21/07/2022

Early-stage and Postdoctoral researchers National Programme 2 – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

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  • ORGANISATION NAME
    Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • ORGANISATION COUNTRY
    Bulgaria
  • FUNDING TYPE
    Funding
  • DEADLINE DATE
    30/09/2022
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Formal sciences
    Humanities
    Natural sciences
    Professions and applied sciences
    Social sciences
  • CAREER STAGE
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)
    Recognised Researcher (R2) (PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent)

Description

Need for the Programme

The continuing and marked decrease in young people's interest in a career in scientific research is one of the enduring and negative trends observed in Bulgaria in the last few years. The low social status of the career of ‘researcher’ and the low pay have made it extremely difficult to tackle this problem. Concurrently the competition for first-rate human capital and gifted researchers is rising on a European and global scale. Thus, it is necessary for each country to develop its own programme for supporting the career development of researchers and to create incentives for promoting scientific work in priority areas. The Early-stage and Postdoctoral Researchers National Programme 2 (ERPSNP2) is the continuation of a good practice for attracting and supporting the career development of early-stage and postdoctoral researchers in Bulgarian public research organisations and state higher-education institutions. The Programme is also part of the implementation of Objective 3 from the National Strategy for the Development of Scientific Research in the Republic of Bulgaria 2017–2030 (NSDSR), namely attracting and retaining talented young people in the field of scientific research and introducing supplementary measures to turn Bulgaria into an active partner within the European Research Area (ERA). The strategy's implementation shall encourage early-stage and postdoctoral researchers to pursue work in the field of scientific research and support their career development, resulting in sustainable development and proliferation of the scientific capacity on a national level. The Programme is also part of implementing the recommendation by the peer review panel, carried out under the Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility, which concerns incentives for early-stage and postdoctoral researchers and support for their career development.

The specific goal of ERPSNP2 is to attract, retain and develop highly-qualified early-stage and postdoctoral researchers, achieving in this way sustainable proliferation of scientific capacity at the national level, reintegration and employability of young and promising researchers, while also creating an environment that facilitates the exchange of scientific ideas. The aim is to create a new generation of highly-qualified researchers who shall carry out high-standard scientific research, while being responsible to society and achieving results that shall aid the implementation of NSDSR.

PROGRAMME TIMELINE: until the end of 2025

The Programme shall be implemented in two phases, each with a duration of 18 months:

I phase, 18 months, 2022 – 2023

II phase, 18 months, 2024 – 2025

 

PRINCIPLE, DEADLINES, STAGES OF FINANCING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME. PROCEDURE FOR EXAMINATION AND REPORTING OF RESULTS.

 

  1. After the Programme is launched and BAS receives the respective financial resources, a commission is formed by order of the President of BAS, which shall develop rules for transparent, competitive selection of applicants and propose a mechanism for distributing funds received under the Program to structural units.
  2. The Governing Council of BAS approves the proposals of the Commission.
  3. The Commission summarises the received proposals for funding early-stage and postdoctoral researchers from the units and submits them to the Governing Council of BAS for approval.
  4. After receiving the funding, the units of BAS shall appoint participants in the Programme and publish on their websites information about the successful participants for the respective stage. When employing participants for the Programme, job titles from the National Classification of Professions and Positions – 2011 may be used, corresponding to the person's main functions and tasks. Furthermore, the employer may add additional clarification,e.g.early-stage or postdoctoral researcher, after the job title.
  5. Within one month after the end of the first stage of implementation of the Programme, the respective units of BAS shall submit to the Commission a detailed scientific and financial report on the Programme beneficiaries approved by the Scientific Council of the unit.
  6. Within two months after the end of each stage of the Programme, the Governing Council of BAS approves a summary report and submits detailed reports on expenditures to the interdepartmental commission in the Ministry of Education and Science (separately for the appointed early-stage and postdoctoral researchers with relevant evidence that during the reporting period they mеet the conditions for early-stage and postdoctoral researcher as set down in the Law on Promotion of Scientific Research), the results of the implementation of the Programme and the contribution to the achievement of the Programme indicators.

PROGRAMME FINANCING

The National Programme is divided into the Early-Stage Researchers module and Postdoctoral Researchers module. The distribution of the funds for the two modules is carried out by the beneficiary organisation, with at least 50% of the provided funds allocated for the implementation of the Early-Stage Researchers module and at least 20% for the Postdoctoral Researchers module.

 

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

 

1. EARLY-STAGE RESEARCHERS MODULE

The specific goal of this module is to attract and retain promising young people for work in scientific research and increase the number of early-stage researchers in the country by providing more attractive remuneration.

 

An 'early-stage researcher' is someone who carries out scientific research or scientific educational activities in a higher-education institution and/or scientific organisation after receiving their first Master's degree, but not for more than 10 years after receiving it.

 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

1. During their participation in the Programme applicants must satisfy the definition of 'early-stage researcher'.

2. Applicants for this module can:

- be recently employed under the Programme by the beneficiary organisation and satisfy the definition of 'early-stage researcher';

- hold the academic position of 'assistant' and 'assistant professor' (with a minimum of six years of service at the time of applying) and have an employment contract at the beneficiary organisation;

- be doctoral students who have been granted the right to thesis defence and are employed on an employment contract at the beneficiary organisation;

- be doctoral students enrolled in part-time or unsupervised (individual plan) programmes at least six months before applying to the beneficiary organisation and being employed on an employment contract;

- be specialists with a higher education degree who meet the 'early-stage researcher' requirement and are employed on an employment contract with the beneficiary.

 

Eligible expenses for incentivising early-stage researches:

 

– for monthly remuneration – the financial resources under the module can be used for the monthly remuneration of newly employed early-stage researchers and for supplementary monthly remunerations for early-stage researchers already employed by the beneficiary organisation in the following manner:

  • In the case of monthly remuneration for newly employed early-stage researchers – at least BGN 1,200, with included resources for social insurance at the employer's expense.
  • In the case of supplementary monthly remuneration for early-stage researchers already employed by the beneficiary – at least BGN 300, but not more than BGN 800, with included resources for social insurance at the employer's expense.

– for the implementation of research activities (up to 20% of the total sum of the grant) – for work-related visits, purchase of materials, consumables, specialised equipment, information products, computers, printers, etc.

 

Documents required for applying

Early-stage researcher:

  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Diploma for a completed course of study and a certificate for foreign language proficiency.
  • Cover letter, which includes information about areas of scientific interest.
  • Up-to-date description of the applicant's scientific work (if applicable).
  • List of publications and projects the applicant has been involved in (if applicable).
  • Action plan for the future research and career development of the applicant, approved by the supervisor/head of unit/laboratory* (up to 2 pages).
  • Other materials provided at the discretion of the applicant that attest to their professional qualities, e.g. awards or certificates.
  • Short professional curriculum vitae of the supervisor – selected articles on the subject and citations.

 

*IMPORTANT!!!!! The supervisor/head of unit/laboratory must explicitly indicate one of the two options:

- The early-stage researcher is newly employed on a salary in line with the requirements of the Programme.

- The early-stage researcher is already employed at the unit – the supplementary remuneration in line with the requirements of the Programme must be indicated.

 

 

2. POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS MODULE

The specific goal of this module is to stimulate early-stage researchers with acquired educational and scientific degrees "Doctor" to conduct high-quality research in Bulgarian public universities and public scientific organisations and increase the scientific level of the beneficiary organisations.

Through their participation in the Programme, postdoctoral researchers shall gain more research experience and competence and develop a higher level of independence, increasing their qualifications. This shall enable them to build a higher level of independence, improve their technical skills and specify their research interests.

At the same time the Programme shall contribute to the transfer of experience and knowledge to the beneficiary organisation, developing competitive and modern research areas, and stimulating individual potential for high-level innovation as a fundamental step for developing a sustainable innovation environment. Furthermore, this shall create closer ties with other research organisations and universities, promoting the formation of multidisciplinary scientific teams.

 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  1. Applicants for this module can be researchers who have acquired a doctoral degree (academic and scientific) in the country or abroad. They must meet the minimum requirements of BAS for obtaining a doctoral degree (academic and scientific) in the scientific fields and/or professional fields in which they apply.
  2. During their participation in the Programme, the applicants must meet the definition of a postdoctoral researcher: a researcher who has obtained their first doctoral degree (academic and scientific), but not more than five years after completing it
  3. Priority shall be given to postdoctoral researchers who are not from the beneficiary organisation/institute. In cases where the organisation/institute from which they migrate is a university or public scientific community in Bulgaria, the organisation/institute shall give its consent for the applicant to participate in the Programme. It shall also commit to (i) placing the applicant on unpaid leave while retaining their employment and (ii) using the released financial resources to stimulate early-stage researchers.
  4. Postdoctoral researchers can be appointed on an additional part-time contract in the same beneficiary organisation in which they work.
  5. A project proposal must be submitted to the beneficiary organisation to apply for this module.
  6. Deadline for implementation of the project proposal: up to 12 months with the possibility of extension, but not more than 24 months during the Programme's implementation.

Eligible costs to support postdoctoral researchers:

– up to 85% for monthly remuneration - the funds under the module can be used both for a basic monthly remuneration of newly appointed postdoctoral researchers and for a supplementary monthly remuneration of already appointed in the beneficiary organisation postdoctoral researchers, as follows:

 - up to 15% of the project funds can be used for mobility: work-related visits (travel, per diem and accommodation expenses), fieldwork, and participation fees for scientific forums.

 - up to 25% of the project funds can be used for materials and consumables needed to carry out research in the host beneficiary organisation;

- When hiring a postdoctoral researcher from another country or area different from where the beneficiary organisation is based, a sum of up to BGN 1000 per month for accommodation costs is allocated in addition.

  • for newly appointed postdoctoral researcher beneficiaries in the organisation - at least BGN 2,000, but not higher than BGN 3,000 (including funds for insurance at the expense of the employer and for supplementary remuneration for educational and scientific degree "Doctor");
  • for supplementary monthly salaries of a postdoctoral researcher (employees of the beneficiary organisation) - at least BGN 400, but not higher than BGN 800 (including funds for insurance at the employer's expense).

 

Documents required for applying

 

Postdoctoral researchers:

  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Doctoral degree and certificate of foreign language proficiency.
  • Cover letter, which includes information about research areas of interest
  • Detailed project (up to 10 pages), which meets the following requirements: relevant subject, scientific excellence, includes a comprehensive action plan covering the timeline of the project and a detailed and justified financial plan. 
  • Up-to-date description of the applicant's scientific work.
  • List of publications and projects the applicant has been involved in.
  • List of research conferences and events the applicant has participated in, e.g. with a report, poster or presentation.
  • Action plan for the future research and career development of the applicant approved by the supervisor/head of unit/laboratory (up to 2 pages).
  • Other materials provided at the discretion of the applicant that attest to their professional qualities, e.g. awards or certificates.
  • Short professional curriculum vitae of the supervisor from the host institution – selected articles on the subject and citations.

 

IMPORTANT!!!!! The supervisor/head of unit/laboratory must explicitly indicate one of the two options:

- The postdoctoral researcher is not from the beneficiary organisation, and their salary is in line with the requirements of the Programme.

- The postdoctoral researcher is already employed at the unit – the supplementary remuneration in line with the requirements of the Programme must be indicated.

 

The financial resources under the National Programme cannot be used for identical activities financed with EU funds, other forms of national funding or donor programmes.

 

 

IMPORTANT!!!!!

  • The Programme is announced on the website of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the European portal EURAXESS
  • The application documents for both modules are submitted electronically to the reception office of the host institute.
  • Application documents for postdoctoral fellowships are submitted in English (except diplomas, certificates, awards, etc.)
  • Documents submitted from abroad for participation in the Postdoctoral Researchers module of the Programme must be sent to: <phd_program2@cu.bas.bg>. The research unit where the project shall be implemented must be contacted beforehand.

 

At one of its regular meetings, the Scientific Council of the unit shall approve those applications of early-stage and postdoctoral researchers that MEET the requirements of the Programme and the criteria approved by the Governing Council of BAS. The following documents must be submitted to the document registration office at the Administration of BAS:

1. Minutes from the meeting of the Scientific Council.

2. A list of the approved applicants. It must be explicitly indicated in which Programme module the applicants participate, whether they are not from the unit /newly employed or on an employment contract at the unit and the sum offered as remuneration.

  • Deadline for document submission to administration office of the institute – 30.09.2022
  • Deadline for applicant assessment by the Scientific council of the institute – 1 month after the submission deadline.
  • The Governing Council of BAS approves the applicants and the financial distribution.

 

The final two remunerations shall be paid after the research and financial report of the unit's Scientific Council has been approved.

The summarized reports of the units shall be submitted to the Governing Council of BAS .

The Governing Council of BAS approves the overview report on the implementation of the Programme and submits it to the Ministry of Education and Science.

More Information

Disclaimer:

The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.