Project ORIGINS - General discription

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The main objective of the COST action ORIGINS (TD 1308) is to address, using an interdisciplinary approach, three great questions about the origin, evolution and distribution of life:

Where, when and how did life emerge and evolve on Earth?
What are the conditions under which life can exist?
Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe and, if it does, how can it be detected and identified?


Today, for the first time it is possible to develop a robust scientific programme to explore these fundamental questions. This requires a transdisciplinary alliance drawing on:

investigating the extent and limits of biological diversity on Earth
and how life emerged, evolved and diversified in early times

investigating the habitability of planets and their moons

investigating the formation and evolution of stellar systems hosting
potentially habitable planets

studying the formation of complex molecules of prebiotic
interest in extraterrestrial environments

studying how the early Earth formed and evolved
into a habitable planet

investigating the first traces of life

Space scientists and engineers
preparing missions to solar system planets and developing technology
for remote sensing of biomarkers on exoplanets,

studying the transition from abiotic organic chemistry
to biochemistry

Philosophers and historians of science
exploring the origins of life to answer the central
question : «what is life»?

assisting by developing to tools to perform research.


Our action is divided into five themes, corresponding to the five Working Groups (WGs) set out in the “Action Structure” 


The very important aspects of “training and education” and “dissemination and outreach” ( which are common to all WGs) will be lead by two teams:

To know more about these WG and teams view this link.






CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:



Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Ange Marie Ina Uwase



A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020



Involved countries

View the Interactive Map
of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh), Russian Federation (Institute of Geology, Petrozavodsk), Australia (University of Sydney), United States of America (University of Hawai)

Specific Organisations
European Space Agency (ESA)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project

Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.