The FASTER Mobility Programme

The FASTER mobility programme aims to organise a minimum of nine visits by INRGREF staff and at least three PhD students to European collaborative centres, as co-directed by European institutions over three years. Short-term visits (1 week to 3 months) by staff will take place under two different programmes, depending on the experience of the visitors.






Senior Staff Visits


Students Visits

2 specialized programs

Senior INRGREF staff visits

Oriented to develop the necessary links to provide future research proposals, sharing of PhD students’ projects and co-authoring of academic publications.

Student and INRGREF staff visits

Aimed to enrich PhD projects, enhance local training and develop future collaborations.

3 partners

Sending institution


The National Research Institute for Rural Engineering Water and Forestry (INRGREF) is a Tunisian institution involved in Faster. Researchers and PhD students from INRGREF will visit European centres to enhance Research Excellence. Learn more about INRGREF on our partners page

Hosting institutions


The Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) is a public research institution in Spain. Researchers and students will be hosted in their infrastructure, the Can Balasc Biological Station. It is located in the Serra de Collserola Natural Park, one of the metropolitan areas of Barcelona’s largest and best-preserved forest areas. Can Balasc has laboratories and greenhouses, a guesthouse with rooms for visiting researchers, and 100 ha of forests and experimental sites for research purposes. Learn more about CREAF on our partners page 


The Lund University, located in Sweden, provides education and research in many various domains. The research at the Department of Water Resources Engineering during the latest thirty years has largely focussed on water resources problems in arid and semiarid developing countries. Close cooperation is performed with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES). Learn more about Lund University on our partners page 

First year: 2019 - results

The first year of the FASTER mobility programme, taking place from November 2018-December 2019 was a complete success.

From the beginning, it was planned to have on average 3 study visits during each year. However, during the first project year of FASTER, 3 researchers and 2 PhD students visited the European partners. The outcome was quite encouraging and among other things, a published paper in an international journal.

2 Researchers

went to CREAF

2 PhD Students, 1 Researcher


Mobility to Lund University

April 15 to 24, 2019

Dr. Fethi Bouksila,
researcher from INRGREF

  • Discussions with Prof. Ronny Berndtsson on improvements regarding data treatment and results by PhD students for joint publishing in international journals.
  • In the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), he discussed with master students the Tunisian water context before and after the revolution.
  • Discussed future possibilities of collaboration within project proposals and scientific articles writing.

April 15 to May 3, 2019

Sana Bouguerra
PhD student from INRGREF

  • Worked with Pr. Cintia Bertacchi Uvo on climate variability and trend for more than thirty years of measurements, in the Rmel river basin located in the northeastern part of Tunisia.
  • She planned an article related to connection between precipitation trend and different climatic modes.

Nesrine Zemni
PhD student from INRGREF

  • Analysed and discussed data on soil infiltration experiments performed at INRGREF with
    Prof. Magnus Persson.
  • Writing of a joint article on soil infiltration experiments and performance of the 5TE sensor.


Prof. Ronny Berndtsson researcher from Lund University Acting Director of Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Pr. Cintia Bertacchi Uvo
researcher from
Lund University

Prof. Magnus Persson
researcher from
Lund University

Mobility to CREAF

July 15 to 30, 2019

Dr. Kaouther Ben Yahia,
researcher from INRGREF

Dr. Meriem Zouaoui Boutiti,
researcher from INRGREF

  • Collaborated with Dr. Enrique Doblas and Dr. Pilar Andrés on soil organisms at CREAF headquarters and at its field laboratory in Can Balasc.
  • Presented their research in a special seminar session and met with Dr Josep Maria Espelta, specialist in Mediterranean forest ecology. Further potential collaboration was proposed.
  • Potential collaborations and derived scientific papers were discussed.


Dr. Enrique Doblas
research coordinator
from CREAF

Dr. Josep Maria Espelta
researcher from CREAF

Dr. Pilar Andrés
Senior researcher
from CREAF

Second year – 2020


Based on the first year’s strong results, Faster intends to continue along this path. The objective of a total of 3 researchers and students taking part in the mobility programme this coming year seems broadly achievable, given the attractiveness during the first year of the programme. Faster intends to continue to improve the excellence in research between its 3 partners: INRGREF, Lund University and CREAF.

Potential hosts at Lund University

Several individual researchers and informal research groups at Division of water resources engineering will be able to collaborate with the mobility researchers from INRGREF. The different research groups represent a wide selection of hydrological, hydraulic, and soil research. Including:

LU- Division water resources engineering

Ronny Berndtsson (Water resources analyses),

Miklas Scholz (Water quality, marginal water treatment)

Cintia Uvo (Nonlinear statistical analyses in hydrology),

Magnus Persson (Water and solute transport in soils)

LU- Division of Applied Microbiology-Department of Chemistry

Catherine Paul (environmental microbiology)

Potential hosts at CREAF

At the moment, two research groups have showed interest in hosting students from INRGREF for a mutual interest. Visiting students are expected to contribute in current research work while they will gain research experience and participate in consequent publications:

  1. The group of Remote Sensing at CREAF, GRUMETS, is open to students ready to carry out Geographical Information System related studies. They are looking for engaged students ready to work in CREAF but also to continue collaboration once returned.
  2. The laboratory of Dr. Pilar Andrés is also looking for young researchers ready to perform soil biota extractions (from microbiota to invertebrates). They will learn a lot about state-of-the-art extraction techniques and, in this sense, experienced researchers are also welcomed.

Third year: 2021


Specific objectives for the third year of the Faster mobility program are not yet detailed.

The objective of a total of 3 researchers and students taking part in the mobility programme will most probably be pursued for 2021.

The mobility program will continue to support the improvement in research excellence between its 3 partners: INRGREF, Lund University and CREAF.

More information to come.

Interested in joining the mobility program?

Send your English Curriculum and motivation letter at