EURAXESS and COST online webinar for American researchers
A new online COST event with a global perspective was held last 19 November 2020 in cooperation with EURAXESS North America and EURAXESS Latin America, introducing the COST programme and the COST Actions’ benefits to researchers from these regions. The awareness webinar has built on the initial partnership between COST and EURAXESS organised in November 2020 for the European R&D Days Canada.
Entitled: “COST Actions: Take part in research networks with EU partners”, this new edition has been conducted on the four main languages of the American continent, namely English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, for the convenience of the 200 online participants. It was an opportunity to demonstrate how COST works as the leading networking instrument for global cooperation, helping connecting researchers across the world via its bottom-up and interdisciplinary approach. A brief introduction from Jackson Howard, Regional Coordinator for EURAXESS North America, opened the webinar, closely followed by Director of the COST Association, Ronald de Bruin.
Dr de Bruin provided an overview of COST, presented the COST members, and underlined how international cooperation was made possible thanks to the COST Actions’ unique specifics. Especially due to COST being open and inclusive, Dr de Bruin stressed how important it was to explain participation rules to international partner countries and feed them with correct information on how to join COST Actions at any moment of the networks’ lifetime, even in the proposal stage.
An initiative from COST and EURAXESS clearly serving researchers’ needs, as the online poll highlighted that 94% of the audience has never participated in a COST Action.
“We believe science and innovation can only happen through collaborations. That’s why COST provides platforms where networking is enabled and researchers from all over the world share information and data”COST Policy Officer Katalin Alföldi
Following the plenary introduction, the webinar split into four break-out sessions, each held in one of the languages mentioned above and moderated by different COST representatives. Testimonials from COST Actions’ participants were shared with the view of providing real-life learnings and experience to the public.
In the French break-out session, Celine Pesce, who moved to the US, California after her PHD on Xanthomonas diseases of cereals, explained how she discovered the behind-the-scenes of a COST Action when she was invited to a closing event and met with several students from the network. Following what, she was part of the inspiration for the start of a new COST Action, EuroXanth, in 2017. Celine stressed that the benefits of a COST Action go beyond that specific network and provide added values for the whole research community at large.
In the same break-out session, Audrey Darnaude from CNRS in Montpellier, explained how her first STSM initiated her interest to grow her research focus area and to learn a new technique. Following what, she kicked-off a new COST Action on marine connectivity, expanding her group of French networks to worldwide collaborations. Today, more than 200 researchers are part of this COST Action including researchers from American countries.
In the English session, Prof Hendrik SCHATZ, from COST Action ChETEC and working at JINA-CEE, shared how interdisciplinary research was essential for his field of interest, Nuclear Astrophysics, as advances in this topic require a broad range of fields, expertise and capabilities. That is why this COST Action ChETEC was created and enabled new partnerships between US network JINA -CEE and European participants. This offered significant opportunities to leverage resources and ideas. When asked if he would join a COST Action again if the whole journey was to start all over again, Prof Schatz answered: “Yes, I would join with more enthusiasm to these networks that are exciting from US perspectives”.
Other participants highlighted how easy it is to join a COST Action, such as Dr Luisa F. Echeverría-King from SENA in Columbia who is currently in the process of joining COST Action ReMO.
Closing on this hour online webinar, the participants attested that the value of networking is a long-lasting story, especially as COST Actions’ value can be global. COST will continue to raise awareness in direction of those countries that are the most distant, to keep boosting the growing dynamic of COST Actions and bridging research knowledge and experiences.
View the event recordings here
How to Join COST Actions – video
COST Global networking