COST | Open Call for Proposals – Collection OC-2020-1

COST aims to enable breakthrough scientific developments leading to new concepts and products. It
thereby contributes to strengthening Europe’s research and innovation capacities. This is the basis of this Open Call for Proposals.
In order to achieve its mission and goal, COST has identified a set of objectives aiming at supporting
high quality, collaborative networks in all fields of science and technology, while focusing on existing but
less prevailing areas allowing to increase COST overall impact:

  • Joining research efforts and developing common S&T programmes by coordinating nationally
    funded research activities led by pan-European, high quality, collaborative S&T networks.
  • Building capacity by providing networking and leadership opportunities for emerging talents and
    thereby strengthening and building up excellent S&T communities.
  • Addressing Societal Questions by promoting transdisciplinary, new approaches and topics and
    identifying early warning signals of unforeseen societal problems aiming to contribute to Societal
  • Strengthening COST Inclusiveness Policy by fostering better access and integration of less
    research-intensive countries’ researchers to the knowledge hubs of the European Research
    Area aiming at contributing to the Widening Pillar of Horizon 2020.

COST brings together European researchers, engineers and scholars from different COST countries to
jointly develop their own ideas and new initiatives across all science and technology fields through transEuropean cooperation. COST encourages and fosters trans-, multi- and interdisciplinary approaches by
integrating researchers, engineers and scholars from different fields and horizons such as universities,
research centres, companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as other relevant

COST does NOT fund research itself, but supports networking via different tools such as meetings, short
term scientific missions, training schools and dissemination activities part of COST Actions. COST
invites proposals for Actions aiming at contributing to the scientific, technological, economic, cultural or
societal knowledge advancement and development of Europe to close the gap between science, policy
makers and society throughout Europe and beyond.

Proposals should reflect the main characteristics of COST Actions, namely providing for knowledge
sharing, creation and application, being open and output-oriented while aiming at strengthening the
scientific and technological basis of the proposed topic(s).

Proposals should also respond to the COST Excellence, Inclusiveness and Widening policy, which aims
to provide collaboration opportunities to all researchers, engineers and scholars in COST countries,
encourage participation among young talents and next generation leaders, in particular promoting
working opportunities for early career investigators, and ensure gender balance, paving the way towards
breakthrough developments and innovations.

Proposals will be evaluated against criteria of S&T excellence, networking excellence, impact and

Proposals for a COST Action must represent a network composed of proposers from at least seven (7)
COST Members1 amongst which a minimum number shall be from COST Inclusiveness Target
Countries (ITC)2.

Selected proposals for COST Actions will get a financial support in the range of EUR 134.000 p.a.,
normally for four years, subject to available budget.

Proposers are invited to consult the set of COST Implementation Rules, approved by the Committee of
Senior Officials (CSO), the general assembly of the COST Association3.

The COST Action Proposal Submission, Evaluation, Selection and Approval (SESA) rules and
procedure are based on the bottom-up, open and inclusive principles of COST and will ensure a simple,
transparent and competitive evaluation and selection of proposals (see document COST 133/14 REV5
– COST Action Proposal Submission, Evaluation, Selection and Approval)3.

Proposers benefit from a one-stage submission based upon a proposal of up to 15 pages.

Submitted proposals will be checked against eligibility criteria and can be declared as non-eligible at
any point of the process should any breach of those be identified during the evaluation as defined in the
rules. Similarly, any attempt not to respect the conflict of interest rules can lead to the immediate
exclusion of the proposal from the evaluation, selection and approval process.

Proposals will be evaluated remotely by a minimum of 3 independent External Experts in the S&T
field(s), sub-field(s) and research area(s) chosen by the proposers. Ad-hoc Review Panels shall ensure
the quality of the independent External Expert evaluation outcome, resolve potential differences in their
opinions and prepare a shortlist of proposals for examination and selection by the Scientific Committee.
The Scientific Committee shall identify, among the list of proposals presented by the Review Panels,
those that respond best to COST mission and policies. The Scientific Committee will establish the
shortlist of proposals that shall be presented to the CSO for approval.

The 2020-1 Collection Date is set to 29 April 2020 at 12:00 (CET) – Noon.

40 new Actions are expected to be approved in November 2020, subject to available budget.

The Proposal Template (Technical Annex) is available under 4. The Guidelines for submitting COST Action proposals are
available on the same page. Proposals must be submitted electronically via e-COST. Proposers will be
able to submit proposals anytime throughout the year via the e-COST new online submission tool.

The next Collection Date is envisaged for December 2020.

Proposers may wish to contact their COST National Coordinator (CNC) for information and guidance –

COST receives financial support from the EU RTD framework programme, Horizon 2020. The COST
Association, integrating governance, management and implementing functions, provides for the
administrative, scientific and technical support in the operation of COST rules and procedures and the
management of COST Actions.


  1. The full list of COST Members is available at
  2. See list of ITC countries at and the minimum number of ITC in the network in the annex 2 (page 16) in the Document COST 133/14 REV5: COST Action Proposal Submission, Evaluation, Selection and Approval at
  3. See Documents COST 132/14 REV6, 133/14 REV5, 134/14 REV3, 135/14 REV2 under
  4. See Technical Annex.docx.
Update: 23 March 2020

The COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) has taken the decision to postpone the Open Call collection date in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The 2020 COST Open Call (OC-2020-1) will be postponed by 6 months and will now close on Thursday 29 October instead of Wednesday 29 April. The decision to postpone the call has been taken to enable researchers the necessary time to develop their proposals in light of the global disruption caused by the pandemic.

Further information

A dedicated web page addressing COST’s response to coronavirus has been created on the COST website, which will be updated regularly.

Further information will also be shared through our e-newsletter and social media channels and by contacting us.

Useful links:

Open Call – how to apply