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Broaden the Scope of your Research

Do you work in a research area which is interdisciplinary, yet does not find an outlet for development? Is your research agenda constrained by grant and funding opportunities that are too narrowly defined for your scientific networking purposes? Is an international network a potential solution?

Thanks to a recent decision by the COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), your research may find a home in one of our Trans-Domain Proposals (TDPs). TDPs offer scientists fertile ground for future networks across many scientific disciplines, by allowing unusually broad, interdisciplinary proposals to strike across the nine scientific domains currently offered.

Through the establishment of a Standing Assessment Body (SAB) which will review submitted TDPs, COST sets a major landmark in the ERA. The TDP-SAB will be composed of the Chairs of the nine COST Domain Committees, as well as two additional scientific experts per Domain, and will be led by a neutral coordinator directly appointed by the CSO President. The COST Office's own Science Officers may also serve as experts with the SAB.

28 March 2008 (17:00 CET) is the collection date for Preliminary Proposals—as with previous successful collection dates this is a continuous call which is thematically open. Proposals playing a precursor role for other European Programmes and/or initiated by early-stage researchers are particularly welcome!

This is the first collection date in 2008 of COST's Open Call for Proposals, and we hope to receive a high number of Preliminary Proposals that will in turn become full-fledged COST Actions. (COST Actions are networks centred on nationally funded research projects, which are of interest to at least five COST countries). Researchers are invited to locate their topic within one of the nine scientific domains or, alternatively, to submit interdisciplinary proposals not readily fitting into a single Domain. The latter category is now put in the centre of attention through the setup of the TDP-SAB.

With the introduction of the TDPs and the TDP-SAB review and assessment process, COST continues to set the standard for innovative and dynamic funding opportunities which add value throughout the scientific research and development cycle.

Proposal Assessment Details:

Proposals are assessed in two stages. Preliminary Proposals, consisting of a brief overview and an impact description, are checked for eligibility first and, when eligible, assessed against the published criteria. The selected Preliminary Proposals are then invited to submit a Full Proposal which is peer reviewed according to the published assessment criteria. The time between the collection date and the proposal for approval of the best Full Proposals by the COST CSO is approximately 6 months.

The nine scientific COST Domains are:
Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences - BMBS
Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies - CMST
Earth System Science and Environmental Management - ESSEM
Food and Agriculture - FA
Forests, their Products and Services - FPS
Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health - ISCH
Information and Communication Technologies - ICT
Materials, Physical and Nanosciences – MPNS
Transport and Urban Development - TUD
For more information on the COST Open Call for Proposals, please visit:

Inge De Prins | alfa
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