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PESFOR-W: Short Term Scientific Missions

Home research Payments for Ecosystem Services (Forest for water) PESFOR-W: Short Term Scientific Missions

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) are exchange visits aimed at strengthening existing networks and fostering collaboration between researchers that contribute to the objectives of the Action.

PESFOR-W STSMs – Second call in the fourth grant period   NOW CLOSED


  • Applicants must be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD student or postdoctoral fellow, or employed by/affiliated to an institution with a research remit.
  • Financial support for STSMs lasting three months or less is limited to a maximum of €2500.
  • For Early Career Investigators (ECIs – i.e. those within 8 years of completing a doctorate) longer STSMs lasting between 3-6 months are also an option, with the maximum financial support available for these €3500.
  • STSMs must start and finish within one of the Action's 6 or 12 month Grant Periods. (it is not possible for an STSM to start in one Grant Period and finish in another). For the third grant period, STSMs must be completed by the end of April 2019.
  • Within 4 weeks of an STSM being completed, the Grantee must submit a scientific report to the Action Vice Chair, STSM Co-ordinator and the Host institution (with payment of the Grant subject to the report being approved).

Criteria for selecting STSMs will include:-

  • Relevance to the Action and Topic of the call.
  • Quality of the workplan
  • Output(s) proposed
  • COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling ECIs and broadening geographical inclusiveness.
  • Budget (cost in relation to work proposed).

Priority topics under this call include:

  1. Engagement with policy-makers on best governance of new woodlands for water PES schemes and exploring potential for citizen science to monitor schemes: developing guidelines for qualitative data collection and stakeholders’ engagement
  2. Methodology and evidence review on assessing the effectiveness of woodland creation measures and providing guidance on the strengths and weaknesses: opportunity mapping;
  3. Forest water interactions under climate change and robust adaptive strategies – see pdf
  4. Review of demand-side and climate change factors influencing cost-effectiveness of woodlands for water PES;
  5. Socio-economic evaluation of woodlands for water PES schemes;
  6. Collecting data on woodlands for water PES schemes for Case Study fact sheets;
  7. Analysing forest owners’ attitudes and perspectives towards adopting PES schemes
  8. Analysing biophysical, governance and social-cultural preconditions for PES


Under COST rules, for the duration of their STSM, successful applicants become ineligible for reimbursement of subsistence expenses (hotels and meals) for COST Action meetings – including those of other Actions (irrespective of MC membership, or leadership position held).

The STSM coordinator for PESFOR-W is Dr Zuzana Sarvasova (contacts below) and enquiries and applications should be made to her in the first instance. Applications can only be submitted by using the on-line registration tool described in the COST Vademecum and forwarding the necessary documents to the STSM Manager.


Dr Zuzana Sarvasova, National Forest Centre, Zvolen, Slovakia.

email –

tel: +42 145 531 4124