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COST Action Chairs call for funding “remediated networking” in COVID times and beyond

As a mobility-intensive programme for networking researchers across Europe, COST Action activities were seriously affected by COVID-19. The COST Association was quick in enabling spending on online networking tools as a small-scale emergency response to bridge the mobility gaps. A group of COST Action Chairs went further to propose what else would be needed to enrich researcher networking online and what kind of funding would be needed to enable such online networking activities that they call “remediated networking”. 
In an open letter to the COST Association, the signatories suggest that other than cost for communication tools, funding to support online researcher networking should also take into consideration content-related activities and cover such as :

  • micro-grants for creating scholarly curated online resources, e.g. digital scholarly editions, data repositories, or virtual exhibits;


  • necessary technical costs of collecting material or creating resources for online team work;


  • costs for producing training/learning modules that would remain open and re-usable beyond each Action’s funding cycle.


In terms of funding mechanisms, they have proposed the following for the consideration of the COST Association:

  • to define particular forms of „remediated networking” as COST networking tools.


  • to define eligible expenses for these activities, including possible investment in hardware and software for remote collaboration.


  • to decide which of those expenses should be incurred by the Actions and which services could be provided globally by COST (e.g. teleconferencing software).

Reimagining physical, virtual or blended mobility, and how different types of mobility should be funded is now a common topic that requires input from the funders and participants alike. 

Details of the Open Letter can be found here.

COST Actions are four-year researcher networking projects centered around a specific research topic of international relevance. Funded by the EU, COST Actions emphasise broad European collaboration through mobility-intensive activities e.g. working group meetings, short-term scientific missions, training schools, conferences, workshops, to pave the way to or establish synergies with EU-funded research projects.

More about COST Actions here.