27 March 2018 | General
Success through participation - Athens Info Day

Researchers from Greece, one of the founding members of COST, participate in 97% of COST Actions and hold 3 Action chairs, 16 Vice-Chairs and 30 Working Group Leaders. On the 27th March representatives from COST, including President Prof. Sierd Cloetingh, travelled to Athens for an Info Day to encourage early career researchers to participate in COST Actions.

The Greek Info Day was hosted by the NCSR Demokritos, a research center located in a green and quiet outskirt of the city center of Athens.

President Prof. Sierd Cloetingh addresses attendees 

During the event attendees learnt about the work of COST and COST Actions, including how they could participate in ongoing Actions, launch new Actions and how they could prepare successful project proposals. 

COST country representative for Greece, John Bartzis, highlighted to attendees the benefits and importance of being an Action proposer or secondary proposer, explaining the invaluable leadership experience gained from the role. Greek participants currently act as secondary proposers in 60% of successful proposals; there is an ambition to increase the number of young researchers. 

Participants also heard first-hand accounts regarding the benefits of taking part in COST Actions. The two represented Actions: Cyanobacterial blooms and toxins in water resources: Occurrence, impacts and management  and The European Network on Integrating Vision and Language (iV&L Net): Combining Computer Vision and Language Processing For Advanced Search, Retrieval, Annotation and Description of Visual Data had both made wide use of the networking tools dedicated to young researchers.

These tools led to several hundred trainees being involved in Training Schools and Short Term Scientific Missions, leading to a large number of published papers. Although the Actions are now finished, they continue to interact with international projects and have developed an integrated community beyond the funding period.

Christer Halen, Senior Administrator Science Operations said of the event “Some 80 participants took part in the information session: young researchers and newcomers to COST interested in finding opportunities to participate in Actions. A number of industry representatives were also present and many potential applicants.”

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