Excellence and Inclusiveness

This policy is tailored to bring out excellence in science Europe-wide and clear away obstacles by creating cooperation opportunities for researchers, engineers and scholars from all COST Member States.


Through bottom-up, open and excellence-driven COST Actions and activities, the policy nurtures talent and creativity. 
It is developed around three main elements

  • geographical spread 
  • career stage: involving early career investigators
  • gender balance 

Geographical spread includes less research-intensive COST Member States. They are entitled COST Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITCs):

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.


  • identifying excellence in science and technology across Europe
  • increasing research communities' access to funding and infrastructures
  • triggering structural changes in COST Member States' national research systems 

To reach these objectives, COST Action activities will focus on:

  • leadership: encouraging researchers and institutions in ITCs to set up and lead COST Actions, as well as manage COST Action grants
  • increasing researchers' visibility and connection, no matter their location, age or gender, to leading European science hubs

Half of the COST budget will be dedicated to activities fulfilling the objectives above, with a focus on engaging researchers in ITCs. 

The policy contributes to the Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation Horizon 2020 goal. It builds on the Committee of Senior Officials' previous efforts to boost inclusiveness in COST activities, while fostering scientific excellence in Europe.


Last updated: 02 June 2017 top of page