Postdoctoral positions in the frames of National Programme “Young scientists and postdoctoral researchers – 2”, Bulgaria

Posted 6 months ago

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 Young Scientists and Postdoctoral Researchers National Programme – 2 is the continuation of a good practice for attracting and supporting the career development of young researchers 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 will encourage young researchers 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 young researchers and postdoctoral researchers and support for their career development.

The specific goal of the Programme is to attract, retain and develop highly-qualified young researchers 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 will carry out high-standard scientific research, while being responsible to society and achieving results that will aid the implementation of NSDSR.


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

I phase, 18 months, 2022 – 2023

II phase, 18 months, 2024 – 2025

  1. After the Programme is launched a Commission is formed by order of the Rector of MU-Pleven after decision of the Academic Council, which develops rules for transparent, competitive selection of applicants and propose a mechanism for distributing funds received under the Program to structural units.
  2. Funding and the number of supported young scientists and postdoctoral students in the units of the MU – Pleven are determined by the units and approved by the Commission.
  3. After receiving the funding, the units of MU – Pleven will appoint participants and publish information about them at website of Medical University – Pleven. 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.young researchers or postdoctoral researcher, after the job title.
  4. Within one month after the end of the first stage of implementation of the Programme, the respective units of MU – Pleven will submit to the Commission a detailed scientific and financial report on the Programme beneficiaries approved by the Faculty Council of the unit.
  5. Within two months after the end of each stage of the Programme, the Academic Council 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 young researchers and postdoctoral researchers with relevant evidence that during the reporting period they mеet the conditions for young researchers 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 Young scientist’s module and Postdoctoral Researchers module. The distribution of the funds for the two modules is carried out by the beneficiary organization, with at least 50% of the provided funds allocated for the implementation of the Young scientist’s module and at least 20% for the Postdoctoral Researchers module.


The specific goal of this module is to stimulate young researchers with acquired educational and scientific degrees “Doctor” to conduct high-quality research in Bulgarian public universities and public scientific organizations and increase the scientific level of the beneficiary organizations.

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


  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 national requirements 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 will be given to postdoctoral researchers who are not from the beneficiary organization/institute. However, in cases where the organization/institute from which they migrate is a university or public scientific community in the country, the organization/institute will give its consent for the applicant to participate in the Programme. It will also commit to (i) placing the applicant on unpaid leave while retaining their employment and (ii) using the provided financial resources to stimulate young researchers.
  4. Postdoctoral researchers can be appointed on an additional part-time contract in the same beneficiary organization in which they work.
  5. A project proposal must be submitted to the beneficiary organization 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 salary – 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 organization 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 organization;
  • When hiring a postdoctoral researcher from another country or area different from where the beneficiary organization is based, a sum of up to BGN 1000 per month for accommodation costs is allocated in addition.

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.

Documents required for applying

  • Motivation letter.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Master degree
  • Doctoral degree
  • Certificate/s of foreign language proficiency.
  • List of projects the applicant has been involved in.
  • List of publications
  • List of citations
  • List of research conferences and events the applicant has participated in, e.g., with a report, poster or presentation.
  • Specializations abroad
  • Erasmus exchange
  • Detailed project (up to 4 pages), which meets the following requirements*:
  • relevant subject,
  • scientific excellence,
  • includes a comprehensive action plan covering the timeline of the project
  • information about the project implementation period,
  • detailed and justified financial plan.

* The proposal must be submitted in Bulgarian.

  • Awards or certificates

  • The Programme will be announced on the website of the Medical University – Pleven

  • The application documents for module must be submitted electronically by emails of Faculties.

At one of its regular meetings, the Faculty Counsil will approve those applications of postdoctoral researchers that meet the requirements of the Programme and the criteria approved by the Academic Council of Medical University – Pleven.

Job Features

Job CategoryPost doc

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