COST Organisation

An overview of the entire COST structure and its intergovernmental nature

The COST organisation features the Ministerial Conferences, the COST Association (including CSO, EB, Administration), the COST National Coordinators and the Domain Committees.

COST Ministerial Conferences

Every five years, COST Ministerial Conferences reaffirm their support for COST as a unique instrument for leveraging nationally-funded research activities. The latest COST Ministerial Conference took place on 15 June 2010 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

The COST Association

The COST Association was established in September 2013 by 34 COST Member Countries as an international not-for-profit association under Belgian law, thus ensuring the intergovernmental nature of COST and its European dimension. 

Committee of Senior Officials (CSO)

The Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) is the decision-making body within the COST Association. It is responsible for the strategic development of COST. It is composed of representatives from 34 COST Member Countries and the Cooperating State, Israel.

The current CSO President is Dr Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña and the CSO Vice-President is Dr Primož Pristovšek.

CSO Members are typically officials appointed by national ministries or agencies responsible for science, research or education.

Each COST Member State appoints up to two representatives to the CSO.

The CSO has full power to achieve the purpose of the COST Association. In particular, it decides on the overall COST strategy and policy. This includes the approval and evaluation of the newly proposed Actions following the Open Call.

The CSO meets twice a year. A list of press releases and summaries of decisions is available here.

Executive Board (EB, former "JAF")

The group consists of at least seven members including the CSO President and the Vice-President. Its role is to supervise and monitor the COST activities implementation and prepare the CSO meetings.


The COST Association will take over the ESF-COST Office during 2014. 

COST Office

The COST Office in Brussels is provided by the European Science Foundation (ESF), the implementing agent for COST during the FP7 Grant period. Its mission is to implement the decisions of the CSO and to support COST activities. Please follow this link to download the COST Office organisational chart.

COST National Coordinators (CNC)

Each COST Member Country and the Cooperating State nominate one COST National Coordinator. The role of the COST National Coordinator (CNC) is to:

  • Nominate delegates to Domain Committees (DC) and COST Action Management Committees (MC), while accepting the COST Actions' Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Advise and inform scientists and institutions in their countries on all COST related matters (e.g. Actions, participation, Open Call)

Domain Committee (DC)

Domain Committees (DC) consist of experts from the respective domain and are nominated by the CNC. The DC reports to the CSO and is responsible for the quality control of the allocated Actions (assessment, monitoring, evaluation). The DC also supervises the strategic development of their respective domains.

Additional experts can be announced per domain and COST country. These experts form a “pool of expertise” that can be used in an ad hoc manner, e.g. for assessments.


Last updated: 07 August 2014 top of page

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