ARCHIVE: EU and international science: European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research
European CO-operation in Science and Technical Research (COST) is a framework and forum for pan-European coordination of nationally funded research and technology. The UK is one of 35 participating countries. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is the main UK contact point.
Open Call for COST Actions
COST announced a continuous open call for proposals for research networks in April 2006. Researchers of all COST member countries can submit Actions to this call. The next collection date for preliminary proposals is 24 September 2010 (17.00 Brussels time).
Calls are based on a two stage process i.e. a preliminary proposal and full proposal. Preliminary proposals, which provide a brief overview of the proposal and its impact are subjected to an evaluation process. Those proposals deemed to have sufficient interest, potential intrinsic quality and European added value will be invited to submit a full proposal, which will be subjected to a full evaluation. COST’s scientific Domain Committees are responsible for assessment of proposals and recommending Actions, which are authorised by the highest-level decision making body for COST, the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO). The CSO meets three to four times a year. BIS represents the UK on this committee.
COST is multidisciplinary and supports the widest range of scientific/technical cooperation. It does not provide funding for research activities but will assist with coordination costs. Four basic principles underlie COST mechanisms:
1. All COST member countries, as well as the European Commission, can propose COST Actions (i.e. networked research projects);
2. Participation in these Actions is voluntary associating only interested countries;
3. The research to be coordinated is funded nationally. The coordination costs are funded both by the participating countries and by COST; and
4. A COST Action aims to coordinate national research at a European level (concerted action). A Management Committee administers the work undertaken by each Action.
In contrast to European Community research programmes, this form of collaboration does not require an agreed overall research policy. It focuses on a specific theme for which there is particular interest in the COST countries.
There are nine strategic Domain Committees within COST, which are responsible for scientific quality control. The most relevant to Defra are ‘Food and Agriculture’ and ‘Earth System Science and Environmental Management’. (These links can be searched for information on the latest developments within the relevant COST Domain Committees, UK participation within the various COST Actions, lists of completed Actions; Actions that are underway; Actions in preparation plus contact points and various publications).
Page last modified: 16 April 2010
Page published: 20 April 2009