COST Actions

COST Actions are a flexible, fast, effective and efficient networking instrument for researchers to cooperate and coordinate nationally funded research activities. COST Actions allow European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas in any science and technology field.

COST Actions cover scientific and technological research activities for peaceful purposes and of public interest, aiming to contribute to the COST Mission.

Every COST Action has an objective, defined goals and clear deliverables. These are described in a Memorandum of Understanding, accepted by at least five participating COST Member Countries.

There are currently around 350 Actions running in all science and technology fields.

An overview:

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Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences (BMBS)

The domain Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences (BMBS) covers all areas of medicine as practiced in Europe and basic, preclinical and clinical medical research developed to materialise the “bench to bedside” concept. Research in biomedicine emphasises acquisition of knowledge of normal functions of the human body and alterations of them in the case of diseases. These functions may be conducted at the molecular and the whole body level, not excluding its integration in the environment (food, water supply, pollutants, forests, urban environment, etc.).

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Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies (CMST)

The Domain Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies (CMST) has the mission of fostering European expertise in discovering, understanding, producing and manipulating molecular species. These research activities aim to develop experimental, theoretical and analytical tools to enhance the development of chemical transformations, reactivity and function. The CMST aims to apply such knowledge and innovation to industrial processes and production.

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Earth System Science and Environmental Management (ESSEM)

The domain Earth System Science and Environmental Management (ESSEM) addresses the interactions within and between the major Earth compartments of the lithosphere and pedosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere, biosphere, anthroposphere and atmosphere, and includes influences of the Sun and the near-space environment.

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Food and Agriculture (FA)

The Domain Food and Agriculture (FA) covers all aspects of research in the field of agricultural and food sciences in its widest sense. This naturally encompasses a very wide number of subjects, and relates to a large number of areas of human activity. The primary aim of the Domain is to encourage networking and coordination of research in any field linked to these activities as well as the related demands and needs.

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Forests, their Products and Services (FPS)

The Domain Forests, their Products and Services (FPS) is concerned with complex processes which form the basis for present and potential capacity to provide renewable resources for human needs as well as environmental services. The FPS Domain has the mission to promote research along the whole forest products value chain by providing a platform for the effective coordination of nationally funded research activities with relevance to this value chain including the whole forest sector from forests and forestry to wood technology and pulp & paper. Forestry related climate change adaptation and mitigation, and bioenergy are important aspects of this domain.

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Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (ISCH)

The Domain Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health (ISCH) will promote the creation of knowledge, expertise and insights for citizens, democratic debate and decision-making in the public, private and voluntary spheres.

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Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

The Domain Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) covers scientific research and technological innovation in all areas of information and communication science and technologies.

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Materials, Physics and Nanosciences (MPNS)

The Domain Materials, Physics and Nanosciences (MPNS) is home to material science, extending from conception through to production and includes characterization, examination, evaluation, fabrication and development, to actual application and service, as well as related databases, codes, standards and inspections. The Domain thus also incorporates nanomaterials and nanosciences and the nanotechnological applications thereof. It also supports exploratory basic and applied research in physics, theoretical and experimental, as a key to understanding the laws governing the behaviour of matter and energy.

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Transport and Urban Development (TUD)

The Domain Transport and Urban Development (TUD) fosters research coordination in the fields of transport and the built environment, which play a strategic role in the modern society and economy.

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Trans-Domain Proposals (TDP)

Trans-Domain Proposals (TDPs) offer scientists fertile ground for future networks across many scientific disciplines, by allowing unusually broad, interdisciplinary proposals to cover several scientific Domains.

COST Actions are...


Spanning 35 Member Countries and a Cooperating State


In terms of proposed topics, objectives and work organisation; researchers choose their own topics; scientific management decisions are entrusted to the Action’s Management Committees

Open and Inclusive

Open to all researchers, irrespective of gender, field or career stage.
Actions can expand beyond their lifetime, as researchers from new countries can join in.


Building, bridging and expanding multidisciplinary research communities


Engaging the next generation of young researchers


They are a platform to coordinate national research funding within a lightweight framework;

Globally connected:

Researchers from Near Neighbour Countries are encouraged to participate and International Partners Countries may join on the basis of mutual interest


Last updated: 10 March 2015 top of page

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