The Impact Assessment Study commissioned by the COST Association to ERDYN and ZSI in January 2019 aimed to evaluate whether participation in COST Actions has positively impacted the careers of researchers and innovators.
The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is a funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions. These networks offer an open space for collaboration among scientists across Europe (and beyond) and thereby give impetus to research advancements and innovation.
Our main findings
- Overall, a large majority of researchers estimated that their participation in COST Actions had a positive impact on their career (88.5% of respondents).
- COST Actions have a positive impact on researchers’ career more in an indirect way (by helping them establish new connections, start new collaborations and enhancing their reputation in the scientific community) than in a direct way (by helping them finding new professional opportunities).
- COST Actions have a stronger positive impact on the career of younger researchers, female researchers and academics from Inclusiveness Target Countries (ITC)*.
- The support of COST has the highest impact on network expansion, meeting people from different disciplines, and starting new research collaborations.
- The three features that researchers appreciate most in COST Actions include networking with other colleagues, the meetings/conferences and the Short-term Scientific Missions.
- A stronger network building effect is identified for researchers from ITC* than for colleagues who are not from ITC, since they are more likely to become involved in COST Actions without having any previous connections to any of the other participants beforehand.
Our findings are based on a survey with more than 4500 former and current Action participants, and 30 in-depth interviews with participants holding a leadership position.
A mix of quantitative and qualitative tools were used in the study, including Principal Component Analysis, cluster analysis, multiple regression analysis, network analysis and textual analysis.
Find the full report here: https://www.cost.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Targeted-impact-assessment-on-career-development.pdf
* COST Inclusiveness Target Countries are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.