COST – a European networking programme in research

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a European networking programme for technology, social sciences and medical research, and covers everything from basic research to applied research.

By promoting networking between academia, the business sector, the public sector and research institutes, COST contributes to making research resources be used more efficiently. A particular focus is on networking with junior researchers and research teams in new scientific and technological fields.

The participants decide themselves what networks they want to work in, and the goals the want to work towards. Together, they form a ‘COST action’.

Funding network activities

COST funds the costs of network activities, such as meeting costs, secretarial services for coordination, grants to junior researchers’ short research visits to other research teams within the action, and grants for disseminating research results. On the other hand, COST does not fund the research carried out by the participants. Participants need to have secured funding for their own research before the project starts.

Every year, around 60 new network projects start, and then run for four years. Applications can be submitted throughout the year, but are processed and assessed on two occasions during each year. Actors and research teams from around the world can take part.

Four fundamental principles govern COST:

  • All member countries can propose COST actions. If at least seven member countries show interest in the proposal, it will be implemented.
  • Taking part in COST actions is voluntary; only the countries that are interested take part.
  • The research is funded nationally. The European Commission only gives grants for the coordination of the projects.
  • The COST actions are aimed at coordinating national research at the European level. Each action is administered by a steering committee.

What help can the Swedish Research Council provide?

The Swedish Research Council coordinates the Swedish participation in COST, and has a COST National Coordinator, who represents Sweden. If you have any questions, please contact our CNC, Nina Glimster, at cost@vr.se.

COST’s website External link. has information about participants, funding, the projects funded and current calls.

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Contact

Cost National Coordinator, CNC

Nina Glimster

cost@vr.se

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