the context of the European Research Area (ERA). COST has a significant role in building the Economic Research Area, since it complements EU framework programme actions, promotes researcher mobility and fosters scientific excellence in virtually all fields, without exception.
The benefits for the Greek researchers involved are multiple. Among them, the enhancement of extroversion and added value through European networking with groups and laboratories of other countries, the accessibility to important data and infrastructure, the expansion of postgraduate education possibilities, etc. Participation in COST Actions has been shown to pave the way for access to other EU-funded programmes including Horizon Europe programmes.
Moreover, by focusing on a younger generation, COST makes it easier for young researchers to set up COST Actions in their field of interest using its signature bottom-up approach. According to recent data, in 2022 Greece’s participation in existing actions reaches 98% of the total actions of COST, while the participation in leadership positions reaches 78% of the total actions of COST. COST funding to Greek scientists amounts to 947,432.35 euros, while the number of Greek researchers who participated in COST actions amounts to 707 (353 women and 348 men). The participation of the country’s early career investigators in networking activities amounts to 306.
National participation in existing Actions % (2015-2021) and leadership positions (2017-2021)
Participation of women, men and young scientists in all COST activities
Detailed information on participation in COST Actions is available at the COST website (http://www.cost.eu). Also on page https://www.cost.eu/cost-actions/what-are-cost-actions/ information is given on the features of all active COST Actions.
The management of the approved COST Actions and the scientific subject is exercised by the Management Committee (MC) of each Action. Up to (2) two regular members from each Member State participate in each Action. These members shall be appointed by the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI) at the request of the persons concerned, as explained below.
Participation in an existing COST Action:
Candidate researchers must send to the GSRI from their professional e-mail, a request to participate in the Management Committee of the Action they are interested in, accompanied by the necessary supporting documents (application form, information document– to be found attached, and one-page CV).The basic conditions that must be met are:
a) Candidates must conduct research as employed or affiliated with a research institution or HEI (postgraduate scholars, postdocs, active researchers and faculty members)
b) Research activities of candidates must be relevant to the COST Action in which they wish to participate;
c) priority participation of young scientists (who have obtained their doctorate in the last eight years) as well as women.
As a formal requirement, interested parties must be registered in the Register of Evaluators of the General Secretariat of General Secretariat (https://registry.gsrt.gr/).
Selection is based on the chronological order in which applications and supporting documents are submitted. However, additional, substantial criteria are also taken into account, including a) papers published by candidates over the last five years, b) priority given to younger scientists (i.e. having obtained their degree in the last 8 years) over older ones, c) a balanced gender representation, d) MC members should be affiliated to different organizations, etc
The GSRI reserves the right to suspend at any time an MC Committee member after receiving written complaints from the Action Chair or Main Proposer concerning non-participation of such member in Action meetings and activities. In special and extraordinary circumstances, following a request by the Action managers, the GSRI may replace nominated MC members with other candidates more suited to the Action, based on the COST principle that participation in a COST Action should always be based on the suitability of the candidate.
In order to allow participation of more candidates in COST Actions, and due to the fact that a single person cannot assume the responsibilities required by many ongoing Actions, regular members are henceforth allowed to participate is no more than two (2) running Actions, with the exception of secondary proposers invited by the main proposer, who must obligatorily be nominated in the Action MC.
The scientific objectives of each COST Action are divided among Working Groups –(WG). Regular MC Members are usually designated as WG members. Additional WG members may be nominated by a member country, including Greece, following approval of the Action Management Committee and after lodging an online application through the COST platform.
Participation in a new COST Action:
A Greek researcher wishing to participate in a new COST Action must be a member of a team of researchers affiliated to organizations from at least 7 different COST member countries and sharing a common scientific idea that could be developed into a COST Action proposal. Proposals may be prepared and submitted on a continuous basis using the e-COST online submission tool and the dates for submission of proposals are set annually. Please read carefully the guidelines available at http://www.cost.eu/participate/open_call . For any scientific field, only the 15-page full proposal (Technical Annex) is to be submitted. It must be pointed out, that according to the new COST policy under Horizon Europe, particular importance should be attached, among others, to a) participation of the so-called “Inclusiveness Target Countries” (ITCs), i.e. less research-intensive COST countries (including Greece, Eastern Europe, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, etc.) and b) whether the proposal achieves “geographical, age and gender balance in its activities and operations”.
Once approved, the proposal becomes a COST Action with a new code number and the main proposer is nominated by priority as member of the Management Committee by the GSRI. Secondary Proposers having contributed to the preparation of the proposal are also given priority as MC members. If, after nomination of the main and secondary proposers, there are still vacancies to be filled, other stakeholders fulfilling the above conditions may be nominated.
Filled-in forms (application and information document) as well as the one-page CV for participation in a COST running Action must be addressed by e-mail to Mrs Georgia Kostopoulou (email@example.com)
Cost National Coordinator / Representative: Georgia Kostopoulou
International Scientific & Technological Cooperation Directorate
European Union and International Organizations Department
COST National Representative: Ioannis. G. Bartzis
University of Western Macedonia
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Environmental Technology Laboratory
Bakola and Sialvera
50 100 Kozani
Tel. no: +30 24610 56710, +30 6940 850 470