COST - European Cooperation in Science & Technology

The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is a funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions. These networks offer an open space for collaboration among scientists across Europe (and beyond) and thereby give impetus to research advancements and innovation. Enterprise Ireland manages COST in Ireland.

COST is bottom up, this means that researchers can create a network – based on their own research interests and ideas – by submitting a proposal to the COST Open Call. The proposal can be in any science field. COST Actions are highly interdisciplinary and open. COST funding intends to complement national research funds, as they are exclusively dedicated to cover collaboration activities, such as workshops, conferences, working group meetings, training schools, short-term scientific missions, and dissemination and communication activities.

It is possible to join ongoing Actions, which therefore keep expanding over the funding period of four years. They are multi-stakeholder, often involving the private sector, policymakers as well as civil society.

Key features

COST key features are:

  • building capacity by connecting high-quality scientific communities throughout Europe and worldwide;
  • providing networking opportunities for investigators at all career levels;
  • increasing the impact of research on policy makers, regulatory bodies and national decision makers as well as the private sector.

Through its inclusiveness, COST supports integration of research communities, leverages national research investments and addresses issues of global relevance.

As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST plays a very important role in building a European Research Area (ERA).

It anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a “bridge” towards the scientific communities of COST Inclusiveness Target Countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and fosters the establishment of scientific excellence.

COST Project/Actions

COST projects or “Actions” are networks centred around nationally funded research projects in fields that are of interest to at least seven COST countries. The Actions are open to all researchers (industrial and academic). COST is committed to excellence and inclusiveness. Actions must include a 50/50 split between established members and ‘Inclusiveness Target Countries’, full gender balance and academics at a variety of career stages.

COST does not directly fund any research but provides support to coordinate projects. COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe. The funding is provided via a yearly grant agreement to support networking activities such as: meetings, workshops, conferences; short term scientific mission; training schools; and publications.

Typically, Actions run for 3-4 years and have an average budget of €130,000 per annum, depending on the number of COST Countries participating in the Action.

Ireland participates in approximately 85% of current Actions.

Browse COST Actions

How do I get involved?

Scientists and researchers from all COST Member Countries and Cooperating Countries can participate in science and technology networks known as COST Actions by:

  • submitting a proposal for a new COST Action
  • joining an existing COST Action
  • becoming a COST External Expert

The COST Open Call allows for the submission of proposals (one-stage submission process) on a continuous basis using a dedicated secured online tool. Proposals are gathered at a Collection Date, those submitted after that date will be considered for the upcoming collection.

For further details of existing COST Actions, or to submit a proposal, visit the COST website.

Key contact/further information

If you are interested in submitting a COST Action proposal, or in participating in a current COST Action, please contact:

David Flood

COST National Coordinator

Enterprise Ireland

David Flood

+353 1 727 2487