Call for Virtual Networking Support Manager

The COST Association has launched two new types of Grants to respond to the rising need of digital tools in the context of the pandemic and to ensure continuity of COST Actions’ work activities. These are proposed as a pilot scheme until 31 October 2021 to build capacity and spread the uptake of virtual collaboration.

The Virtual Networking Tools (VNTs) include two new types of Grants:

  • Virtual Networking Support (VNS) Grant to stimulate virtual collaboration among all the members of a given Action by designating a Virtual Networking Support Manager. The successful applicant will be selected by the COST Action Management Committee (MC) to promote the virtual collaboration, such as developing a virtual networking strategy for the Action, taking overall responsibility for Virtual Mobility Grants and supporting the MC in the discussions and planning of virtual events and collaboration activities.
  • Virtual Mobility (VM) Grants to strengthen the existing networks by allowing individual participants to foster collaboration, to exchange knowledge, to learn new techniques, etc. The successful applicants will be selected by the MC to perform activities that do not necessarily require in-person presence. 

For more information about these VNTs, please read the VADEMECUM and the FAQ document.

GoodBrother’s Strategy for VNTs over the 1st Grant Period

The COST Association provides open guidelines regarding the objectives of VNTs grants. Given the limited time to develop virtual networking strategies until the end of the 1st Grant Period (31 October 2021), GoodBrother’s Core Group has discussed several approaches to award these grants, and  it has decided to narrow down their scope so that the outcomes align better with the overall objectives of the Action. Following the discussions, the Core Group has considered that the best approach is concentrating this year’s efforts on one VNS and the six VM grants focussed on the creation of an online event that would take place by the end of the 1st Grant Period, probably in early- or mid-October.

This event will be defined and organised by the selected Virtual Networking Support Manager (VNSM) potentially with the guidance of the Core Group. The programme of the online event must consider the diversity of areas covered in GoodBrother, the objectives of the Working Groups, and the differences among members expertise (i.e., from experienced researchers to early-career investigators). Although the format is flexible, it is expected that the VNSM puts together a number of invited talks, MOOCs, demonstrations, and short courses that would be publicly disseminated among the Action stakeholders over the event and beyond. More precisely, the content created for this event will be available on the GoodBrother website, at least, for the duration of the COST Action.

The programme proposed by the VNSM will determine the scope of the six VM grants, which call will be open soon after the VNSM is selected. 

Call for Virtual Networking Support Manager

Eligibility

  • The Applicant(s) must be an Action participant 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.

Grant amount

A financial contribution of up to EUR 4 000 will be awarded per Grant Period. The grant does not necessarily cover all expenses related to undertaking the virtual networking coordination role.

Deadline

June 20th, 2021

Application procedure

Please use the online form available via your e-COST profile at https://e-services.cost.eu. A template for the application can be found here. Both the description of benefits and outline of the strategy in the application must be related to the virtual event proposed by the Core Group described above. 

Additional information can be found in the Vademecum, The FAQ for VNTs and the VNT user guide. These documents can be downloaded from https://www.cost.eu/funding/how-to-get-funding/documents-and-guidelines/.

Evaluation and selection of applicants

The applications will be evaluated within one week by GoodBrother’s Core Group.

All the applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Description of the benefit for the Action
  • Alignment of the strategy with the COST and Action aims and objectives
  • Appropriate consideration of the inclusiveness Policy, especially towards the support of researchers in ITCs and NNCs.
  • In case of equally ranked applications underrepresented persons, ECI and applicants from ITC will be considered first