COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology
Pan-European networks for the coordination of research activities
The funding programme COST supports scientific cooperation and coordination throughout Europe.
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding programme that encourages networking of scientific and technological research activities throughout Europe and beyond. COST is funded mainly through the European Framework Programmes.
Switzerland is one of the founding countries of COST and a full member of the COST Association. Thanks to this status, researchers in Switzerland are entitled to participate in COST Actions or to coordinate them and submit applications for new Actions. Thus, scientists based in Switzerland are fully eligible for all COST activities and for reimbursement of their related expenses.
Researchers and innovators affiliated with any public or private institution, in all disciplines of science and technology and at any stage of their career can participate.
By means of bottom-up and open scientific networks, known as COST Actions, COST supports networking activities, such as meetings, conferences, short-term exchanges, training schools or dissemination of scientific knowledge. Funding for research projects associated with COST Actions is provided by national sources, such as the SNSF.
COST follows three strategic priorities:
- Promoting and spreading excellence
- Fostering interdisciplinary research for breakthrough science
- Empowering and retaining young researchers and innovators
Through COST Actions, COST aims to strengthen Europe’s capacity to address scientific, technological and societal challenges. The Actions involve on average scientists from 28 different full or cooperating members of the COST Association. Actions last 4 years and each receive funding of about EUR 130’000 per year for networking activities and collaboration.
The following options for participation are available in the framework of COST:
- Participating in an ongoing COST Action
- Submitting to COST a proposal for a new COST Action
- Submitting to the SNSF a proposal for a research project associated with an ongoing COST Action in the call for COST Projects in Switzerland
Participating in COST - 3 possibilities
Participating in an ongoing COST Action
The COST website features a database of all COST Actions with a short description, a list of members in the Management Committee (MC), a list of members in the Working Groups and a Memorandum of Understanding (containing the proposal for the Action). To participate in an ongoing COST Action, you can first contact participants in the Action for further information about the planned activities.
Participation in a Working Group of an Action can be decided directly with the Working Group leaders of the Action and there is no need to contact the SNSF. For new COST Actions, please follow the steps described in the document below “Document on the steps to follow to become a member of a Working Group”. For former COST Actions, please contact directly the group responsible for the Action.
For each COST Action, two Management Committee member positions are available. To participate in the Management Committee of an Action, please follow the steps below:
- Contact the Chair of the Action to inform her/him of your interest in participating in the Management Committee. Ask the Chair to confirm the possibility of your participating in the Action’s Management Committee.
- Contact the COST national coordinators (CNCs) at the SNSF (firstname.lastname@example.org), so that the SNSF can nominate you in a straightforward procedure. To launch the nomination procedure, please send your CNCs at the SNSF the following documents via email@example.com: your CV, a statement of interest describing your motivation and your intended contribution to the Action (template provided below), and the confirmation obtained from the Chair of the Action.
No statement of interest or confirmation by the Chair of the Action is needed from proposers (applicants) of the COST Action.
Submitting to COST a proposal for a new COST Action
The proposal for a new Action needs to be jointly prepared by scientists or innovators from at least seven different COST full member or cooperating states, of which at least half need to be inclusiveness target countries (ITCs or widening countries). Researchers, engineers and scholars from any legal entity (institute of technology, university, university of applied sciences, research centre and company, in particular SME, and legal entity such as NGO) based in a COST full member or cooperating state are eligible to apply for a COST Action. The list of states can be found on the COST website (see link below). Switzerland is a COST full member state and Swiss-based scientists are fully eligible for all COST activities.
Proposals for new Actions can be submitted to the COST open Call via e-COST. Submissions are collected every 8-9 months and are evaluated according to the following criteria: 1) impact, implementation and excellence, 2) COST Inclusiveness policy, 3) equality in terms of early career involvement and gender balance policy and 4) balanced Actions’ portfolio and interdisciplinarity. Full participation requirements can be found in the COST regulations, see the link to the COST open call for new Actions below.
What the SNSF offers: The COST national coordinators (CNCs) act as national contact points (NCPs) for COST and provide information at the national level about COST. In Switzerland, the SNSF has this role and offers, for instance, assistance in the preparation of proposals for new Actions.
Submitting to the SNSF a project associated with an ongoing COST Action
The SNSF organises yearly calls for COST research projects in Switzerland associated with recently approved COST Actions. Researchers based in Switzerland and actively participating in a COST Action can apply for the funding of a research project for up to four years for a budget of up to 80,000 francs per year. Since COST research projects often cannot start at the same time as the associated COST Actions, the projects can continue beyond the end of the associated Action. The participation requirements for COST research projects are very similar to those of the SNSF’s project funding scheme; see the call document and the Funding Regulations of the SNSF below.
COST Actions are open for researchers:
- at universities, in the ETH domain, at universities of applied sciences, research institutions, public and private research organisations
- from all disciplines
- at all career stages
- with original and innovative ideas.
You can find the participation requirements of the SNSF COST call in the call document and the funding regulations of the SNSF.
Participate in a COST Action
As member of the Management Committee (MC):
Contact the SNSF at firstname.lastname@example.org and submit them your statement of interest (template provided below), CV and confirmation from the Chair of the Action.
As member of a Working Group:
Please go directly to www.cost.eu and fill in the form to become a Working Group member. See this document “Document on the steps to follow to become a member of a Working Group” for a detailed description of the steps to be taken.
For former COST Actions, please contact directly the group responsible for the Action.
Project submission of COST research projects
The SNSF offers a yearly call for research projects associated with ongoing COST Actions. All applications must be submitted via the mySNF platform ("Programmes" - "COST"). Please note that the opening of a new mySNF account can take up to five days. Please read the call document for more information.
Evaluation procedure of COST research projects
The proposals are evaluated by a panel consisting of members of the SNSF Research Council and other experts. All applications that fulfil the formal criteria of the call will be reviewed by national and international experts.
Documents and websites
- COST website
- COST website with the member states of COST
- COST open call for new Actions
- COST database of all Actions
- Template "Statement of interest" seeking nomination for the management committee of an Action (MS Word) (Word)
- Document on the steps to follow to become a member of a Working Group (PDF)
- Call document for COST projects in Switzerland (PDF) (PDF)
- SNSF Funding Regulations and General Implementation Regulations
- COST projects in Switzerland
- Website 50 years of COST
- Video: 50 years of COST
Get involved in the new COST Actions starting in 2021
The COST Committee of Senior Officials evaluated 466 applications for new COST Actions and selected 40 of them. Swiss applicants are part of 21 networks of scientists among the supported Actions.
The COST Actions listed in the table below offer international networking opportunities and are now open for participation.
Newest COST Actions
Action Nr Action Title Link CA20101 Plastics monitoRIng detectiOn RemedIaTion recoverY https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20101 CA20102 Marine Animal Forest of the world https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20102 CA20103 Biosecurity Enhanced Through Training Evaluation and Raising Awareness https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20103 CA20104 Network on evidence-based physical activity in old age https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20104 CA20105 Slow Memory: Transformative Practices for Times of Uneven and Accelerating Change https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20105 CA20106 TOMORROW’S ‘WHEAT OF THE SEA’: ULVA, A MODEL FOR AN INNOVATIVE MARICULTURE https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20106 CA20107 Connecting Theory and Practical Issues of Migration and Religious Diversity https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20107 CA20108 FAIR NEtwork of micrometeorological measurements https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20108 CA20109 MODULAR ENERGY ISLANDS FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20109 CA20110 RNA communication across kingdoms: new mechanisms and strategies in pathogen https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20110 CA20111 European Research Network on Formal Proofs https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20111 CA20112 PlatfoRm OF policy Evaluation community for improvED EU policies and Better ACKnowledgement https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20112 CA20113 A sound proteome for a sound body: targeting proteolysis for proteome remodeling https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20113 CA20114 Therapeutical applications of Cold Plasmas https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20114 CA20115 European Network on International Student Mobility: Connecting Research and Practice https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20115 CA20116 European Network for Innovative and Advanced Epitaxy https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20116 CA20117 Converting molecular profiles of myeloid cells into biomarkers for inflammation and cancer https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20117 CA20118 Three-dimensional forest ecosystem monitoring and better understanding by terrestrial-based technologies https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20118 CA20119 European andrology network– research coordination, education and public awareness https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20119 CA20120 Intelligence-Enabling Radio Communications for Seamless Inclusive Interactions https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20120 CA20121 Bench to bedside transition for pharmacological regulation of NRF2 in noncommunicable diseases https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20121 CA20122 Harmonizing clinical care and research on adrenal tumours in European countries https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20122 CA20123 Intergovernmental Coordination from Local to European Governance https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20123 CA20124 RMaximising impact of multidisciplinary research in early diagnosis of neonatal brain injury/td> https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20124 CA20125 Applications for zoosporic parasites in aquatic systems https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20125 CA20126 Network for research, innovation and product development on porous semiconductors and oxides https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20126 CA20127 Waste biorefinery technologies for accelerating sustainable energy processes https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20127 CA20128 Promoting Innovation of ferMENTed fOods https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20128 CA20129 Multiscale Irradiation and Chemistry Driven Processes and Related Technologies https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20129 CA20130 European MIC Network – New paths for science, sustainability and standards https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20130 CA20131 Efficient Justice for All: Improving Court Efficiency through EU Benchmarking https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20131 CA20132 Urban Tree Guard - Safeguarding European urban trees and forests through improved biosecurity https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20132 CA20133 CROSS-BORDER TRANSFER AND DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE RECOVERY STRATEGIES TOWARDS ZERO WASTE https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20133 CA20134 Traces as Research Agenda for Climate Change, Technology Studies, and Social Justice https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20134 CA20135 Improving biomedical research by automated behaviour monitoring in the animal home-cage https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20135 CA20136 Opportunistic precipitation sensing network https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20136 CA20137 Sudden cardiac arrest prediction and resuscitation network: Improving the quality of care https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20137 CA20138 Making Early Career Investigators' Voices Heard for Gender Equality https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20138 CA20139 Holistic design of taller timber buildings https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA20139 CA20140 CorEuStem: The European Network for Stem Cell Core Facilities