Recommendations for Selecting Participants in Working Groups Activities

Recommendations for Selecting Participants in Working Groups activities in the COST Action CA 15212


The COST Action activities are carried out primarily through its Working Groups (WGs). In the case of the COST Action CA 15212, the achievement of the objectives stated in the Memorandum of Understanding depends directly on the work performed by the WGs and their capacity to provide the deliverables.
This work must be carried out continuously throughout the duration of the COST Action and it will be disseminated via the Action-Website.

Inclusion in WGs

All the COST Action participants should be enrolled in at least one WG. There is no limit to the number of participants per institution and WG. Information concerning WG participants will be stored in a database curated by the Museum for Natural History in Berlin (Grantholder) and will only be used for the development of the Action activities. All the information about the Action activities will be disseminated via the Action web site and an electronic newsletter to all the WG participants.

The database will be open throughout the whole Action period. Action participants included in the database will be prioritized to be invited to the WG activities. Exceptions to this rule can include keynote speakers invited to take part in the activities. Action participants can ask to be removed from a WG by sending an email to the corresponding WG chair/vice chair.

Participation in WG activities and Rules for Financial Support

The WG activities will be conducted throughout the year and led by the WG chair and vice chair. Examples of these activities include:

  • preparation of joint publications;
  • organization of workshops and other events (e.g., hackathons);
  • literature reviews;
  • survey questionnaires.

The main results obtained through the WG activities will be presented at events internal and external to the Action.

Invitations to WG activities, especially workshops and other events, and provision of funding for travel expenses are based on the general COST criteria (see In addition to these criteria, since funding per each event is limited and allows to support financially only a limited number of participants, the procedure for invitation is as follows:

  1. Before having a WG activity, an open call will be made via the Action web site to all Action participants to invite contributions to the activity. Applicants will be required to submit a contribution (e.g. a short abstract) according to the requirements set by the WG Chair/Vice Chair depending on the type of activity. As a general rule, applicants should indicate

    (i) the reason why they would like to participate and contribute,
    (ii) how their background is relevant to the activity, and
    (iii) how s/he intends to contribute to the activity

  2. Submitted contributions that do not meet the general COST criteria for eligibility for travel reimbursement will be excluded. The WG Chair/Vicechair will assess the eligible contributions following criteria that depend on the type of activity. As a general rule, such criteria may include:

    (i)   Scientific/technical quality of contribution (max. 10 score points).
    (ii)   Level of involvement of the participant in the WG tasks (max. 5 score points).
    (iii)  Interest of the submitted contribution to WG and Action goals (max. 5 score points).
  3. The WG Chair and Vice chair will prepare a priority list of contributions taking into account the need to achieve the COST policy of excellence and Inclusiveness. To meet this need, the criteria to select participants include: 
  • geographical spread
  • career stage: involving Early Career Investigators
  • gender balance
  • participation of different institutions (priority of MC members, etc.).

WG Chairs and Vice-Chairs can also include up to a maximum of 2 direct invitations per WG. These invitations are intended to attract specific participants and institutions of high relevance to the Action and will be reimbursed according to the COST rules.
Contributions from participants that belong to the local organizer or to Non-COST- Countries will be invited if they obtain a minimum qualification of 12 score points in step 2, but they will not be funded.

Further information

Questions can be sent to Chair of the Action, Dr. Katrin Vohland,
and the Vice Chair of the Action, Anne Land.

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Last edited: May 23, 2017