Virtual Networking Tools
Virtual Networking Tools aim to introduce two new types of Grants to build capacity and spread the uptake of virtual
collaboration across different research communities, in the form of a pilot scheme running until 31 October
2021. There are two types of Grants:
- Virtual Networking Support (VNS) Grants
These grants aim at promoting virtual collaboration as a complement to traditional ways of collaboration within
the research and innovation communities. This mechanism intends to stimulate virtual collaboration among the
members of a given Action.
- Virtual Mobility (VM) Grants
These grants aim at strengthening the existing networks by allowing scientists to foster collaboration in a
virtual setting, to exchange knowledge, learn new techniques, disseminate the Action results, etc.
Virtual Networking Support (VNS) Grant
The following eligibility criteria apply:
- (s) are Action participants with a primary affiliation to an institution located in a COST Full or Cooperating
Member country or MC Observers from a COST Near Neighbour Country.
- The applicant(s) shall be prepared to develop a virtual networking strategy, coordinate the call for expression
of interest for the Virtual Mobility Grants and draft at the end of the grant period a report to be approved by
EVALUATION AND SELECTION OF APPLICANTS
The evaluation of each submitted VNS grant application is performed by the Action’s MC. The Action Chair or an
appointed Coordinator / Committee can assume this responsibility if the Action’s MC gives them the mandate to
perform this task on their behalf. The evaluation criteria defined by the Action’s MC shall be communicated to all
The selection of successful grantee shall be based on contributions to the overall objectives of the Action and the
implementation of the COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy.
The application shall be submitted in e-COST and include the following information:
- A description of how the COST Action can benefit from developing virtual networking activities, with a focus on:
- Progress towards the MoU objectives and deliverables.
- COST Excellence and inclusiveness Policy, specially towards the support of researchers in COST Inclusiveness
- Stakeholder engagement and promoting the participation of researchers from NNC and IPC (COST Global
- A proposal for the strategy outline on virtual networking, including an approach for coordinating Virtual
Mobility Grants (where relevant) by:
- Opening calls and managing the evaluation process for awarding the Virtual Mobility Grants.
- Supporting and advising beneficiaries of the Virtual Mobility Grant.
Additionally, the proposal shall include a plan on coordinating and reporting any planned COST Action events that
will be held online (e.g. Annual Meeting or Conference) and how they fit the overall Action strategy.