What are COST Actions?

The changing nature of science

The nature of science has changed. It has become more interconnected, interdisciplinary, collaborative and data-intensive. Collaboration has become critical to solving complex problems.

COST creates spaces where scientists are in the driving seat (bottom-up) and ideas can grow through a flexible and open approach. By enabling researchers from academia, industry and the public and private sector to work together in open networks that transcend borders, COST helps to advance science, stimulates knowledge sharing and pools resources.

National governments make a real difference by ensuring that research cooperation optimises national investments in research and technology and unlocks thereby the full potential of science.

What are COST Actions?

Since its inception, COST has operated according to one main instrument, the COST Action.

COST Action is a network dedicated to scientific collaboration, complementing national research funds. COST Actions are:

– open to researchers and innovators;

– collaborating in a field of science and technology of common interest to at least seven COST Members/Cooperating Members;

– based on a joint work programme lasting four years;

– answering to the COST Open Call for proposals.

A COST Action is open to all:

– science and technology fields (including trans-, and interdisciplinary, new and emerging fields);

– institutions (academia, public institutions, SME/industry, NGO, European/international organisations, etc.);

– career stages (both young and experienced);

– COST Members

Non-COST Members are spread across the Near-Neighbour Countries1 and International Partner Countries2  and can join on the basis of mutual benefit.

A COST Action is organised by a range of networking tools, such as meetings, conferences, workshops, short-term scientific missions, training schools, publications and dissemination activities. Funding covers the cost of COST Action networking tools.

COST Actions can pave the way to or establish synergies with EU-funded research projects. Collaboration within research projects often lead to new Actions, thus enhancing the networking potential of research consortia.

You can browse through all the running COST Actions.


1Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Russia, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine.
2International Partner Countries already participating in COST Actions include: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Uruguay.