Action Networking tools
Networking is an excellent way for individuals at every stage of their career to discover exciting opportunities, meet new connections and broaden personal research horizons. COST Actions have been designed to maximise networking possibilities, featuring a wide range of tools and additional activities, which benefit individuals and wider research networks alike through strengthening research outcomes and community knowledge.
Meetings, workshops and conferences
Meetings are organised by COST Action Management Committees (MC) in any COST Member State joining the network. They can be of different types, such as MC meetings, working group meetings, workshops and conferences. They may be open to the wider community and provide opportunities to enhance the COST Action’s visibility. COST will contribute to the travel and subsistence costs of the invited participants, and to the cost of organising the meeting.
Short-term scientific missions (STSM)
Short-term scientific missions (STSM) are exchange visits for researchers within their Action. This exchange programme facilitates individuals to spend up to six months at an institution or laboratory based in a different country, which is also part of the Action. Short-term scientific missions are great opportunities for researchers to share techniques and gain skills that may not be available at their home institution or laboratory.
Training schools are intensive coaching opportunities for Action participants that last for up to 15 days. Training is organised by each COST Action on a topic of their choice and held on the premises of a participating institution or organisation. Young researchers in particular typically benefit from the training school initiative, however study opportunities can also be offered more widely within the Action and can be useful for participants wishing to learn new skills or retrain.
These grants are aimed at early career investigators and PhD students from Inclusive Target Countries (ITC) and help individuals attend beneficial international conferences that are not organised by COST Actions.
Communication and dissemination activities
The sharing of scientific results is vitally important in strengthening science and research. Due to the value and impact communication and dissemination activities can have on the wider research community, COST actively encourages and supports Actions to share outcomes with researchers, policymakers, the private sector and civic society such as NGOs.
Watch an award-winning short video by COST Action IS1308, which was created as part of an education package for use in high schools.
NEW Virtual Networking Tools
COST has developed two new type of Grants to respond to the rising need of digital tools in the context of the pandemic and to ensure continuity of COST Actions’ work activities. These are proposed as a pilot scheme until 31 October 2021 to build capacity and spread the uptake of virtual collaboration.
The Virtual Networking Tools include two new types of Grants:
- Virtual Networking Support (VNS) Grant to stimulate virtual collaboration among all the members of a given Action by designating a Virtual Networking Support Manager. The successful applicant will be selected by the COST Action Management Committee (MC) to promote the virtual collaboration, such as developing a virtual networking strategy for the Action, taking overall responsibility for Virtual Mobility Grants and supporting the MC in the discussions and planning of virtual events and collaboration activities.
- Virtual Mobility (VM) Grants to strengthen the existing networks by allowing individual participants to foster collaboration, to exchange knowledge, to learn new techniques, etc. The successful applicants will be selected by the MC to perform activities that do not necessarily require in-person presence .These activities may include surveys, questionnaires or preparation of protocols, virtual mentoring of activities that can generate capacity, build new skills, etc.