Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos

Virtual Networking Support (VNS) grant


The following eligibility criteria apply:

• Applicant(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 the MC.


VNS templates



The evaluation of each submitted VNS grant application is performed by the Action’s CORE Team.

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 the following information emailed in a single PDF document to the Action Chair:

1. 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 Target Countries.

• Stakeholder engagement and promoting the participation of researchers from NNC and IPC (COST Global Networking).

2. 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.


The successful applicant shall take the Virtual Networking Support (VNS) Manager role in the COST Action. The activities expected to be performed by the successful applicant, but not limited to, are:

• Prepare and distribute among the MC members of the Action and the COST Science Officer a detailed strategy on virtual networking for the entire Action (following consultation with Action participants, subject to MC approval).

• Support the MC in the discussions and planning of virtual events and collaboration activities.

• Assist in the selection of hosts for the virtual networking events and collaboration activities.

• Assist the selected hosts in preparation and coordination of online events and collaboration activities (including the analysis of technical needs).

• Oversee the selection of the most appropriate virtual tools for each specific virtual activity (webinar, virtual conference, online library containing learning material for use by the Action members) considering the needs of the Action and the activities (need for sub-groups, forums, etc.), demonstrate the principle of best value for money, adhere to GDPR requirements.

• Support the call, evaluation process, and coordination of the Virtual Mobility Grants (upon decision of the MC).


The grantee has 15 calendar days from the end of the Grant Period to submit a report to the Action Chair / the appointed Coordinator / Committee and to the Science Officer of the Action including:

• The Action’s strategy on virtual networking approved by the MC.

• The list and brief description of virtual events and collaboration activities organised during the Grant Period.

• The contribution to the COST Action MoU objectives for each of the virtual events and collaboration activities

• The contribution to the COST Excellence and inclusiveness Policy, specially towards the support of researchers in COST Inclusiveness Target Countries.

• Stakeholder engagement and promoting participation of researchers from Near Neighbour Countries and International Partner Countries.

• Description of identified successful practices and lessons learned. The report shall consider only virtual activities carried out in their entirety within a single Grant Period.


A financial contribution of up to EUR 4,000 can be awarded per Grant Period. The CORE Team shall define the exact amount of the grant. The grant does not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking the virtual networking coordination role. The Grant Holder shall pay the approved grant to the grantee after the MC has approved the grantee’s report and no later than 15 days after the end of Grant Period. The COST Association and the Grant Holder of the Action cannot be considered as being the grantee’s employer who shall make their own arrangements for all provisions related to personal security, health, taxation, social security, and pension matters. The grantee must also ensure they have the required technical material/equipment and infrastructure to carry out the activities proposed in their application to the grant.