COST considers gender balance and early stage researchers as part of its strategic priorities.

Gender balance and support for female researchers and researchers with family duties

ENeL takes into account gender balance in all of its activities, including, for example, selecting speakers for meetings or accepting applications for short term scientific missions.

Additionally, ENeL commits to the COST family friendly policy, which includes aspects such as:

  • plan meetings outside major school holidays (variations across participant countries permitting)
  • provide information on venues with family rooms
  • advertise local childcare options as a standard part of the conference organisation
  • collect requests from participants on whether childcare is needed
  • investigate whether assistance, in practical or financial terms, for multiple requests related to childcare can be provided by the COST National Coordinator (CNC) of the country in which the meeting takes place

Early stage researchers

An Early Stage Researcher (ESR) is a researcher in the start phase of his/her career with at least the PhD and up to 8 years of experience after the PhD. Additionally, ENeL intends to support young researchers like postgraduate students and PhD candidates.

Early stage researchers play a major role in the research projects running in the framework of COST. Concerning ENeL, they were involved in the early stages of the Action and several ESRs have been nominated delegates of the Management Committee and chairs or vice chairs of the Action and its working groups. COST aims at strengthening the role of ESRs further by promoting their integration in all aspects of a COST Action.

Support measures particularly directed at ESRs and young scientists in general are

  • short term scientific missions (STSM)
  • training schools
  • workshops primarily open to ESRs to stimulate exchange of ideas and to give young scientists the opportunity to strengthen links with each other and with experienced scientists
  • conference grants
    • each COST Domain offers 3 supporting grants (max. 3,000 € each) per year for ESRs to participate in an international conference outside of the COST Action activities
    • ESRs interested in applying for this grant will be supported by WG chairs and the steering group