Proposing a new COST action

Individual researcher or research group of an institution from one of the COST member states.

Applications can be submitted at any time. COST works with a continuous ‘open call’, with two collection dates per year: one in spring and one in autumn. Proposals submitted after a collection date are retained for the next collection date.

An application is submitted electronically via the COST website.

Since 2015 the Open Call is an one-stage submission process.

The proposal is submitted by a Main Proposer on behalf of a network of proposers ( at least 7 COST Countries*).

The complete procedure, from collection date to start of the action, takes, as a rule, up to nine months.

For general enquiries about the procedure and technical problems you can contact


*Be aware: Out of the seven, a minimum of three must be Inclusiveness Target Countries. For more details, please refer to the annex of the updated SESA guidelines.


Proposals are evaluated on the basis of the following evaluation criteria:




Soundness of the challenge

Scientific, technological and/or socio-economic impact

Coherence and effectiveness of the work plan

Progress beyond the state-of-the-art and innovation potential

Measures to maximise impact

Appropirateness of management structures and procedures

Added value of networking

Level of risk and level of potential innovation/breakthroughs

Network as a whole

Total Mark for the section: 25 points

Total Mark for the section: 20 points

Total Marks for the section: 20 points



  • Right for COST? Do not think only of what COST can mean to you, but also of what you can mean to COST. COST calls for societal relevance, visibility, ..
  • Clearly describe the specific scientific problem and the expected impact.
  • Think of how you can incorporate interdisciplinary competencies into the proposal.
  • Do not confound a COST action with a H2020 proposal: it is a network proposal (coordination), not a project proposal (research).
  • Work only with partners who have an excellent reputation in the domain.
  • Avoid overlaps with existing COST actions.
  • Provide a scientific description of the state-of-the-art as a function of the network aspect.
  • Pay attention and make concrete plans for gender balance, promotion of young researchers, and dissemination of the results.