Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Panel 4 Report: Social Sciences, Humanities

Volume 5 of 5

www.esf.org

Acknowledgements

European Science Foundation (ESF) The European Science Foundation (ESF) was established in 1974 to provide a common platform for its Member Organisations to advance European research collaboration and explore new directions for research. It is an independent organisation, owned by 80 Member Organisations, which are research funding organisations and research performing organisations, academies and learned societies from 30 countries. ESF promotes collaboration in research itself, in funding of research and in science policy activities at the European level. ALLEA (All European Academies) ALLEA (All European Academies) is the European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities whose 53 Member Academies in 40 countries are self-governing communities of scientists and scholars. It was founded in 1994 to promote the exchange of information and experience between Academies; to offer European science and society advice from its Member Academies; and to promote excellence and high ethical standards in science and scholarship.

The Review Committee wishes to thank all the people who have contributed to the planning and execution of this evaluation exercise including the preparation of the reports. Our special thanks are due to the members of staff of the BAS Institutes who prepared the Self-Evaluation Reports, thus providing the data without which an evaluation such as this would not be possible. We also owe our gratitude and respect to those whom we met during our site visits and interviews for their frank and open attitude that has helped us greatly in understanding the environment and context in which they operate. We applaud the BAS leadership for its consistent support and its encouragement in applying strict international quality standards to this evaluation, even though the conditions for research in Bulgaria are comparatively difficult. Our understanding is that our findings will be used for the purpose for which they are intended: to improve the quality and impact of research in Bulgaria and we are looking forward to the results. Finally, our work could not have been done without the support of the staff of ESF and ALLEA. Our special thanks go to Dr. Astrid Lunkes, Dr. Bernard Avril, Dr. Farzam Ranjbaran and Dr. Rüdiger Klein as scientific secretaries of the panels. Dr. Klein and Dr. Ranjbaran also acted as secretaries of the Review Monitoring Committee and coordinated its activities including support to the preparation of the final reports.

Contents
Part A: Panel-level Report ..................................................................................................... 3 1. Overall summary of the Institute-level scores ................................................................ 4 2. Panel-level executive summary ............................................................................................ 7 3. Panel-level evaluation report ................................................................................................ 8 4. Panel-level recommendations ............................................................................................ 22 Part B: Institute-level Reports........................................................................................... 29 Humanities...................................................................................................................................... 29 701 Institute for Bulgarian Language .................................................................................. 30 702 Institute of Literature ........................................................................................................ 38 703 Institute of History ............................................................................................................. 46 704 Professor Alexander Fol Centre of Thracology........................................................ 54 705 National Institute of Archaeology with Museum (NIAM) .................................... 61 706 Institute of Balkan Studies............................................................................................... 72 707 Ethnographic Institute with Museum (EIM) ............................................................ 80 708 Institute of Art Studies ...................................................................................................... 90 709 Institute of Folklore............................................................................................................ 99 710 Cyrillo-Methodian Research Centre ...........................................................................108 711 Centre for Architectural Studies ..................................................................................117 Social Sciences .............................................................................................................................125 801 Institute of Sociology .......................................................................................................126 802 Institute of Economics.....................................................................................................135 803 Institute for Philosophical Research..........................................................................143 804 Institute of Psychology ....................................................................................................152 805 Institute for Legal Studies ..............................................................................................160 806 The Centre for Population Studies .............................................................................168 807 Centre for Science Studies and History of Science ...............................................177

1

2

Part A: Panel-level Report

3

1. Overall summary of the Institute-level scores
In this section, the scores given to all Institutes for the three criteria are summarised. Table 1: Scores for all Institutes in PE-4
No. 701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 711 801 802 803 804 805 806 807 Institute Name INSTITUTE FOR BULGARIAN LANGUAGE INSTITUTE OF LITERATURE INSTITUTE OF HISTORY INSTITUTE OF THRACOLOGY NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY WITH MUSEUM INSTITUTE OF BALKAN STUDIES ETHNOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE WITH MUSEUM INSTITUTE OF ART STUDIES INSTITUTE OF FOLKLORE CYRILLO-METHODIAN RESEARCH CENTRE CENTRE FOR ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES INSTITUTE OF SOCIOLOGY INSTITUTE OF ECONOMICS INSTITUTE FOR PHILOSOPHICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF PSYCHOLOGY INSTITUTE FOR LEGAL STUDIES THE CENTRE FOR POPULATION STUDIES CENTRE FOR SCIENCE STUDIES AND HISTORY OF SCIENCE Quality and Productivity B B C B A B B C B A D B B B C B B B Relevance A B B B A A B A A B B B A A B B A B Prospect A A C C A B A B B A C B A A C B B A

4

Figure 1: Distribution of Scores for ”Quality / Productivity” for all PE-4 Institutes

Figure 2: Distribution of Scores for “Relevance” for all PE-4 Institutes

Figure 3: Distribution of Scores for ”Prospects” for all PE-4 Institutes

5

Figure 4: Distribution of Scores for ”Quality / Productivity” across Divisions of PE-4

Figure 5: Distribution of Scores for “Relevance” across Divisions of PE-4

Figure 6: Distribution of Scores for ”Prospects” across Divisions of PE-4

6

2. Panel-level executive summary
The 18 research institutes and centres of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) relating to the Humanities and Social Sciences (SSH) must all be praised for operating successfully at often remarkable levels of scientific quality in an extremely harsh environment. Admirable research is produced at these Academy institutes under sub-optimal working conditions. High added value is created in terms of socio-economic impact in return for minimal investment, valiant visions for a better future of the fields in general and of the next generations of scholars in particular are fought for against all odds. Many institute leaders have invented new ways to keep their institutes viable and vibrant; be it through quality assurance schemes, rewards and incentives, or through new formats for internal communication. And most of them welcome the enterprising attitude of the generation that had grown into networking their research in Europe and beyond. Researchers in the Social Sciences and Humanities are conscious that the new knowledge they produce is precious for Bulgaria and Europe in this phase of rapid transition and transformation, and are keen to grasp opportunities to continue improving their lot. The Panel noted that most of the institutes are visible on the international research scene, with overall good “quality and productivity” of research; in only four cases the low level of engagement in (high-level) international debates is criticized. About half the institutes show a top performance in terms of “relevance” to society, and about half again are considered to have very good “prospects” for the future. This section of the report will also elaborate on the scientific communication of institutes with a specific focus on Bulgaro-centric topics: the report will propose some suggestions to internationalize the Bulgaro-centric publications. On the other hand, many of the reasons why certain institutes are currently not conforming to expectations in terms of “relevance” and “prospects” cannot be put down to systemic failures; rather they are linked to specific research management issues that emerged from the reports and during the site visits. The Panel was impressed with the overall very informative Self-Evaluation Reports (SER). They were rich in detail, largely accurate and without contradictions, clear in execution, and often included sections of remarkable analytical rigour with regard to the “big picture” (science in Bulgaria and the role of BAS). The sections on perspectives were typically shorter and often somewhat formulaic, but many valuable ideas were found elsewhere in the text, and interviews during the site visits yielded further information on the ambitions and forward planning of the institutes. The Panel greatly appreciated the ability of leadership and research staff at practically all units to provide further written data at short notice whenever the latter was requested. During the site visits, Panel members were in most cases positively surprised by the elegant and lively presentations of research highlights, and by the engaged, critical and constructive discussions of the [respective] profiles of units. In most cases institute directors made a deliberate effort to actively involve members of staff of all categories and ages, as had been requested. This being the first comprehensive and detailed international evaluation of the entire BAS system of research units, institutes dealt remarkably well with the bold assumption that a

7

serious, critical evaluation can become an asset in the process of rejuvenation and renewal. Site visits had been prepared with unfailing punctuality and professionalism by the secretarial staff of the two divisions at BAS evaluated by this Panel. With a wealth of information and impressions to rely on, the Panel mostly refrained from seeking BAS-level insights into strategic priorities and central forwardplanning and preferred to focus on information collected so that the report would do justice to the SERs examined and site visits conducted. Only where it was occasionally felt that certain idiosyncrasies could be better understood by referring to the wider context was this approach abandoned. Unanimously, the Panel praised the young scholars whom they met during the site visits and during a special three-hour evening session which brought together some of the best early career researchers from all 18 institutes. They convinced all the Panel members that top-class research in the Humanities and Social Sciences will continue to be conducted at the Academy in the future, provided the current leadership in both Academy and government can agree on a plan to ensure that BAS as a national research centre, in which this talent can flourish, will be supported in the appropriate manner.

3. Panel-level evaluation report
This report deals with the institutes of two divisions, Humanities and Social Sciences, which all have specific accomplishments and which, though they share many problems, may each have unique visions for the future. This is why at this level few specific recommendations are made: in order to avoid unnecessary repetition, issues to be dealt with at BAS level and likely to concern all sciences are not raised here, nor are issues requiring specific adjustments between institutes which can be found at the institute level. Instead this section highlights some of the general problems and suggested changes identified as either concerning particularly the SSH fields, or concerning the SSH fields in a particular way. Strategy: Relevance and basic research The BAS institutes in the Humanities and Social Sciences have to live up to a double mission, as many other BAS institutes do. On the one hand (and this was the emphasis for this evaluation), they are expected to produce research, of a quality that compares to the best produced internationally. On the other hand, they are called upon to contribute to the wellbeing of the Bulgarian nation. In some SSH fields, this second part of their mission is interpreted through their research practice, in more or less subtle ways, as pursuing national identity not as a contested object of study but as an objective to be affirmatively strengthened through the research products themselves. The Panel felt it difficult not to pass judgment on the political implications of these nationalistically inspired, thematic and methodological choices of individuals or institutes, but decided merely to draw the attention of the units concerned to the dangers of using terminologies and

8

methods that endorse essentialisms or thinly veiled nationalisms, or deliberately gloss over differences and fractures within Bulgarian society and history. The phenomenon becomes outright dangerous for the international position of Bulgarian scholarship, however, when the need to contribute to national debates is used as an excuse to shun international publication. The Panel alerted the units concerned to the problem, whenever the lack of international competitiveness could be linked to somewhat narrow approaches. The Panel acknowledges that the institutes find themselves in a dilemma, as is indicated by the wording of the relevant and open-ended thematic section titles of funding lines offered by the Bulgarian National Science Fund which offer little in the way of an alternative: the relevant funding chapter is “Historical and Cultural Heritage, National Identity and Social Environment”. In this context, many of the choices that risk causing the isolation of Bulgarian scholarship in SSH appear rational in the short term. The Panel argued that a systematic internationalisation of the entire system – for example by introducing International Scientific Advisory Councils (see below) – might accelerate the slow transition away from a nation-centred rhetoric. Such a transition is already beginning to articulate itself through young scholars many of whom have spent years abroad and bring home innovative concepts and approaches. The function of the Academy to serve society expresses itself through the provision of expert advice and advanced contributions to topical debates (such as ageing, migration, identity etc.): in the past, as well as in recent years, this has meant that the experts based in Academy institutes are expected to carry out research commissioned by government agencies. Often such work is not recompensed, since it is understood to fall within the remit of the particular institute’s responsibilities. If core funding is secure and plentiful, this may be a flexible enough structure, allowing for sound science advice being offered alongside basic and methodologically innovative and exploratory research being conducted. As it stands, and with hardly any alternative resources to be tapped into, the structure risks becoming dysfunctional, as the preoccupation with what are de facto civil service consultancy tasks blocks academic resources from keeping up with (and contributing to) developments in the research field. During site visits, a request to shift from 70:30 to 30:70 in the relationship between basic and applied research was mentioned time and again, either as a process under way or as a strongly felt expectation. The Panel felt that such a prescriptive pressure may ultimately become an impediment to good research. When expertise becomes over-employed in providing advice, while being undernourished with resources to conduct basic and methodologically innovative research, a calamitous dynamics may ensue. Intense consultancy work seems to reduce the international exposure of researchers (publications, conferences, scholarly exchanges), which entails the further risk that future advice may not be of the quality that should be expected. The Panel is

9

convinced that only by actively safeguarding a healthy balance between basic and applied research can commissioning agencies be reasonably certain that the advice they ask for will be as good as what their competitors, perhaps in other countries, may rely on. Far from suggesting that Academy institutes in the SSH should be devoted to blueskies research alone, this Panel would expect an Academy to play a vital societal role in contributing knowledge to public decision-making processes. However: its resources must be properly replenished for it to be able to do so. For evaluation purposes it was somewhat difficult to assess accurately the value of those units whose operational horizon has been increasingly narrowing in that sense: their production seems to be solid, but often somewhat pedestrian (as consultancy work arguably should be): these are units that would perhaps achieve a weak “B” or “C” on internationally measured quality / productivity, but which would score high on “relevance” (e.g. folklore; population studies). In one case, the team observed an ingenious and energetic attempt to recast an entire field, guided by a strong leadership, in a way that would be surprising to many researchers at comparably large institutes elsewhere, but with a deliberate strategy in mind of making the domain more relevant for society (philosophy). Elsewhere, it is found difficult to make basic and applied research mutually enrich each other within one institute, and hence the institute as a whole remains at a “B” level throughout (sociology); and elsewhere again, the weight of history seems to be still such that expertise is not sought consistently where it might be found (law). Rare are the cases in which the Panel discovered that the level of research had, overall, fallen below a certain quality standard (history, psychology), irrespective of whether or not the expertise was required by external clients: in fact, there is no imminent danger of a poorly informed body politic, as competing expertise has been growing elsewhere (in these last two cases at a couple of good universities). \ Bulgaro-centric research Not surprisingly perhaps, some of the best research was found in fields in which a Bulgaro-centric topic would allow researchers to benefit from privileged access to a fascinating civilisation and society: the Panel acknowledged that a number of institutes have found ways to foster a methodologically sound examination and documentation of diversity, within the country, across the wider region of SouthEastern Europe, or with regard to Europe at large. Be it through museological work, or with the preparation of corpora, databases or editions, or by many other means, such a well-understood quest for specificities can help Bulgarian scholarship to find its rightful place in Europe. In fact, the multiple layers and immense cultural and social complexity of Bulgarian society requires researchers to use tools of cutting edge scholarship: such accomplishments make their work appealing to colleagues elsewhere (resulting in frequently cited publications) and valuable for finding more advanced solutions in whatever field of knowledge they happen to be working (adding social value to their exploits). Typical cases are the fields of archaeology, where the dynamism of transition beats the rhythm to high-powered rescue excavations which in turn yield new insights

10

into the deep history of the country at an astonishing rate, or in IT-supported linguistics and medieval philologies (spread over various institutes and centres) where a vast untapped wealth of cultural heritage is unlocked, or in economics where the mastery of relevant analytical and modelling tools allows for direct impact on planning processes from municipal all the way to central governments. Fields which are by their very nature Bulgaro-centric will consequently have a large proportion of their publications in Bulgarian: typical cases are the institutes of Bulgarian language, literature, history etc., but also institutes dealing with the challenges of transition for the Bulgarian economy, law and society. As one would observe in other countries, much of the resulting scholarly production is presented in the national language – in which of course worldwide specialists will be as fluent as 3the domestic, non-academic end-users. The Panel felt that there can be no argument of principle against publications in Bulgarian, provided measures are taken (evaluation incentives; technical and material support for Open Access publishing) to make the best work available also in other world languages. However: the Panel urges institutes and the BAS leadership to ensure that quality standards are not lower than what would be expected from international publications in other languages. Best practice for research journals must be identified and enforced systematically; this includes, but is not limited to, the establishment of independent international editorial boards, timeliness of periodical publications, opening of the journal to unsolicited submissions from scholars in Bulgaria and elsewhere, implementation of a rigorous protocol for peer review of all papers submitted for publication. Furthermore the Panel considers it imperative that such publications be made electronically available in full Open Access format (no significant income can be gained from them at any rate, and visibility is unnecessarily reduced), so that relevant indices capture their titles. While any insistence on publication only in foreign languages would be misguided, all measures must (and can easily) be taken to ensure that quality and accessibility of the specialist literature in Bulgarian is of world-class standard. International networks The institutes travel along many diverse paths in order to construct and use international networks. The specificities have been described and analysed in most of the institute reports. At the level of the two divisions another consideration imposes itself: much of the research in the Humanities and Social Sciences relies on heuristic and interpretational techniques that are acquired in a culture-specific way. The Panel saw - not surprisingly, but consistently implicitly from reports, and explicitly from site visits and the exchanges with young scholars - that the cultural specificity at work is two-fold: it depends partly on the domestic intellectual and institutional framework, and partly on the foreign schools of thought to which academics were exposed during their formative years, an exposure later perhaps reinforced through visiting scholarships of different kinds. The fact that Bulgarian scholars based at the Academy may have worked and lived in all the cultural spheres of the continent and bring those different approaches back to their institutes is an invaluable and systematically underestimated asset: many

11

contacts are cultivated with Germanic, Latin and Slavonic research environments, and one does not yet observe an overpowering dominance of Anglophone influences. Surely, in a domain such as SSH, where the emphasis is on cultural heritage, such diversity must be recognized as healthy. Young researchers and senior scholars alike would be further enriched if these diverse intellectual influences were made to intersect more deliberately, for example through cross-institute meetings where different state(s) of the art(s) could be compared. Such encounters may take, among many others, the form of open research seminars or internal, thematically focused away-days aimed at creating a space for new research questions. For the fragile asset of intellectual diversity not to wane, the institutes and the BAS leadership must continue to support comparatively small-scale bi- and multilateral exchange programmes (which used to be typical of Academies). There is no reason not also to select some priority areas, where evident strengths could be energized further by advanced methodological exchanges (e.g. anthropology and folklore; medieval philologies). Along the same line of reasoning, the Panel felt that across all institutes a sustained programme of awarding visiting fellowships would be beneficial. It goes without saying that all support possible (technical, financial, additional language-training etc. etc.) must be given to those institutes striving actively to have a stronger and more successful participation in European research programmes (FP, ESF, COST etc). The Panel noticed with some concern that currently some of the projects presented proudly as “European” were in fact not research projects at all, but often resembled HR development projects which comprised some components that were discipline- or profession-specific (law), even though they tied up (and bought in) staff on project management tasks; in other cases, the role of Bulgarian researchers was simply to collect region-specific data (psychology). Two good examples of real research projects, producing new data and weaving a new network of relevant academic and non-academic actors in Bulgaria are the projects on Ageing and Life-Long-Learning (population; sociology). Exceptionally ambitious are the research infrastructure projects in linguistics (CLARIN), and the many vibrant biand multi-lateral collaborations between BAS institutes and major research centres abroad which often occur outside any external programmatic support from “Brussels” in areas such as archaeology, medieval philologies etc. (see also CMRC; Literature; Balkan Studies). Publications The Panel found that overall productivity in terms of traditional research output in SSH fields (books, articles etc.) was good. Yet it was also struck that despite the manifold international contacts, Institutes are comparatively weak when it came to international publications. The connection between increasing consultancy work and decreasing international exposure has already been mentioned and is evident. Conversely, institutes that did

12

not obtain top rankings in overall scientific quality for lack of good international publications, may include sub-units dealing with basic science (neuropsychology; some fields in sociology) that achieve such scientific visibility. The Panel urges BAS and the institutes to introduce an incentive and support structure (see below) that ensures that more BAS-based publications reach international journals. The Panel noticed that some inflated publication figures are derived from double counting, perhaps due to difficulties in classification, but were relieved to see that by and large there are only occasional uses of salami-slicing techniques to boost publication counts. The organizations in charge of this evaluation (ESF, ALLEA) had decided against using bibliometrics as an evaluation tool, in order to enforce discursive analyses which lend themselves better to multi-factorial extrapolations on the “prospects” of the institutes. The Panel accepted this choice and was therefore unable to offer a modified approach to the use of bibliometric data. This is why the Panel felt it necessary to reiterate, for the benefit possible future internal evaluations, that currently existing bibliometric tools are indeed not adequate for individual or institutional assessments in most SSH fields. A strong case for the specific publication culture of the SSH fields to be respected and reflected in evaluation exercises had already been made by the Panel earlier and had been accepted at earlier plenary meetings of the review panels. The Institutes had been asked to identify publications in relevant databases and indexes such as ERIH, AHCI, SCI. For this evaluation, SCI articles and the rare articles in journals with impact factor (e.g.: population; psychology) were considered by the Panel as indicating a level of awareness in the researchers that it is essential to seek international exposure for of their results, not as a crudely mechanistic measurement for quality. In fact, the Panel noted that publication figures in such classes of journals shot up whenever in-house journals were included in a given international index. As a consequence, the Panel used some latitude to interpret certain figures in institute reports when the need arose. The Panel also observed the caveats about the currently limited use that can be made by the journals reference index ERIH (established by expert groups on behalf of the ESF Standing Committee for the Humanities for 15 disciplines in the Humanities and Human Sciences). The Panel had expected and found confirmed the fact that the majority of products presented by institutes as “top-ten achievements” were books (scholarly monographs, collections of essays, critical editions, proceedings, special issues of journals and the like). This is fully in line with the importance of “books” in SSH fields and reconfirms the problematic nature of existing, journal-focused bibliometric tools for SSH. Few of those books presented were in foreign languages (or translated) but, unlike the pattern for articles, one would probably find a similar phenomenon in many SSH institutes elsewhere.

13

The Panel refrained from systematically comparing averages of publications per capita per institute. Instead, it noticed that the distribution of international exposure is very unevenly distributed among staff members which, to some extent, correlates with international exposure through conferences and other visits abroad. While this may be acceptable for a university (where greater teaching loads may imply reduced mobility) it is difficult to accept for a research institute (even though the Panel is of course aware of the financial limitations as well as the weight of seniority). The Panel recommends, however, that BAS should actively encourage the international mobility of its researchers (see also below). It would be important to trace, in the future, what measures are taken by institutes to support the mobility of young researchers abroad. The Panel appreciates the activity of many institutes in popularising their research fields through appropriate publications for wider audiences. It must be clarified for future evaluation exercises that such publications are referred to under “Relevance” and not under “Scientific Productivity”. Worldwide, scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences has not yet started to make full use of the opportunities offered by Open Access (OA) publishing, neither in the journal nor in the monograph sector; though some spearheading projects in the field of corpora and databases have begun to show the way. BAS in-house publications in SSH could take advantage of this comparative backlog, could establish a central technical support service as argued for below, and could recast the best of the existing journals, those that respect the quality-assurance criteria mentioned above, as OA fora. A central publication unit should provide technical support for the good correlation between IT-supported data generated in a variety of formats (critical editions; analysis of surveys; etc.) and resulting publications. Similarly, it could manage a central on-line repository for successful PhD dissertations which would make brand-new, original work readily accessible – and which also might encourage students and supervisors to work towards completing theses speedily. Backed up by the necessary financial resources the same unit should aid OA publishing of articles by BAS scholars under all business models worldwide. With comparatively minor central investment, immense visibility gains could be made. Infrastructures Most of the infrastructures of the institutes are outdated. Libraries are often stocked with mainly old titles, are too small and too fragmented to hold the breadth of recent literature necessary to approach new themes with confidence. Most are poorly accessible (hours, catalogues, staff). Access to databases and on-line resources was found to be either problematic or non-existent. The Panel considered this state of affairs highly detrimental to independent research: researchers essentially depend on their ability to spend time abroad to catch up with current trends and relevant literature. Given that, in the reality of institute life, researchers rarely seem to be working in their offices, the Panel suggests that BAS should reflect on pooling library resources for SSH centrally, especially where institutes exist side-by-side in a campus (a special situation applies to the clusters of institutes that gravitate around their museums). Examples in other research centres (CSIC in Spain) demonstrate

14

the improvement in the quality of research following such investments; there is no reason not to consider such a project for a central SSH resource by BAS as an asset for the entire academic community in Sofia, and to seek funding accordingly. In the SSH fields, libraries count as research infrastructures, but the Panel also observed the proliferation of other, institute-specific locallydeveloped IT-support tools as part of a given project. There is no central register of such tools, and hence no possibility of ensuring positive spill-overs into neighbouring fields or crossinstitutionally inspiring leadership. Many a solution found might serve the wider BAS community if central support was available. It would be a good thing if division and BAS leadership encouraged the active sharing of problem-centred solutions: this can be done through a recognised incentive scheme. An example that is not devoid of problems is the project Bulgarian Art Archives and Advanced Research Technologies (BAAART), which is led by the Institute of Art Studies, but potentially offers tools and modules for other Humanities fields too. However, the example shows the shortcomings of the current system: infrastructures must be robust enough to offer a basis for joint research programming – and BAAART is underfunded and currently not capable of catalysing more than a recognition of its function as a repository; the IT support is too weak to ensure that important problems (semantics; ontologies) are broached, to promise timely functionality and versatility for ongoing projects, and to deliver tools subtle, flexible and open enough to stimulate new lines of research. On the other hand it is precisely this transformation of research practices in the Humanities (Digital Humanities) that drives similar exercises in other BAS-like structures elsewhere in Europe (Max-Planck-Institutes, Germany; Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) and the Virtual Knowledge Studio at the Royal Netherlands Academy). BAS researchers in computational linguistics have shown that they are able to climb new heights of achievements due to their consortium gravitating around the ESFRI Roadmap research infrastructure CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technologies Infrastructure). It can be argued that properly resourced research infrastructures could be at the heart of innovative cross-institute research efforts that would mirror, at the domestic or Academy level, the Europe-wide notion of joint programming, i.e. clustering of research efforts around jointly identified ‘hot topics’. There is no reason to doubt that such issues could be identified. Currently a good deal of very closely related research occurs already, whether by responding to thematic priorities set centrally by BAS, NSD or other agencies (see above) or by picking up leads in the scientific community elsewhere (linguistics), albeit in an uncoordinated fashion in parallel and often in competition (anthropology; medieval philologies; all social science fields dealing with transition issues): if duplication proper in terms of research conducted is rare to non-existent, synergies also remain largely unexploited. In the light of changing domestic funding rules, ‘joint programming’, possibly extended to top university departments and research units may also allow institutes to prepare better for grant competitions requiring multiple partners (Bulgarian NSF). There is no reason to limit such clustering efforts to the Academy and national environment: in certain areas (Balkan Studies; folklore; law) the time

15

has come for discussions on developing regional leadership potential notably vis-àvis Western Balkan countries. Clustering The Panel gave some thought to possibilities of structural re-arrangements: whether centred around research infrastructures or structured in another way, a degree of clustering and focusing may be useful for unlocking new ideas. There are certain areas of investigation where quality can probably be enhanced by pooling an existing, but dispersed, critical mass among BAS Institutes. In the Humanities, such areas include very specialised ones (‘thracology’) for which institutional consequences are suggested; very broad ones (interdisciplinary regional studies: Bulgaria and the Balkans), where the politically suggested focus on ‘national identity’ is seen as problematic and more progressive intellectual exchange is necessary; and areas which are operating competitively world-wide (archaeology and related disciplines, especially where they operate above ground; medieval philologies) or where the opposite is the case (historical research). Across the domain of Social Science ‘transitology’ is an obvious problem-oriented priority area, even though this is a priority on fragile ground (trusting that the transition will come to its completion in the foreseeable future). The Panel did not consider in its evaluation whether existing structures can or should be integrated into centrally established, problem-centred, broad thematic clusters, such as ‘cultural and historical heritage and national identity’ or ‘knowledge-based economy and society’. In management terms, these may be useful units: yet, the ‘modern’ sounding rubrics describe what broadly speaking is the old division between Humanities and Social Sciences, reflect what could be headings under the ‘cooperation’ section of the European Commission’s Framework Programme, and hold out little if any promise of scientific advance. In terms of helping to stimulate new and innovative research, such units may reveal themselves to be empty shells: good collaborative research grows from superb mastery of disciplinary skills and from an understanding that those skills may not be sufficient to tackle given scientific and societal problems. Providing an environment where this combination of achievement and openness can coexist is a challenge to management. The Panel recommends that a balance must be struck between respect for the specificity of certain methodologies (which may be more or less compatible with each other) and the need to stimulate problem-centred approaches. A possibility would be to conceive of a clustering process inspired, not by the broad-stroke descriptors of the Framework Programme ‘Cooperation’, but by the more finely grained categories used for ‘European Research Council’ panels, and further adapting those to the Bulgarian reality. Such an approach would signal an emphasis on supporting top-level research (analogy to ERC), would start with initially slightly smaller clusters (allowing for cross-institute adjustments and negotiation), would require – indeed rely on – a cycle of self-organising, rising and falling, problemcentred, intra-and inter-institute research groups (stimulating intellectual exchange within the existing structures) and would take seriously the nexus between basic and applied research as part of the aim of serving society. The Panel is convinced

16

that successful problem-centred structures cannot be enforced in the fields of SSH; rather, for problem-centred research to offer innovative solutions, it must be itself the outcome of an intellectually rigorous (self-) examination, of curiosity-driven exchange and inquiry. The approach we suggest here is consistent with the argument put forward above on achieving a balance between and a succession of basic and applied research. In the view of the Panel this appears a practical way to ensure that the intellectual forces in Social Sciences and Humanities are nurtured appropriately and harnessed in such a way that society can expect the most up-todate knowledge and methodological tools to be used for the provision of advice. Currently, cross-institute communication and coordination is deficient. There is a real danger of wasteful duplication (incidentally of both research and support work). The request for better communication across institutes was most clearly articulated by the young scholars, for whom the ‘all-institutes’ meeting organised by the Panel was the first such event ever; better coordination might trigger a sciencedriven identification of priority themes. Due to the dearth of resources, whose effects are likely to determine scientific life for some time to come, added value resides in such no- or low-cost exercises aimed to stimulate scientific exchange. SSH disciplines would benefit particularly from a moderate amount of incentive and support top-down, as most struggle to liberate themselves from isolation and because the presence of a multiplicity of schools of thought and research traditions in their midst cannot otherwise be properly exploited. The Panel believes that this evaluation may give a first indication of obstacles and opportunities; but it is also aware that the planning and prospective thinking of most scientists at BAS institutes is determined by current conditions and constellations, that despite the talent and knowledge that abound there is little if any prospective thinking going beyond mending present-day ills caused largely by underfunding. This is why the Panel advocates the establishment of a structure that allows for a continuous process of intellectual exchange at the highest possible international level. International Scientific Advisory Councils The current structure and function of the Scientific Boards does not seem strong enough to set stimuli that can enhance the level of research; nor has the recent creation of ‘problem[-oriented] councils’ by BAS effectively stimulated new developments. The Panel recommends that BAS establish International Advisory Councils that would prepare and accompany the clustering process of institutes and fields, and help detect potential for tackling new, cross-cutting research questions. For that reason (but also out of financial considerations), it might be wise to envisage the intervention of such International Scientific Advisory Councils at a level where, in most cases, the efforts of more than one institute would be converging at any one time – presaging, so to speak, a possible, future problem-centred structure. On the basis of current overlaps and potential synergies, one could already think of a number of existing institutes that would benefit from such closer collaboration (not taking into account that the need for substantial IT-support and expertise from

17

other fields in BAS may require additional alliances). Even though the process needs to be structured, it should evolve in as open-ended a way as possible, in order to avoid the levelling of existing pinnacles of research excellence (discernible, for example, in archaeology and CMRC) through forced collaboration. The Panel also suggested several adjustments at the institute level. These suggestions are of varying urgency and motivated in a variety of ways, but at no time by budgetary concerns. Rather, they are attempts to enable better research: they are to do with the absence of critical mass (thracology), with the necessity of capturing the full intellectual breadth of a young discipline in full bloom (anthropology; currently divided between two institutes of ethnography and folklore), with the need to focus expertise (some sections of philosophy and science studies), and/or with the opportunity to stimulate more innovative approaches (Balkan Studies, history, history of science). Even where severe doubts arose as to the viability of an existing institute (architecture), the field itself should be supported (including urban planning/urban studies) but, given the current situation, the expertise available and in the future would be safer in a different institutional context. It might be one of the tasks of an International Advisory Council to ensure that the expertise potentially reallocated in this way is not lost and remains fully integrated in the reflection process that leads up to the constitution of new research domains. In sum, the Panel does not recommend closures or mergers for the sake of creating larger units, but with the intention of eliminating barriers that risk perpetuating unhelpful isolation, or have already caused unnecessary and detrimental fragmentation. Funding The investigator-driven clustering process is likely to be beneficial also in terms of future applications. Bulgarian research is beginning to experience a funding logic according to which the awarding of many smaller grants is gradually being replaced by larger grants, typically adjudicated on the basis not of individual applications but of consortia (composed often, as could be observed, of BAS and non-BAS institutes). However, the Panel urges BAS not to abandon its internal system of awarding small grants (both for travel, visits and as seed money), because this scheme is judged by many to correspond best particularly in the SSH fields to the needs of embryonic ideas seeking to grow. The emergence of a funding scheme that favours larger grants will bring to an end the multitude of minuscule ‘projects’ listed by institute members, which have the insidious tendency of suggesting utter fragmentation of effort, when, in effect, they are the expression of a close-to-optimal use of a suboptimal funding system. Based on this insight this Panel chose, with very few exceptions, to refrain from criticising the current presentation of these successful grant applications. It is true, however, that all the reports bear witness to the apparent inability of the leadership to articulate clearly the scientific profile of ongoing projects outside their own sphere of interest. This observation has led this Panel to recommend a new (additional) scientific advisory structure, which should be concerned with content, not with internal procedures, promotions and the like.

18

Teaching The Panel was concerned to see evidence of often very heavy teaching loads in the figures provided. The Panel learnt of (and was extremely worried by) the low salaries of BAS researchers and their resulting need to seek additional income. This situation must be remedied elsewhere; as it stands, it contributes to the risk that an imbalance will emerge (or has already emerged) between teaching and research. Bulgarian labour law, if applied to the situation at BAS, seems to indicate that a 100:25 distribution load of research and teaching is acceptable. In terms of what is desirable for a national research centre, however, a limit to a lower percentage of time allocated to teaching would be the recommendation of the Panel; furthermore, such teaching should not be at the introductory level (except perhaps for junior staff), and should focus on advanced topics, in such a way that candidates for research positions can be identified. It goes without saying that such restrictions need to be phased in such a way that there should be no additional economic pressure on the BAS researchers; they must go hand in hand with the introduction of a more realistic salary structure, appropriate for highly qualified expert staff. Central support structures for SSH Beyond some obvious managerial concerns (creating larger units, hoping for smaller overheads) and reactions to external pressure (reducing staff numbers and expenditure in general), the Panel saw little trace of a central strategy for the fields of SSH. This may well be read as a good sign for an organisation that defends the right of research to develop its own dynamics and to define the appropriate balance between, for example, basic and applied research by its own parameters. Yet, the Panel also observed that the central BAS administration has a number of very important tasks to fulfil that would strengthen the research capacity of SSH institutes. Efficiency gains could be obtained if BAS were equipped to provide strategic support and tailored guidance. It was noted with concern that a number of institutes are proud of having won European or national competitions for measures to improve various aspects of HR development in R&D fields. Yet, no common approach to these matters appears to be in place, which is unacceptable. BAS should centralise the management of such support as part of a strategic human resources development plan. This includes a mechanism to identify and transfer best practice among institutes in these and other matters of structural importance. Along the same line, there are a multitude of other support functions which, if centralised, would probably be saving costs, facilitate the management of institutes (reduce multiple offices and tasks) and allow researchers to focus on research:  support for international applications (including notably a proactive, division specific FP support: this is considerably more than what a simple National Contact Point for the Framework Programme can offer);  incentive schemes that provide matching funds for successful applications (can be according to a key that values different sources of funds differently);

19

 publishing support office (technical and financial support for Open Access publishing of in-house titles, management of repositories, and placement of OA publications abroad under the different OA business models);  central IT support and exchange wherever possible and necessary (many institutes have set up their own often ingenious and highly specialized IT tools as part of a given project, but other institutes may not know about them or have access to them);  proactive centre promoting the use and knowledge of e-learning and eresearch tools, including regular use of the existing publication databases (could be further supported by the existence of public consultation areas with good download and printout facilities);  career offices for younger scientists with expert sections for the different fields of science;  graduate school-like courses (regarding research, e.g. ethics, presentation skills, as well as other training and HR development);  conference support centre. In order to better equip scholars for their international exposure, language requirements must be placed on newly opening leadership positions in institutes, but also for newly recruited doctoral and post-doctoral students; language training and science language improvement facilities should be opened. Young Researchers The Panel was impressed by the performance of the early career researchers at the BAS Institutes during site visits and during the special three-hour-session for young scientists. Among the young researchers who presented the work of their research groups or who spoke up during discussions there was not one who would not be coveted as a member of staff by most research institutes elsewhere in Europe. However, what the Panel expresses as praise, is a curse in disguise, given the poor prospects that current conditions give to the brightest young researchers in the country. Unless Bulgaria decisively chooses to invest in supporting its young talents and high potential in academically strong institutions, pull- and push-factors will launch the combination of excellence, innate curiosity and propensity for mobility into yet another round of deleterious brain drain. For as it stands, overbureaucratised promotion procedures, underfunded entry-level positions (with salaries lower than doctoral scholarships), non-transparent career paths, all add up to formidable obstacles placed in the way of aspiring researchers. During the special session with young scientists it emerged that if young scholars are reasonably satisfied with the balance of guidance and freedom, they feel the lack of structured, more frequent and regular encounters with their peers within the broad section SSH. The meeting organised by the Panel was apparently the first of its kind which brought together young scholars from all institutes. Clearly there is some scope for more centralised support for the best talent in BAS to meet and exchange regularly: even a competitive element can be introduced into such meetings (monthly prize lectures rewarding good papers, chapters or dissertations of young scholars can be held in the BAS Hall, even if only 2/3 of the existing SSH institutes participate in such a scheme). In the international arena, as young scholars emphasised during site visits, summer schools could help build stronger

20

networks internationally, all important in view of future European collaborative projects. Such platforms for interdisciplinary exchange should be self-organized, but administratively supported and encouraged by the section secretariat. The Panel understood that there is concern about the lack of post-doctoral positions, given the complicated procedures linked to entry into the formal BAS researchers’ hierarchy; in terms of compatibility with the higher education and research systems elsewhere, but also in terms of acknowledging advanced status of research. Formal procedures for entry into the BAS researchers hierarchy may need to be reformed; meanwhile, BAS would be well advised to establish a system by which Young Leaders (current and future team and group leaders) receive relevant training. Most Institutes expressed their concern about the difficulties to attract young researchers (with problems being identified as common across disciplines and solutions being beyond the control of individual institutes); furthermore, the gap of mid-career researchers, groomed to become leaders, looms large over the immediate future of many BAS institutes. Rather than parachuting salaried saviours from outside (which on occasion may have been helpful in dealing with promotion stalemates), identifying and training future leaders among comparatively early career BAS staff and allowing them to confirm their potential as leaders of small research groups may be a better solution. NIAM has found it beneficial to have some of its many ‘rescue’ excavation groups led by early career researchers; anecdotal evidence for similar experiences were collected elsewhere (e.g.: economics, ethnography). Even though there is some financial reward for doctoral supervision and assiduous lobbying may result in the attribution of a junior position which then brings in some extra funds, the preoccupation of keeping a junior research position filled was palpable during almost every site visit. Some Panel members wondered whether this was one of the reasons that BAS institutes did not pursue a more active policy of international research mobility for their young scholars. If such an attitude could be shown to exist, it would be profoundly detrimental for the future of BAS. A mobility scheme should link opportunities to create important experiences abroad to encouragements for returnees: among the young scholars met, most returnees listed personal reasons as the main motive for their attempts to reintegrate into the Bulgarian system. Unanimously, the Panel praised the young scholars whom they met. They convinced all Panel members that top-class research in the Humanities and Social Sciences will be conducted at the Academy also in the future, provided the current leadership in Academy and government can agree on a plan to ensure that BAS as a national research centre, in which this talent can flourish, will be supported in the appropriate manner.

21

4. Panel-level recommendations
Strategy  the balance between basic and applied research must be safeguarded: good applied research cannot be produced, in the long term, without sustained investment, training and practice in basic research;  division level exchanges should ensure the transmission of best practice in research management (including management of infrastructures; IT tools; acquisition of resources);  a ‘bottom-up’ process of rethinking the boundaries between institutes in view of better tackling problem-oriented research must be launched; this evaluation provides some thoughts for and examples to reflect on critical mass, overlaps, synergies, focusing, strengthening assets etc.; temporary working groups might be one way to launch the process of identifying crosscutting / horizontal / transversal themes, that would be conducive for scientifically innovative clustering dynamics;  joint use of infrastructures should be considered as a point of convergence for joint research projects / programmes between different institutes;  in order to more easily explore possibilities for collaboration between institutes, a regular platform for scientific exchange should be created (division-level seminars);  support should be given to young scholars for creating a separate series of at least monthly seminars for their age cohort (advanced doctoral and early postdocs);  in order to strengthen the reversal of decline and get the successful ‘catchingup’ under way, ‘International Scientific Advisory Councils’ should be formed that would help detect potential for tackling new, cross-cutting research questions, and discuss possible related institutional re-arrangements. The interventions of such International Scientific Advisory Councils should be typically envisaged at a level where the efforts of more than one institute would be converging at any one time – presaging, so to speak, a possible, future problem-centred structure;  future internal evaluation exercises must take into account (and understand as an asset) the diversity of fields and their production and publication practices; such elements of diversity include, but are not limited to: Bulgarocentric research (for which the internationalisation requirement is not necessarily articulated through foreign language publications), consultancy work (e.g. for health and immigration authorities, where sometimes datasets and results may not be released), outreach (exhibitions, media presence), not to speak of time invested in developing research infrastructures, setting up international scholarly networks, writing scholarly books etc.; the divisions should set up a working group and be assisted with evidence generated by the Centre for Science Studies;  the divisions should consider establishing their own PR unit, since their research, products and insights often require an outreach format that is different from that useful for the natural sciences;

22

Infrastructures and Publications  the museums operating in conjunction with SSH institutes are assets for the research process; they must be supported as research infrastructures. Professionalisation (museological training and research) are one prerequisite for the museums to be able to accompany and support BAS research in the appropriate fashion. The specific profile and tasks of scientific curatory staff at the museums, employed in addition to research staff at the institutes, must be properly designed and described;  divisions must make sure that traditional (libraries, archives, collections) and new (laboratories, databases etc.) research infrastructures be properly maintained and kept accessible; this includes training in the appropriate use of such resources; currently, many of the institutions appear to be dysfunctional, fragmented, operating in an uncoordinated fashion without central acquisitions and disposal control and under extreme financial strain (purchasing power and staff);  divisions and institutes must jointly secure access to the information resources to which BAS has acquired access, and promote their use by appropriate training and support among their researchers;  divisions should consider creating a central information resource (pooling all libraries [at least where institutes are located on the same campus], archives, collections etc.) that would be run professionally (also in terms of preservation, cataloguing etc) and would serve as a resource also for bona fide non-Academy researchers;  joint development of sharing of infrastructures (laboratories; databases; IT tools) must become part of the functioning of cross-institute cooperation and be inscribed into strategic plans;  humanities institutes should set up a working group discussing the advantages of using BAAART, (if necessary, another tool), as basis for a joint digital Humanities strategy;  social science institutes dealing with ‘transitology’ should consider establishing a working group that would explore the possibility of creating communicating datasets;  divisions must jointly create support structures to ensure high quality publications in foreign languages (including supporting production [language] and appropriate criteria for choice [information about evaluation criteria, domestically and internationally; bibliometrics etc.]);  an appropriate balance must be struck between Bulgarian language and foreign language publications;  outreach publications for a broader public must be presented, in future (also future internal) publications under Relevance/Impact, not under Scientific Quality;

23

 in-house publications – whether in Bulgarian or in foreign languages – must conform to international standards: the establishment of an independent international editorial board, the timeliness of periodical publications, the opening of the journal to unsolicited submissions from scholars in Bulgaria and elsewhere, the implementation of a rigorous protocol for peer review of all papers submitted for publication;  there must be central support for Open Access publishing (see below); Cooperation  International Scientific Advisory Councils should be established to accompany the process of reflecting on and adjusting institutional arrangements to new research needs and opportunities;  divisions should ensure that they are represented in the relevant Europeanlevel expert groups and committees (FP; ESF; COST; etc.), to be aware in time of any new networking developments they could be part of;  divisions should encourage strategic collaborations with universities and other institutions wherever opportunities arise for domestic applications of larger consortia;  divisions should actively explore with sister academies and other institutions in the neighbouring countries new formats for cooperation (cross-border clustering and leadership); this may be relevant in particular vis-à-vis the Western Balkan, but also in the wider Balkan and Black Sea context;  international cooperation through bi- and multilateral agreements between academies should be continued; divisions should alert the BAS leadership to opportunities for seeking formal collaboration with non-Academy research performing organisations relevant in their fields (CNRS, CSIC, Max-Planck etc);  small-scale grants based on bilateral inter-academy arrangements should be maintained; as seed-money, they are often the basis for long-lasting international collaborative arrangements, and a stepping-stone to larger and more ambitious applications elsewhere;  mobility schemes at all career levels should be promoted that envisage incentives for the beneficiaries to return to their country of origin;  divisions should seek to build fortnightly seminars around the presence of visiting scholars as a means to enhance visibility of given collaborations, to make sure also that young scholars are exposed to the work of those foreign colleagues, and to stimulate emulation;  all encouragement should be given to efforts to identify and develop new and emerging lines of research even where they cut across institute and division borders;

24

Staff  the divisions should offer, in coordination with BAS central office, training modules and establish supervision routines that ensure timely completion of dissertations;  promotion juries should seek to include at least one foreign member linked to the research environment under discussion (possibly from existing interacademy or other international networks);  wherever possible co-tutelle (co-supervision) agreements with foreign institutions should be established;  dissertations should comprise a substantial summary in English and should be made available in their entirety on-line (central digital repository; see below); where the request is made, dissertations should be allowed to be written and submitted in English;  in order to better equip scholars for their international exposure, language requirements must be placed on newly opening leadership positions in institutes, but also for newly recruited doctoral and post-doctoral students; language training and science language improvement facilities should be opened.  staff development plans must be established that include constant updating of relevant skills (including the use of research support services);  staff evaluation must lead up to more flexible and performance-related promotion and reward systems;  the divisions need to reflect on the appropriate mix of indicators for their fields in the context of any system that may be introduced at BAS level;  reward and recognition schemes for excellence in research should be established for all levels of researchers (prizes; awards; etc.), including for junior researchers (prize lectures at monthly seminars for the best article, chapter, etc.);  divisions and institutes must establish an appropriate plan for limiting in numbers and scope the teaching hours delivered by research staff elsewhere: advanced studies should be given precedence over introductory courses (with the possible exception of early career scholars). It goes without saying that such restrictions need to be phased in in such a way that no further economic pressure is on the livelihood of the BAS researchers; they must go hand in hand with the introduction of a more realistic salary structure, appropriate for highly qualified expert staff;  the divisions must make sure that regular methodological seminars are available to junior researchers;  young researchers need better mentoring, clearer career structures and perspectives, platforms for intra-cohort scientific exchanges at BAS division level, inclusion into ongoing and emerging research projects; promotion procedures must become less bureaucratised, promotions for merit must be swifter;

25

 young researchers should benefit from more mobility schemes, including attractive formulae for returning young scholars, and from leadership training;  leadership training should be provided to younger researchers to prepare them for positions of higher responsibility within the division. Funding  many of the major research endeavours in the Social Sciences and the Humanities can be conducted only if secured in the long-term. A typical example is the Academy Projects in Germany (up to 25 years). It is recommended that as part of the clustering process the divisions identify such large-scale long-term projects and that there will be a long-term funding commitment from BAS / government. Such projects can be – but are not limited to – long-term documentation efforts (folklore; ethnography; architecture), critical editions and complex excavations (language; literature; CMRC; archaeology and thracology; art), longitudinal studies (sociology; population; economics; science; law); etc.  divisions and BAS should offer rewards for successful applications for external funds; Central strategy and support (This section may repeat some items raised earlier; the Panel felt that they may also be of general interest) a) the BAS strategy must describe the role of research institutes (including their policy advice function) as a unique feature, comprising long-term and highly specialized programmes and research infrastructures, without which no nationwide R&D strategy can be envisaged; b) by the same token, institutes must develop a clear and sufficiently focused mission (and vision) and a research agenda based on the identified strengths (or equally clearly identified societal needs, if such is the case); c) small-scale grants based on bilateral inter-academy arrangements should be maintained at least for the SSH; these small-scale support schemes which have served its researchers well in establishing and sustaining international networks and as seed-money (reporting must be such that these positive effects are explicitly reflected, rather than the impression of fragmentation: not the number of projects, but the quality of outcomes in terms of future prospects must be at the heart of reporting on small-scale grants); especially in the changing funding environment (large-scale consortia being awarded by NSF) this measure is expected to keep BAS in the lead when it comes to developing new lines of research: these grants have often been the basis for long-lasting international collaborative arrangements, and a stepping-stone to larger and more ambitious applications elsewhere; d) achieving a meaningful and sustainable balance between basic and applied research must be explicitly included in future strategic plans;

26

e) salaries and career structures must be developed in such a way, that a research organisation (BAS) is nor disadvantaged vis-à-vis teaching organisations (universities); f) PhD students (and supervisors) must be expected to bring to completion research projects within the timeframe envisaged; BAS can create an incentive by raising salary levels so that the transition from doctoral scholarship to an entry level academic position represents an increase in personal income; g) work in SSH institutes is likely to benefit from some centralised, strategic support and tailored guidance in a variety of fields; BAS should avoid unnecessary internal competition among institutes (e.g.: HR development) in areas better served by such central support units: h) HR development activities regarding R&D fields (it is currently still fragmented in different institutes and conducted only if competitive funding is acquired from third parties, typically EU); i) identify and transfer best practice among institutes in these and other matters of structural importance; j) support for international applications (including notably a proactive, division specific FP support: this is considerably more than what a simple FP National Contact Point can offer); k) incentive schemes that provide matching funds for successful applications (can be according to a key that values different sources of funds differently); l) publishing support office (technical and financial support for Open Access publishing of in-house titles, management of repositories, and placement of OA publications abroad under the different OA business models); m) central IT support and exchange wherever possible and necessary (many institutes have set up their own often ingenious and highly specialised IT tools as part of a given project, but other institutes may not know about them or have access to them); n) proactive centre promoting the use and knowledge of e-learning and eresearch tools, including regular use of the existing publication databases (could be further supported by the existence of public consultation areas spaces with good download and printout facilities); o) career offices for younger scientists with expert sections for the different fields of science; p) graduate school-like courses (offering and cross-disciplinary training for general aspects of research careers, e.g. ethics, presentation skills, as well as other aspects of HR development); q) conference support centre, so that professional staff rather than ad hoc staff from the research units can deal with logistic issues.

27

28

Part B: Institute-level Reports
Humanities

29

701 Institute for Bulgarian Language Introduction
The Institute was founded in 1942 and passed through all periods of Bulgarian postwar history maintaining a national profile. The Institute is one of the bigger BAS research units with presently 115 positions, of which 111 are occupied. Of these, 75 are researchers (incl. leaders) and 36 supporting staff (PhD-, MA-, and BA- students). During the period under review, there were a total of 34 PhD-students, 10 of whom defended their theses and three were nearly ready. 14 are continuing their studies. The Institute currently consists of 12 (14) units: 11 thematic departments and 1 Information Centre.            NSC Dept of Modern Bulgarian language (11 occupied positions); NSC Dept for Bulgarian Lexicology and Lexicography (21 ops); NSC Dept of Bulgarian Terminology and Terminography (5 ops); NSC Dept of Computational Linguistics (6 ops); NSC Dept for Bulgarian Dialectology and Linguistic Geography (15 ops); Dept of History of the Bulgarian Language (13 ops); Dept of Bulgarian Etymology (4 ops); Dept of Applied Onomastics (4 ops); Dept of Contrastive Research of Bulgarian and Other Languages (4 ops); Dept of Ethnolinguistics (11 ops); Dept of General and Applied Linguistics (5 ops)

The Information Centre (Library and Administration not counted separately) has eight occupied positions. Five of the 11 departments are “national scientific centres” (NSC), while the remaining ones are called “expert scientific centres”. The main task of IBL is the research on and description of the Bulgarian language and its dialects and sociolects and of the standard language and its styles, both synchronically and diachronically. One of the tasks is also the promotion of language culture.

Evaluation summary
IBL is the biggest institution of its kind in Bulgaria and elsewhere. It carries out research into various aspects of the Bulgarian language. In terms of personnel, output, and professional recognition this Institute is still very important on the national and international scene. The Institute’s journals are internationally distributed. The Institute holds a key position as regards one of the main objectives of BAS: “to strengthen the national identity, historical, cultural and spiritual values originated by Bulgarian people on its land”. Since it is an institute with mainly national ambitions its importance internationally depends to some extent on the situation for the Bulgarian language and Bulgaristics (and Slavistics) abroad.

30

Large long-term projects are a cornerstone in the Institute’s work as they should be in an academy research institute: such work concerns the description (but also prescription) of the Bulgarian language synchronically and diachronically, dialect descriptions and dialect atlases, dictionary and lexicological work, large-sized electronic corpora, digitization of archives etc. In some areas there is somewhat of a mismatch between these large-scale projects on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the small size o some of the respective departments. For Bulgarian society, for the study of the Bulgarian language and Slavistics and linguistics in general, the existence of such an Institute is important, especially during the transition period which brings about radical cultural change: the Institute should continue receiving the necessary support to proceed with this work, possibly in cooperation with other BAS institutes, university institutions and institutions abroad. For any long-term planning, it must be understood that such work as the Institute does would not and could not be done anywhere else or by others. An overall score on quality and productivity is made difficult due to the rather divergent fields of research across departments, of which many have a strong emphasis on applied research. By awarding a “B” the Panel indicates that the “work is internationally visible” and that “the Institute has made valuable international contributions to the field”. Computational linguistics moves closer to A, even in an international context, other departments have high visibility for the Bulgarian language community due to their specialised work; however, most of it is published in Bulgarian which restricts its visibility. In terms of relevance, the critical mass provided by the Institute makes it still an important player in setting the national language policy, but competition is growing in the universities. As yet, for relevance the overall score is “A” (“high”). The Institute has identified relevant themes and partners for the future, and seems to be able to attract young researchers. In terms of prospects, the overall score is “A” (“high”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) The main focus of the Institute is on Bulgarian as the national language of Bulgaria. The Institute carries out fundamental and applied research on diverse aspects concerning Bulgarian and has made it its priority to work towards the preservation of linguistic diversity and the preservation of the national language’s richness. The Panel noticed a distinct nationalistic undertone, and wondered about the status of minority languages inside Bulgaria. The Institute has a leading role also due to its critical mass of expertise as a whole – even though in total numbers the more specialised departments may be smaller than individual university departments (e.g.: the section for Contemporary 31

Bulgarian Language has 11 researchers, all with higher research degrees, whereas the department for the Bulgarian language at the University of Sofia has 27 members of staff of all categories). A detailed plan of strategies, policies and priorities for future development has been developed and presented along with an identification of the main actors within and outside the Institute, accompanied by a clear sense of what would be the main instruments, partners and outcomes. The list of areas of fundamental and applied research is to some extent a continuation of current work, albeit more focused or elaborated. There is an emphasis on seeking a multiplicity of approaches (including from abroad), alongside rather strong rhetoric on national needs. Either some focusing or a better match of long-term large-scale projects and staffing are necessary. A priority area is “to provide for complete and consistent language electronic resources, as well as powerful computer programs for their processing”. The site visit and the report on the project Bulgarian WordNet confirmed the impression that research in computational linguistics and corpus linguistics is on an international level. Consequently, 30% of all published contributions in conferences abroad are related to computational linguistics. Scholars from the Institute participate or have participated in a number of important international projects, securing additional funding from a variety of sources. The scholars of the Institute have made good use of the BAS’ bilateral agreements with other academies (visits abroad, mostly in connection with bilateral projects; mostly to Serbia, Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, Slovakia, Romania, but also to another 21 countries), with some of the researchers staying also for longer periods abroad. And the Institute has been visited by over 100 foreign scientists mostly in connection with joint projects. The Institute collaborates with other academy institutes abroad through bilateral agreements; the cooperation with the Czech academy has been especially fruitful. Seven researchers sit on editorial boards of foreign journals (or book series). This is a comparatively unsatisfactory representation given the very strong number of active researchers based at the Institute. Around 18 % of the Institute’s scientific production has been published abroad (mostly articles in journals and in proceedings). The ratio is best for papers presented at congresses etc., where however the incidence of computational linguistics is most felt. Four books were published abroad, three of which are conference proceedings. Overall, the computational linguists are leading in international publications in English. A large part of the Institute´s work is “traditional” (though no less necessary and important for that reason): dictionaries, orthographic manuals, grammars, dialect atlases, etymological dictionaries, etc. The Institute has gathered immense archives that are now being digitized. Most of this valuable fundamental work is published in Bulgarian and thus accessible only to Bulgarists (and, to some extent, Slavists). It would be useful to make larger parts of this work accessible also for the wider community of researchers in linguistics. The co-workers of the Institute have also 32

compiled huge electronic corpora for Bulgarian. Some of them, like the National Corpus (400 000 000 words) are available online. Usage statistics of this and other resources put online show a good interest of the community (single users; though data provided does not differentiate between origin of users of the online material). Almost every year the Institute convenes one or two (summer) schools, most with international participation. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) Projects For the period 2004-2008, IBL reports a total of 98 projects. 16 of these are in collaboration with other BAS institutes, and 32 with international partners. Most projects are funded from the BAS subsidies, but IBL has also tapped into other additional financial sources: the Bulgarian National Science Fund, contracts with ministries etc, contracts and programs in EU, NATO, UNESCO and other international organizations. The Institute has made good use of the Academy’s bilateral agreements in some projects. On average, 20% funding from sources other than BAS subsidies, but there are very strong variations from year to year. 17 of the reported scientific projects are single-researcher projects, 23 have two participants, and in the rest of the projects the number of participants varies between 3 and 20. The project “Academic explanatory volume Dictionary of the Bulgarian Language” has the largest number of participants (20). As this project is, and ought to be, among the priorities of BAS, the number of participants is not astonishing. Teaching Like other institutes, the Institute’s researchers taught in the period many courses (9.579 hours), practicals and seminars (2.814 hours), post-graduate training and specialization courses (350 hours) at Bulgarian universities and in other institutions; they also organized schools and conferences with international participation and participated in lecture courses abroad. They supervised theses of 47 Bachelor and Master students at Bulgarian universities. 35 of the researchers at the Institute took part in these activities although the main burden of education is carried by a smaller group of scholars. In the SER the connection to the universities is commented upon and placed in the context of Bulgarian labour law (educational activities should not exceed 20 % of the researchers’ time). Conversely, the Institute argues, research activities should be up to 20% of a regular university lecturers’ activities. Contacts between IBL and the universities are to a certain extent unilateral. Agreements with some universities for “collaboration and joint work” are one way out of the situation, but the best way is probably through joint research projects. An example for such a research project is “Language and idiolect” with research partners in Sofia University, University of Veliko Tarnovo and University of Shumen.

33

In the five years under review, 34 PhD-students were educated at the Institute. For the same period, 15 new PhD-students were accepted – 11 regular and 4 correspondent, and 10 PhD-students successfully defended their dissertations. Three PhD-students are ready for a defence, and 14 continue their studies. This corresponds to a dropout rate of around 20% in the period, a figure that is somewhat unsatisfactory. Those PhD students that stay on are encouraged to publish: the documentation points out that during the period 2004-2008 PhD students published 71 scientific articles and notes and presented 53 reports at scientific fora. Collaboration IBL collaborates with other institutes at BAS mostly in areas of computational linguistics and corpus linguistics. An area where collaboration could be enhanced is the study of the history of Bulgarian and the study of Old Bulgarian / Old Church Slavic/Old Slavic (language, text and manuscript studies), an area that the Department of History of Bulgarian Language covers at least partly. Their researchers have among other things published a two-volume Old Bulgarian dictionary. This is a popular research area, where interests intersect from Balkan Studies, History, Literature and, of course, Cyrillo-Methodian Studies. The project “Legal texts from the Middle Ages” is a step towards more cooperation in this area (CMRC; Institute of History; Department of History of Bulgarian language). The Institute is also a partner in important European projects: European Linguistic Atlas, Slavic Linguistic Atlas, projects connected to the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes etc. Under FP6, the Institute was involved in “KT DIGICULT: Knowledge Transfer for digitization of Cultural and Scientific Heritage in Bulgaria”, and under FP7 as task leader in “Discovering our Past World with Digitized Maps (DIGMAP)” and notably as consortium partner in the important research infrastructure project “CLARIN – Common Language resources and Technologies Infrastructure”. Publications In the period under review the Institute published 80 books, and 906 studies and articles, as well as 15 textbooks/teaching aids and 177 more popular articles. Around 18% of the scientific production is published abroad. The amount of published books and articles is respectable considering that most of the researchers work in long-term projects and that many researchers also teach at universities. Due to the subject and the scientific audience, most of the texts are published in Bulgaria and/or for a Bulgarian-reading public. Most of the reported five top scientific achievements and main applied results are fruit of teamwork, which is important and shows the degree of cooperation inside the Institute. IBL publishes two important journals: “Balgarski ezik” / The Bulgarian language (in Bulgarian), which for many years has been the most important Bulgaristic journal,

34

and “Balkansko ezikoznanie. Linguistic Balkanique” (in foreign languages). Both titles have been submitted to ERIH. An overall score on quality and productivity is made difficult due to the very divergent fields of research across departments. By awarding a “B” the Panel indicates that the “work is internationally visible” and that “the Institute has made valuable international contributions to the field”. Computational linguistics moves closer to A, even in an international context, other departments have high visibility for the Bulgarian language community due to their specialised work; however, most of it is published in Bulgarian which restricts its visibility beyond that relatively narrow circle of readers.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
Politically, the Institute is important since BAS is a central authority in shaping national discourses. The Institute has influence on the national language policy, and takes part in many councils, commissions and other expert bodies. The Institute gives expert advice and provides services to ministries, the National Assembly, the Association of Bulgarian Teachers, but also to different units of the Bulgarian Court system. It reaches wider publics by publishing orthographic manuals, grammars and textbooks. Its Bureau for Language Consultations is important in this area, and numerous more popular appearances in radio and television on questions on language contribute to this task. Increasingly, such roles are being taken forward through European consortia: the first example is the collective long-term project “National Languages in the European Communities”, membership in the European Federation of National Institutions for Language, and participation in the FP 7 project proposal “A Common Language for Europe or Multilingualism”. Institute researchers teach at universities across the country and also have other forms of collaboration with them. Within the scientific community, the institute has a leading position due to its size and the fact that it has experts in all the areas covered by the Institute. For some of these areas there does not seem to be any competition from the universities, but in some areas, as for example modern Bulgarian, the universities are relatively well-equipped with qualified personnel. IBL collaborates with other institutes at BAS: interdisciplinary research is conducted with other humanities and social sciences (folklore, literature, sociology, philosophy, pedagogy, and history) in 17 projects during the last five years, but also with natural sciences in the computer processing of natural language: mathematics and informatics (15 projects during the last five years). In terms of relevance, the critical mass provided by the Institute makes it an important player in setting the national language policy, but competition is growing in the universities. As yet, for relevance the overall score is “A” (“high”).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
35

The Institute went through a restructuring at the beginning of 2008 which left, out of the previous seventeen units, a mere eleven plus one Information Centre. The effectiveness of this reform cannot yet be gauged. The age structure does not seem to be a great problem at present, although extrapolations produce a less rosy picture for the near future. Currently there are 10 staff in the age group 26-30, 26 in the age group 30-40, 18 in the age group 40-50, 38 in the age group 50-60, 14 in the age group 60-70, and one over 70. The age group 40-50 is most worrying, and since there is not one single professor or a senior research fellow I degree among them. The Institute risks having a lack of supervisors for PhD-students, leaders of research teams etc. Some consider it may become necessary to recruit people from outside BAS for this purpose, even to leading positions or at least solve these problems combining efforts with the universities. The Institute traces this difficulty to the last decade of the 20th century, when it was decided to freeze the PhD program at the Institute. The current solution is to engage university lecturers on supplementary contracts as supervisors of PhDstudents (currently the case for six). On the other hand, the Institute seems to have resolved the recruitment of young scholars – 30 were accepted during the period under review as researchers and investigators: however, two defended their dissertations abroad, another three have become PhDs at Bulgarian universities. De facto this means that the production of PhDs is not sufficient to satisfy the Institute’s own needs. The Institute is trying to make an academic career more attractive by including young scholars in important research projects: two of new projects are starting in 2009 (funding under the last call of the Structural Funds in the section for “Advance of PhD students, post-doctorants and young scientists”). One is a joint project with the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Sofia University (Mathematical logic and computational linguistics: development and mutual penetration –worth 330 000 BGN of which about half for the Institute, with participation of 11 PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and young scientists from the Institute). The other is a joint project with the Faculty of Slavic Studies at Sofia University (Computational and interactive means for historical language research – worth 400 000 BGN, of which about ¼ supports the participation of 7 PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and young scientists based at the Institute). These are good developments in the right direction: support for young talent, cross-institutional successful competitive applications, interdisciplinary, research-infrastructure based, ambitious research projects with a potential appeal also for international audiences. The Institute has identified relevant themes and partners for the future, and seems to be able to attract young researchers. In terms of prospects, the overall score is “A” (“high”).

36

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths  Some sections (computational linguistics) are on a good internationally level, on a par with other departments of computational linguistics;  Important position in national language policy;  Good portfolio of strategic priority themes and projects (research infrastructures);  Good international network. Weaknesses  Problematic age structure (both at junior level and at mid-career level);  Uneven quality of research departments;  As yet insufficient international visibility of most departments.

Recommendations
An overall score on quality and productivity is made difficult due to the very divergent fields of the research across departments. By awarding a “B” the Panel indicates that the “work is internationally visible” and that “the Institute has made valuable international contributions to the field”. Computational linguistics moves closer to A, even in an international context, other departments have high visibility for the Bulgarian language community due to their specialised work; however, most of it is published in Bulgarian which restricts its visibility. In terms of relevance, the critical mass provided by the Institute makes it still an important player in setting the national language policy, but competition is growing in the universities. As yet, for relevance the overall score is “A” (“high”). The Institute has identified relevant themes and partners for the future, and seems to be able to attract young researchers. In terms of prospects, the overall score is “A” (“high”). Against this background, the following recommendations aim at suggesting some general and specific ways forward:  maintain the balance between exploration of new research fields (computational linguistics) and “traditional” areas of research (for example etymology, (applied) onomastics, dialectology etc.) as a typical mix of tasks for a national institute for language;  support long-term research projects, and develop a strategy for including them in research infrastructure plans;  make best use of the BAS network of institutes through targeted cooperations as well as with university institutions (as in the newly created network “Language resources in the Humanities and Social Sciences”);  reflect on the appropriate staffing of long-term projects;  consider a possible new project: network for discussing the theoretical and practical basis for a new Academy Grammar of Bulgarian.

37

702 Institute of Literature Introduction
The Institute was founded in 1948 as a national centre for theoretical, historical and comparative literary studies. Presently it comprises seven departments:  Bulgarian literature (Old): 12 staff (of whom 8 junior researchers !)  Bulgarian literature (Renaissance): 7 staff  Bulgarian literature (Modern and Contemporary): 21 staff (of whom 10 junior)  Russian Literature: 4 staff  Comparative Literary Studies: 10 staff  Studies of Literary Sources: 4 staff  Literary Theory : 2 staff The Institute is supported by a Library and a Journals group. Attached to the Institute is also the Boyan Penev Publishing Centre. Among its staff of 78, there are 55 researchers, 20 research supporting (PhD- and MA-) students, and three technicians. The Institute conducts fundamental and applied research and related activities devoted to the study, preservation and popularization of Bulgarian literature and culture. Its members have been increasingly involved in conducting PhD-courses and delivering lectures and classes at Bulgarian and foreign universities and other institutions.

Evaluation summary
By its very nature, the Institute plays a important role and fulfils three major tasks: Bulgarian, comparative and theoretical literary research, academic education, and the preservation of the Bulgarian literary and cultural heritage. For some of these tasks there is a certain thematic overlap with neighbouring institutes (e.g.: CMRC; Balkan Studies). The Institute is recognized as an important national and international actor in the field of Bulgarian literature, in particular medieval and modern literature. There are other BAS centres engaged in Medieval literature (CMRC) and it is not entirely clear whether there is overlap and duplication and how coordination is managed. A particular strength of this Institute is its activity in collecting and editing literary sources, compiling bibliographies, digitizing archives, and producing reference books as regards literary history. There is some room for improvement in terms of theoretical reflection, methodological innovation and international orientation. The existing units that could be useful in this context are Russian / Comparative Literary Studies and 38

Literary Theory. However, since they seem not to be fulfiling this function adequately at the moment, the usefulness of such separate units may be in doubt, in the sense that they do not add to the main profile of the Institute. Productivity is high in total numbers (but doubts remain as to the impact of these more than 1.000 publications), and members of the Institute are active in fulfiling teaching tasks elsewhere. By comparison, the number of completed PhD theses is low for such a big institute. There can be no doubt as to the relevance of a strong research institute dedicated to the study of the national literature. Interest for such knowledge is testified by the high number of publications (mainly articles) that would fall into the category popularising research for the general public. The Institute can make greater efforts in fulfiling its function to publicise its research, and to broaden interest for Bulgarian literature in particular. Overall it is recommended to better prioritize research, focus activities and allocate funding accordingly. The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”, since the “work of the Institute is internationally visible, and the Institute has made some valuable international contributions in the field of Bulgarian literature.”. Not all departments are equally relevant and productive, and generally speaking the relevance of the Institute’s work can be improved. Overall score for relevance is “B” (“moderate”), though it can clearly be higher. In terms of prospects, an energetic leadership seems to be leading the Institute in the right direction. Even though some focusing of priorities and adjustments in terms of cooperation within BAS may be necessary, the overall score for prospects is “A” (“high”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) According to its self-description, one of the main tasks of the Institute is the preparation of encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, terminology projects, repertoires and information bibliographical corpuses. The descriptions of medieval manuscripts or the preparation and the edition of literary archives are among the always-present activities of the Institute. More recently, the Institute has engaged with the opportunities offered by digital informational corpuses and multimedia products. The Institute has indeed published a considerable number of first-class standard works like the four volumes of the Cyrillo-Methodian Encyclopedia, the History of Bulgarian Medieval Literature, the Dictionary of Bulgarian Literature (3 vols.), or the collective study on Imaginary Texts of the Bulgarian National Revival.

39

Some of the very many publications reach a high-level of theoretical reflection, even methodological innovation and international appreciation. Many others are however much less visible, lack state of the art reflections, and somewhat repetitive. The focus on Medieval Bulgarian literature is consistent and recognised internationally. Medieval Studies is identified as one of the areas where interdisciplinary work is desirable: conceptual apparatuses and methodologies can be borrowed, anthropology, socio-cultural studies, biblical studies, philosophy of religion, and other disciplines can meet in an dynamic exchange. As it stands, interdisciplinary approaches are praised, but with without clear-cut consideration of added value and strategy. Much of the work reported is encyclopaedic and editorial in nature, not so much aiming at conceptual renewal: as a consequence, there are some concerns about overlaps with the expertise resident at the CyrilloMethodian research centre. The IL aims at strengthening the digitization of Old Slavonic manuscripts and the electronic preservation and presentation of the Old Slavonic literary heritage – here a joint project might be useful. Similarly, at least one of the Institute’s long-term projects (The Cyrillo-Methodian Encyclopedia), which also attracts external funding, is an obvious candidate for cooperation. Among the internationally recognised projects there is also SLOVO (“Towards a Digital Library of South Slavic Manuscripts” supported under the 2006/07 Call of the Austrian Ministry of Science) where the Institute is coordinator of a project involving partners from Austria, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Other related projects refer to the creation of data bases and electronic catalogues, and a computerized repertory of Old Bulgarian literature. If the strong departments show some overlap with neighbouring institutes, the Panel is somewhat concerned about the smaller departments: the Institute states that the study of Russian literature is on the one hand connected to other priority lines (comparative studies – equally weak in the eyes of the panel) and feeds, on the other hand, research on Bulgarian-Russian literary contacts (Russian emigration in Bulgaria, 1919-1944; reception of Russian literature in Bulgaria starting from the Bulgarian National Revival). If indeed Russian literature is not peripheral to Bulgarian literary culture, it is even more unclear why such a topic should be kept in a separate department. The Institute is engaged in scientific meetings, many of them with international participation. On the other hand, participation in international conferences is low compared to the number of active researchers (137 visits in five years): on average, each scholar has attended such an event every second year, which is clearly insufficient for the international positioning of the Institute and its work. 124 foreign scholars have been guests at the Institute, 93 of whom within the framework of bilateral inter-academy agreements. Only two scholars of the Institute sit on editorial boards of foreign journals (one each). This is a poor representation abroad for an institute of its size and evident specialisation (with 40 scholars in Bulgarian literature). Internal evaluation and quality control mechanisms are in place, but would need, as the SER says, practical improvement. Income through competitive grants (domestic

40

and international) reached an exceptional 25% in 2008 (before: 5-7%), due to the large support for the doctoral studies, and can therefore not be used as a proxy for externally verified quality. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The SER lists 1.131 published works (226,2 per annum), which amounts to 4 publications per researcher per year, including short publications of a few pages which often have an outreach character. The SER mentions 1.024 citations of the works published, which is a methodologically problematic figure, that cannot be taken into account here. It is interesting, however, that about half of the articles in scholarly journals appear in titles listed by major references indices (though many go back to Bulgarian-language titles included in the recent and ongoing project ERIH, and where hence proper reception beyond the narrow circle of Bulgarophones is doubtful): the Institute’s publishing house publishes journals “Scripta & eScpipta” (since 2003; in English, French, German and Russian with summaries in Bulgarian) and “Starobulgarska literatura” [“Old Bulgarian Literature”; since 1978, in Bulgarian and foreign languages); together with “Literaturna Misal” [Literary Thought], they are listed in ERIH and accessible through CEEOL. Of the 70 scholarly books 24 were result of international cooperations and five were published abroad (by Routledge, Slavica Publishers, Pontificio Instituto Orientale, and Veda). Many of the projects producing these titles are individual in scope, which is justified by the Institute with the need to pursue a large number of specialised issues. This may well be the case – and continue to be the case, due to the discovery and preservation function that the Institute also fulfils: however, in terms of intellectual synergies small-scale consortia might be better suited to achieve the rejuvenation of post-1989 Bulgarian literary studies. The Institute is strongly engaged in educational activities (amounting to a total of 9.722 lecture-hours and 2.964 practicals / seminar-hours), conducted at 15 universities and other institutions of higher education in Bulgaria (incl. the American university) and 17 foreign universities (situated in Belgrade, Budapest, Gothenburg, Kiev, Kishinev, Kosova-Mitrovica, Illinois, London, Perugia, Prague, Strasbourg, Thessaloniki, Uppsala, Vienna, Warsaw). Furthermore, three postgraduate-courses were held at the IL. In the reviewed period, 15 dissertations were successfully defended (of which, however, only seven were PhD’s). The level of institutional agreements with universities varies; the SER lists eight Bulgarian universities with which official agreements seem to exist, alongside seven BAS institutes and three other research-related organisations (national museums and library). The Institute has contracts with the Regional Pedagogical Centre in Sofia (BMES), the Regional Association of the Bulgarian Language and Literature Teachers and the State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies. Lecturing thus is extensive, but not always focused on literature, but includes topics such as History of Art, “European” issues, etc. An EU sponsored project (142075-2008-LLP-BG-COMENIUS-CMP) for which the Institute is the coordinator is entitled “IDiaL – Intercompetency and Dialogue 41

through Literature”, and includes partners from Finland, Latvia, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. As is typical of these HR focused projects, this one also wishes to promote and encourage the development of the transversal key competencies (social and civic competencies; cultural awareness and expression; learning to learn) of pupils through innovative methods for dealing with and interpreting literary texts. A follow-up is planned. It may well be that through projects such as this the Institute is able to improve its performance under “relevance”, rather than under scientific quality and productivity.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Institute is engaged in the promotion of literary issues through publications and teaching, expert and advisory activity, preservation of literature and other cultural items, and identity building. There is good and increasing co-operation with Museums and municipalities throughout the country, as well as with cultural institutes that are present in Sofia. It is unclear however, whether beyond lectures and panels other, more innovative means of engaging with the thirst of the general public for literary nectar have been explored. For example there seems to have been, so far, very little if any interaction with the Institute of Art Studies, where participation and organisation in cultural events (incl. theatre, cinema etc.) is practised regularly (the agreement for cooperation with the Institute of Art Studies is limited to future cooperation around the digital humanities project BAAАRT Bulgarian Art Archives and Advanced Research Technologies). The small department “Literary Sources” works on the description and edition of literary archives, documents, and books that remain in drafts and manuscripts in the many collections that keep material on Bulgarian literature (National library, State archives, Museum of Literature, Archives of BAS; Institute archives; private collections). Currently, this work focuses on the first decades of the 20th century and the literature from the time of the totalitarian regime. The Institute writes: “The contribution of the Literary Sources section towards the other sections consists in the presentation of new data and in the new reading of already published documents in connection with their inclusion into a new context.” The Panel agrees with this statement and finds the relevant section understaffed. Especially, since new challenges seem to lie ahead, arising, for example, from the recent agreement with the National Literary Museum (umbrella organization for many museums of Bulgarian writers all over the country) aimed at a systematic study on literary heritage. The Institute itself preserves Bulgarian literary heritage with a massive 1.5 Million item card-index (since 1853), archives of a number of Bulgarian writers and a rich collection of photographs related to the history of the Bulgarian literature. It is not entirely clear whether with the existence of a National Library and a National Literary Museum such a function is adequate for the Institute. Teaching is, as mentioned above, important among the occupations of the Institute’s research staff, but so is the preparation of teaching tools (49 textbooks and teaching aids for universities and secondary schools).

42

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Institute presents an ambitious plans for its future by identifying the following mission: “preservation and in-depth research of Bulgarian Literature over all its historical periods, and ...providing theoretic and methodological solutions in Literary Studies not only within the BAS institutional framework but also nationwide”. Further, it intends “to provide and promote ...our unique expertise and scientific achievements on university and secondary education levels”. There is, however, no clear-cut strategy of how to make this vision a reality. Meanwhile, the Institute has plans for the development of a web-based depository, joint applications for EU-funding, and strengthening its own system of quality control. Some formal steps have been taken (contracts etc), but it remains to be seen whether departures from routine will be possible. In five years the Institute wants to be the main provider of informational corpora and electronic editions of manuscripts for the field of Bulgarian texts. The standardization of terminology is a priority. The Institute could become a regional Balkan research centre in the fields of Old Slavonic studies, comparative and Balkan studies, and literary theory – however, in the view of this Panel this must occur in conjunction with the expertise residing in neighbouring institutes, and hence not as IL, but as Humanities institutes of BAS. In terms of research fields chosen as priorities for the future, the basis has been laid for such cooperation: work on national and Balkan identities (the images of the others of the Balkans, and the images of the Balkans of themselves) is announced, will be based on approaches from postcolonial studies and reflecting the insights won from the study of literatures in the small languages in the globalised world (typological comparisons, say, with the literatures of Hungary and Georgia). Such a development would be welcome, but requires major adjustments compared to the ways, in which cooperations occur currently. So far, the Institute has established a number of contractual contacts with other institutes which typically focus on specific projects (so far: Institute of Art Studies (BAAART), Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Language, Folklore, CMRC, Institute of Mathematics and Information). Some discussions are under way for a de facto Humanities centre at BAS. There is also a broad range of collaborative arrangements with other institutions in Bulgaria and abroad on which future collaboration can also be built. The digitization process of scientific and bibliographic sources, the development of e-portals, the participation in EU training and mobility programs and the subscription to on-line libraries have been tackled and are to be (further) realised in the near future. For its training activities, the Institute has won a competition for PhD students and young researchers for a period of two years worth the equivalent of c.€100,000 43

(programme of the Ministry of Education, National Science Fund). This is in line with similar activities of other institutes (funded nationally or internationally) and this panel feels a more centralised BAS strategy might be appropriate. The Institute plans to develop a multilateral cooperation project proposal under the Erasmus 'Academic Networks' on the subject of “Meta-theory: Theoretical Terminology in studying and teaching Literature”, with wide participation of prominent HEIs and research institutions throughout Europe. In terms of prospects, an energetic leadership seems to be leading the Institute in the right direction. Even though some focusing of priorities and adjustments in terms of cooperation within BAS may be necessary, the overall score for prospects is “A” (“high”).

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths:  unique position: there is no other national institution with a comparable potential on fundamental research in so many diverse areas, especially of Bulgarian literature;  traditional team work has produced a number of dictionaries, handbooks, encyclopedical series, reference books and literary collections;  activities in the field of preservation of Bulgarian literary and cultural heritage in the form of description of medieval manuscripts and edition of literary archives (Bulgarian writers; photographs) and of bibliographical data;  good international network. Weaknesses:  Productivity, relevance and excellence are unevenly distributed: strong in the history of Bulgarian literature (despite overlaps with neighbouring institutes), but less so in its departments of Russian and comparative literature;  Difficulties in attracting young researchers (salaries; prospects); newly emerging competition from universities; as a result the Institute is overaged and suffers from a lack of mobility;  interdisciplinary activities as yet restricted to technical issues (elaboration of computer descriptions of medieval manuscripts), or specific projects with foreign participation (“The Category ‘Same-Other’ in the Literature and culture of the Balkans”), but not used for conceptual rejuvenation of the field; multi-disciplinary projects should be built with neighbouring BAS institutes.  despite its comparatively good international network, publications abroad remain an exception.

44

Recommendations
The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”, since the “work of the Institute is internationally visible, and the Institute has made some valuable international contributions in the field of Bulgarian literature.”. Not all departments are equally relevant and productive, and generally speaking the relevance of the institute’s work can be improved. Overall score for relevance is “B” (“moderate”), though it can clearly be higher. In terms of prospects, an energetic leadership seems to be leading the Institute in the right direction. Even though some focusing of priorities and adjustments in terms of cooperation within BAS may be necessary, the overall score for prospects is “A” (“high”).  identify strategic thematic and institutional priorities for the future, sharpen its profile and focus on those core activities where it clearly can provide an added value – elsewhere, targeted cooperation with other BAS research units is recommended;  create a clear-cut incentive system, whereby resources would be distributed on the basis of excellence and relevance of projects; nonmonetary (or monetary equivalent) incentive systems should be developed, while waiting for additional subsidies;  abandon the rigid departmental structure; instead create project-based working groups around specific topics, questions or approaches, involving also the many de facto individual projects that still exist; involve where appropriate experts from other BAS research units.

45

703 Institute of History Introduction
With more than 100 employees, including 82 scientific staff, the Institute of History is the biggest institution of its kind in Bulgaria. Founded in 1947, it undertakes research into various aspects of national history from the establishment of the Bulgarian state to the present day, as well as on European history and international relations. Historical research, together with literature, has been at the very roots of the BAS´s research agenda in the Humanities. Today, the Institute consists of 7 chronological and thematic departments (Medieval History, History of the Bulgarian People, Modern History, History of the National Question, History of the World and International Relations, Auxiliary Historical Sciences and Informatics). The main focus is on the history of the Bulgarian people, the national question, including identity building and the Bulgarian diaspora. Major publications comprise the multi-volume History of Bulgaria [История на България] and Sources of Bulgarian History [Извори за българската история]. Important journals are Etudes Historiques, Byzantinobulgarica, as well as the academic journals Bulgarian Historical Review and Historical Review [Исторически преглед].

Evaluation Summary
In terms of personnel, output, and professional recognition this institute is an important national player in historical research. Its particular strength is the collection and editing of historical sources, the compilation of bibliographies, historical synthesis, and other reference books. At times of Europeanization and globalization of historical studies, the institute’s research agenda still concentrates very much on the nation and the national. It has not yet reached the level of critical self-reflection, theoretical foundation and methodological innovation that European institutes should be aiming at. Traditional political history is still very dominant, while other topics and approaches remain an exception (e.g.: gender history; environmental history) and are mainly taken forward by individuals, typically as a result of their exposure to such trends elsewhere, and not as part a systematic methodological rejuvenation. As it stands, the Institute is oversized compared to its output and results. A substantial restructuring would be needed in order to make it more efficient and to enable it to catch up with the state-of-the-art internationally.

46

The overall score for quality and productivity of the Institute as a whole in terms of its international standing can therefore be only “C”: “the Institute does solid work in some areas, but its results are rarely exciting; a particular concern is a lack of innovative approaches, international orientation etc. The Institute remains nationally visible, it has – still as a result of its former central position in Bulgarian historiography – retained even some impact at the international level.” The vast majority of the institute’s production focuses on the national historiography; to the extent that this would desirable (but with a risk of relying on and presenting a somewhat outdated methodology it might not be) the relevance of its work can be described as being “moderately relevant”, achieving an overall score of “B”. Given that little evidence was available for efforts made to rejuvenate the institute – in terms of approaches, staff and internationalization – this panel considers its prospects, interpreted as likelihood o contribute as a leader to scientific progress and change, as “low” (overall score “C”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) The main focus of the Institute is on national history: “Bulgarian people’s arduous journey through history, its struggles for national independence, the National Issue, the problems of the Bulgarians who remained outside the borders of the Bulgarian State, the repercussions of historical development on the contemporary fate of Bulgarians and the assertion of our national identity” (quotation from the BAS official website). One of the main objectives is identity construction, namely “to strengthen the national identity, historical, cultural and spiritual values originated by Bulgarian people on its land”. At times of Europeanization and globalization of historical studies, the BAS agenda still concentrates very much on the nation and the national: “In the short-term and long-term perspective the IH research projects are oriented towards the following big themes: “Person – State – Society”, “Ethnos – Nation – State”, “Stability and Change in History”, “Bulgaria, the Balkans, Europe and the World”, “History and Remembrance”, “History and Politics” etc. Overall, the institute’s work has not yet reached the level of critical self-reflection that prevails in the European scientific discourse, including national identity construction. A large part of the institute’s activity consists of collecting and editing of historical sources, compiling bibliographies and reference books etc. This activity is particularly relevant as regards the Middle Ages. As regards the Ottoman period, the institute’s work also expands to include aspects of economic, social and cultural

47

history with a view to the emerging national question. Here, as well as in modern and contemporary historical research, political history is still dominant. Most publications are solid, based on substantial archival and other scholarly work. Although some new topics and perspectives have entered the research agenda, such as the history of national minorities, most publications stick to traditional schools of writing history. There are some attempts at methodological innovation, such as micro-history, gender history, and (at an embryonic level) climate history, but these represent rare exceptions and are the initiative of individuals, not expression of a strategy to methodologically rejuvenate the profile of the institute. Of course the leadership is to be commended for allowing mid-career scholars experiment with such new approaches, but since there is no overall plan to introduce new historiographies, current approaches and debates surrounding the new cultural history, post-colonial and transnational studies, global history etc., are largely absent. The same is true – and this is perhaps even more problematic, as the country enters the European Union – as regards comparative European history writing. To that extent, the Institute as a whole cannot be considered a partner of choice for leading history institutes elsewhere in Europe. International co-operation is as yet rather weak and mainly confined to Eastern European countries (Russia, Hungary, Romania, Mongolia, Ukraine, and Croatia). There is one project with an Austrian institution. It must be said, however, that the leadership is beginning to develop a sensitivity to the need to see the institute’s researchers integrated into larger international collaborative networks. Upon request, the Institute provided evidence for three new flagship projects, namely 1) a joint project with the Russian Academy of Sciences (“Southeast Europe between the West and Russia. 18th–21st centuries: Social and Cultural Relations” (2009-2011), 2) an international project “Remembering Communism” (2007-2009), based at Leipzig University with four Institute researchers as project participants, and 3) the participation of two researchers in the ESF’s EUROCORES Programme “Inventing Europe: Technology and the Making of Europe, 1850 to the Present” (2007-2010, under Project Leader Ruth Oldenziel, Amsterdam). The research infrastructure is not strong. The library possesses about 54.000 volumes, but is not very user-friendly (opening hours; catalogues), while the archive holds over 700.000 documents. Digitization (notably of the old library card catalogue) has not yet started. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) With 82 scientific staff, the Institute is a very big research institute; compared to its productivity and results some would say it is too big. In the five years´ period under review the Institute has published 85 books, 14 bibliographies and 906 articles.

48

Statistically, each researcher publishes on average 2 titles per annum, but production is unevenly distributed among researchers. It has to be considered that the list of publications also includes book reviews and other very short pieces. Altogether, therefore, output is not too impressive. The research output in the form of publications is very much confined to the national market. Only circa every tenth publication is published abroad. The Institute publishes itself two journals: “Historical Review” (in Bulgarian) and “Bulgarian Historical Review” (in English, French, Russian, German). These journals mainly reflect the production of the Institute and rarely (if ever) hosts unsolicited articles. Research is conducted mainly on an individual basis, and apart from the prominent collective reference editions, there is a very large number of small projects. Sometimes it is not entirely clear whether and how certain publications fit in the larger priorities defined by the institute. The overall score for quality and productivity of the Institute as a whole in terms of its international standing can therefore be only “C”: “the Institute does solid work in some areas, but its results are rarely exciting; a particular concern is a lack of innovative approaches, international orientation etc. The Institute remains nationally visible, it has – still as a result of its former central position in Bulgarian historiography – retained even some impact at the international level.”

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Institute holds an important societal position as regards collecting and editing archival sources, modelling national master narratives about Bulgarian history and thus constructing national identity discourses. The Institute is a primary centre for historical research and an important authority in shaping historically informed national discourses. Scholars participate in public debates on historical events and their interpretation, contribute to exhibitions and give policy advice. Some of the institute’s researchers are active in regional and local historical societies. About a quarter of them are teaching at any one time at universities throughout the country. In 2008, 16 scholars were involved in lecturing in Bulgaria, but also abroad (total of 1.455 hours). Overall, there seems to be no framework agreement with universities. The Institute is also engaged in writing textbooks and as such continues to some extent its former role of providing input to the national history master narrative.

49

Overall, research output is therefore very much confined to the national market. Only every tenth publication is published abroad. The vast majority of the institute’s production focuses on the national historiography; to the extent that this would desirable (but with the somewhat outdated methodology that had been observed it might not be) the relevance of its work can be described as being “moderately relevant”, achieving an overall score of “B”.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The institute’s former, uncontested position as the leader in Bulgarian historiography has not remained unchallenged. New competitors in terms of aggregrating competence have emerged, such as the University of Sofia, the Centre for Advanced Studies, or the Bulgarian Historical Society, which all participate in setting the research agenda, grasping new methods and approaches, and shaping new interpretations. Universities benefit from a more favourable age structure, international exchange and regional mobility. There is seems to be less institutionalized interaction between the Institute and universities than in other institutes this panel has visited. Also within BAS there are other institutes that also deal with historical research, such as the CMSC, and the Institute for Balkan Studies. All institutes claim to pursue interdisciplinary approaches. Although there is some cross-institute co-operation, interdisciplinary research appears to be an exception. The institute aims at identifying new subjects, theoretical improvement and enhanced applicability, however, these goals remain vague and there is so far no strategy how to achieve these goals. It must be borne in mind, however, that the documentation provided gives the impression that within the broad priorities given by the BAS strategy for the SSH field, new research lines and projects are developed on the basis of the institute researchers’ individual initiative. This is in line with the practice in other history institutes elsewhere. It is unclear how much room would there be for a leadership wishing to propose new methodologies through some strategic intervention. There is a regular evaluation process of scholarly work. However, since there are neither incentives nor sanctions, it remains unclear whether it has any effect on productivity and quality. There seems to be a lack of capacity, and lengthy and non-transparent bureaucratic procedures when it comes to applying for project funding.

50

The age profile of the institute is unfavourable: only seven researchers are under 40 years of age. Since salaries and social status of researchers are low, as in most Humanities disciplines, PhD positions often remain vacant. The institute has been accredited in 2005/06 for doctoral studies. In the period under review, 11 PhD students had graduated. Given that little tangible efforts have been made institutionally to rejuvenate the institute – in terms of approaches, staff and internationalization – this panel considers its prospect, interpreted as likelihood to contribute as a leader to scientific progress and change, as “low” (overall score “C”).

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths:  potentially critical mass: size and wide-range of specializations (useful for bibliographies, historical synthesis, reference books, such as the flagship multi-volume “History of Bulgaria”;  strong tradition in providing historical information, researching archival material and editing of historical sources;  no other international or national institution that would have a comparable potential in these fields. Weaknesses:  little reception of publications and debates on non-Bulgarian topics;  own publications mainly in Bulgarian, a fact which even though they may be empirically very sound, hampers their distribution;  narrow national perspectives rarely consumable for comparative research outside Bulgaria;  lagging behind in terms of contemporary theoretical foundations, methodology, and new approaches; much of its output still traditional narration of purely national, mostly political history;  too little international co-operation, or participation in international conferences, and publication in non-Bulgarian journals;  institute is oversized and over-aged; recruitment of younger researchers is a problem.

Recommendations
The Panel gave an overall score “C” for quality and productivity to the institute as a whole in terms of its international standing: “the institute does solid work in some areas, but its results are rarely exciting; a particular concern is a lack of innovative

51

approaches, international orientation etc. The institute remains nationally visible, it has – still as a result of its former central position in Bulgarian historiography – retained even some impact at the international level.” The vast majority of the institute’s production focusing on national historiography, the relevance of its work may be described as being “moderately relevant” (score: “B”); however, given that little tangible efforts have been made institutionally to rejuvenate the institute – in terms of approaches, staff and internationalization – this panel considers its prospect, interpreted as likelihood o contribute as a leader to scientific progress and change, as “low” (overall score “C”). The recommendations must be read against this background. Since the creation of the institute, context, relevance and international framework of historical research have substantially changed. The institute needs to respond to these new challenges by focusing on more up-to date topics, enhance theoretical reflection, as well as international cooperation. A substantial restructuring would be needed in order to make the institute more efficient and competitive internationally. More specifically, the following recommendations can be provided as suggestions that may be helpful to move forward (and upwards) on all three areas of this evaluation.  In terms of management (promotions), the institute should aim at stimulating change and increasing efficiency by introducing a new system of incentives. Not seniority, but individual results – with international exposure being one of the criteria - should decide over career perspectives. For instance, outstanding scholars could be rewarded by concrete benefits that should further support their research potential: support to attend international conferences, allowances for purchases of books or other research tools, sabbaticals, etc.;  teaching should be obligatory for leading positions, and is recommended also for all other positions at every level of career . However, teaching should be confined to post-graduates and PhD training;  substantial investment in infrastructure (email and internet connections, office equipment, library) seems urgently necessary;  in terms of topics, the institute should overcome the existing thematic and methodological restrictions. New perspectives (e.g.: Bulgarian history placed in a comparative, European or at least in a multi-perspective, regional context), and the introduction of new topics would help include Bulgarian history in the wider context of European historiography. Regular workshops on important international books and related debates, including theoretical reflections, might help raising awareness in this regards. The re-establishment of the summer school that was

52

stopped in 1999 might function as a regular platform for exchange with the upcoming generation of researchers;  the creation of thematic instead of chronological departments would enhance cross-sectional dialogue and research;  the Institute must cease to function as a mere administrative node and become a well of intellectual inspiration. To this end, there should be nonpermanent and flexible working groups which would also include researchers that are not members of the Institute and which should transcendent the established structural order of the Institute;  weekly compulsory colloquia and seminars should help enhancing crosssectional dialogue and co-operation, and would contribute to strengthening the collective spirit of the Institute. At these seminars ongoing projects, also those conducted by early career researchers, should be discussed; external scholars, even if based at other institutes, might also be invited to present their ongoing research, if relevant to the foci of interest at the Institute;  if it is not significantly downsized, the institute must aim at sharpening its profile as a lead organisation through the creation of clusters of excellence, graduate schools etc. Given its size and the vast array of topics, seminars held at the Institute should attract researchers in historical disciplines from other institutes as well;  in principle closer collaboration with the Institute for Balkan Studies would be desirable; currently, both institutes are however not as strong as one would wish them to be and a merger cannot be recommended;  special care must be given to the mentoring of young scholars;  the Institute should make an effort to improve international exchange, increasing participation in international conferences, and encouraging more publications in English. This is particularly true for those departments that deal with non-Bulgarian history and whose results are simply not visible internationally if not published in English or other internationally read languages.

53

704 Professor Alexander Fol Centre of Thracology Introduction
The Centre was established as Institute of Thracology in 1972 by six prominent Bulgarian scholars. In 2007 the Centre was renamed in honour of one of these scholars. The Centre is the only institution worldwide which focuses solely on the study of Thracian culture in an interdisciplinary way. The Centre is one of the smaller research units of BAS with 18 scientific staff (14 senior and 4 junior staff members). The Centre is divided into three sections:  History (staff 15);  Language and Culture (staff 3);  Archaeometry Laboratory (this section no longer has a permanent staff, but functions through contracts with external specialists). The Centre also houses a small library. The scientific remit of the Centre is the study of Thracian history, culture and language in the context of Indo-European Studies. Five focus areas are named:  economic, social, political, religious and cultural history of the Thracians as an integral part of the history of the Old World;  South-eastern Europe and North-western-Western Asia - foci of IndoEuropeanization in the 4th to the 1st millennium BC;  Thracian and Palaeo-Balkan contribution to the formation of the Greek spiritual and ethnic-cultural synthesis in the 2nd – 1st millennium BC;  Thracian relicts in the Bulgarian and Eastern Balkan traditional folk culture;  Thracia Pontica – a contact zone of the cultures and civilizations of Southeastern Europe and North-western-Western Asia Minor during antiquity.

Evaluation Summary
The Centre is the only institution worldwide which focuses solely on the study of Thracian culture in an interdisciplinary way. The Centre has a good productivity, but the level of internationalization of its products and its activities needs to be improved urgently. As its stands, one could argue that the Centre suffers from a lack of critical mass, and the panel noticed as the most serious flaw in the selfpresentation the lack of any real policies for the future: instead, the Centre focuses on its impressive past and seeks to maintain a status quo within the Bulgarian research landscape. Given the pressures on the system as a whole this does not seem to be a wholesome approach. Also scientifically speaking, one could altogether wish for signs of a more innovative approach, although some individual scholars are definitely striving to achieve this, and with some success. Yet, prospects overall, in the current institutional constellation, seem uncertain to say the least.

54

In full recognition of the past achievements and of the necessity of preserve this important field of study, this panel would recommend that a constructive discussion be launched within BAS, on how best to use the tradition and unique position of the Centre not simply to preserve its existence, but in order to strengthen Thracian studies as an interdisciplinary field, including notably its linguistic work, within, perhaps, the broader framework of the institute of archaeology.

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) During its existence the most important contribution of the Centre (and before: of the institute) to the international scholarly community has been its consistent focus on the Thracians and their importance in the cultural development of south-eastern Europe and north-eastern Asia Minor. Strategy The Panel found it difficult to understand that, in view of its unique position worldwide, the Centre fail to present, in its SER, more than a few isolated elements for future development. The concrete examples provided do not add up to a policy or even coherent plan; the SER is presented in a rather defensive mode, with the main aim being, or so it seems, to keep a status quo within the Bulgarian research landscape. Given the pressures on the system as a whole this does not seem to be a wholesome approach. Performance Perhaps not atypical for a highly-specialised research institute in the Humanities, this lack of strategic acumen is not at all matched by a lack of international contacts or, indeed, lack of national support for ongoing research: the total number of projects listed for 2008 is ten, which is still quite a respectable number for a research unit of that size. What is more, all of these projects seem to be based on team-work, thereby conforming to a well-known pattern in interdisciplinary (archaeological) research. The bulk of support for staff stems, not surprisingly, from internal BAS core resources (70%). However, funding has also been obtained from the Bulgarian NSF (for four projects, one of which is very small) and also funding from ministries has been listed as supporting several projects. On the international scene, bilateral agreements exist with Russia and Norway and they are used for research cooperation. The facts that international collaboration also occurs in two UNESCO-supported programmes with Italian partners and that one scholar is member of a French programme (ECO-NET) point to the existence of a modest international network. Internationalization

55

Scientific staff based at the Centre lists a good number of articles published in scientific journals: the average per scholar is 1.5 during the five year period under evaluation. However, it is problematic that a small minority of scholars count for nearly all the articles in foreign journals (22); they have published abroad steadily during the period 2004-2008. This phenomenon seems to indicate, again, that the centre is living off the reputation gained by the homonymous Institute in years past. Overall there is a slight variation of numbers of articles published in scientific journals abroad, the total having diminished from seven in 2005 and nine in 2006 to just one article in 2008. Only a small minority of the articles have appeared in journals listed in the major, cross-disciplinary databases (SCI, ERIH etc.). Of course the numbers are too small to suggest strong statistical relevance, however, they do correlate with the impression of an institution that is not proactively engaged in strengthening its position internationally. Evidence that in the entire period under investigation the centre produced but one book abroad points in the same direction. Of the five works selected to be presented as the Centre’s most important scientific achievements, three are in Bulgarian (of which two comprising English summaries) and another one is bilingual (Bulgarian-English). The centre also lists the volume Thracia XVI among the major achievements, which publishes some of the result of the most recent congress on Thracology (in English and other international languages). The Centre is providing expertise to cultural outreach activities, such as the exhibition Die Thraker. Das goldene Reich des Orpheus in Bonn in 2004 (though arguably scientific preparations for this specific event may well have predated the reporting period). The SER counts such participation as among the applied research achievements, a category always difficult to fill in the fields of the historical Humanities. In line with the specialisation and size, the scope of such engagements at the Centre is significantly lower than in related institutes (archaeology). The Centre edits two journals / series Thracia and Orpheus, both of international character, with papers written in mainly English, French and German and with contributions by scholars from several Bulgarian institutions as well as, to a lesser extent, from abroad. This bears witness to the centre’s work being received in international scholarly environments. In terms of international research collaboration, the Centre in involved in two international projects within the framework of the Bulgarian Academy’s bilateral agreements, one with Russia and one with Norway. International cooperation also occurs in two UNESCO-supported programmes with Italian partners and one scholar is member of a French programme (ECO-NET). Through the period 2004-2008, four of the scholars based at the Centre made longer visits abroad. One of the internationally most active scholars has had an eight months stay in U.S.A.; others list shorter stays in the U.S.A., Germany and Turkey. The number is significantly larger when it comes to conference participation, where 76 such participations were listed during the period under review to a broad range of countries. Not surprisingly, neighbouring Turkey and Greece, as well as Germany lead the list with, altogether 53 of the 76 visits.

56

The presence of eleven visiting researchers from abroad testify to the visibility of the Centre during the period. The Centre also seems to have attracted a number of foreign PhD students, and seems to offer to domestic doctoral candidates the possibility to spend time abroad. The Centre functions as secretariat for the International Council of Indo-European and Thracian Studies and as such maintains research contacts with a number of foreign institutes and scholars. The most important element in this cooperation is a number of congresses on Thracology of which the most recent was held in Greece in 2005, and the next is scheduled to be held in Turkey in 2010. The Centre claims that “informally” the International Council of Indo-European and Thracian Studies (which includes 40 scholars from 15 countries) plays an advisory role in the Centre’s policy: this role and its effect on the policy is not visible, lest the field as a whole is lacking ambition and vision for the future. It is similarly problematic that the coordinating role that the Centre is playing for the International Council of Indo-European and Thracian Studies has not translated into a presence of the Centre’s scholars among members of editorial boards of important foreign scientific journals (no such activity was reported). National The SER is characteristically rather silent about collaboration with other units of the Bulgarian Academy system (SER p.4: section 6.1. and, more surprisingly, 6.2.). The panel interprets this absence of references to existing or possible synergies as reflecting a negative and defensive understanding of collaboration, one dictated by fear that such references might alert the reader to the non-comprehensive nature of the Centre’s resources. A more constructive attitude towards seeking remedy for the Centre’s lack of critical mass would have been welcome. Such co-operations within BAS do in fact exist, which can be learnt from the SelfEvaluation Reports of some of the other research units and, paradoxically, from the annexes to the SER prepared by the Centre itself. The Centre has an extensive cooperation with a number of Bulgarian universities and a good activity level (see also below under productivity). The institute’s library alone is not sufficient to sustain the field; important support is found in the collections of the institute for archaeology. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The Centre displays, overall, a good productivity in total numbers of publications per capita: 247 titles, including 11 monographs / anthologies, plus 221 papers, six training aids and nine articles for a broader public. It is too early to say whether it indicates a real decline in overall productivity if the number of articles has been diminishing from 58 in 2004 and 2005 to 33 in 2008.

57

Some of the scholars based at the Centre do participate in international and national conferences; in fact, conference proceedings outnumber articles published in journals. The Centre has extensive collaboration with a number of Bulgarian universities and other institutions; some members of scientific staff have also taught abroad (notably in France). The scholars lecture at different levels at a number of universities. Among the teaching responsibilities of the Centre are also post-graduate, specialized courses and seminars, as well as summer schools. Particularly in the beginning of the period under evaluation the number of academic hours taught was for some scholars considered as being too high; by now, the number of hours has become lower. It has not become clear to the Panel whether this reduction of hours per capita occurred by coincidence or came as part of a deliberate strategy; in either case, it is a welcome development, given the research profile of the institute. Many of the scholars participate in the editorial boards of the journals edited by the Centre. The panel has come to the conclusion that overall the Centre has evidence that its work is internationally visible. The overall score in quality and productivity, also bearing in mind comparable institutes abroad, is “B” for “work that is internationally visible. The Centre has made valuable contributions in the field”. However, the Centre seems to be lacking critical mass and ther are indications that it risks falling behind the international state of the art.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The most important contribution of the scientific work conducted at the Centre to Bulgarian society is the fact that it keeps awake the notion of this important element of the population in the region before the arrival of Bulgars and Slavs. Nationally the Centre probably still has a leading role in Thracology as the only centre solely devoted to Thracology as a specialized discipline; however, Thracian studies are also carried out at several other institutes of BAS. The Centre lists six products in the category of textbooks and training aids, which might be counted as part of their effort to keep the Thracian heritage alive in contemporary Bulgaria. Yet, they only list nine articles for the broader public. Scholars based at the Centre lecture at different levels at a number of universities; this is, however, an activity carried out by researchers at all BAS institutes and in itself does not strengthen the case for the existence of an independent institute for Thracology. Overall, the national impact of the institute can be considered as good, not least in promoting Thracology through teaching at several universities and close contacts with colleagues from both universities and museums. In the view of the panel, the Centre occupies a unique niche – nationally and internationally - in a field of importance for Bulgaria’s heritage. However, provided that national science plans continue to value elements of research that highlight the

58

specific contribution of the Bulgarian lands to world heritage, there is nothing that indicates that the independence of the institute – as opposed to its field of study being cultivated in a broader context – has made a positive impact. The overall score in terms of relevance is therefore “B”; the Centre’s work can be described as “moderately relevant” in terms of contributions to the to identity of Bulgarian society.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Panel was struck that both the SER and discussions during site visits yielded very little in terms of ambition for a more innovative approach and strategy for the future. The leadership seems to be anxious to preserve the status quo, which is not a sustainable position, given that the centre is already the reduced version of an institute. The level of internationalization is not compatible with the alleged uniqueness of the Centre and its centrality in the field of study. This low international embeddedness may be one of the reasons for the lack of a broader vision, and the Centre’s failure to play a more robust role in integrating this highly specialised field into the broader history of the Balkans. The reluctance to highlight existing and possible collaborations with other research units of BAS is interpreted as very defensive, whereas the productive cooperation with universities in Bulgaria does not add to the profile of the Centre. As in many other institutes, the Centre also suffers from an unfavourable age profile: a third of the scholars are between 56 and 60, with another five falling in the age bracket between 46 and 50 years. Only two researchers are below forty. As to PhD students the total is eight, all Bulgarian, and the number of degrees awarded during the period is four. The Panel is concerned that under the current circumstances and with the current lack of a more ambitious (and modern) vision of the field, a self-standing unit might nit be sustainable. The Centre should, itself develop a notion of what are the elements that make it unique and that would need to be preserved in whatever more appropriate institutional arrangement may be found. In terms of prospects (as a stand-alone research unit, not as a field of study), the overall score is “C”, or “low”.

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths  Internationally unique specialisation of the Centre;  Some highly qualified and well recognised senior researchers;  Potential to operate as a centre of an international network of a small, but interdisciplinary field of study;

59

 Good productivity (albeit unevenly distributed among scientific members of staff). Weaknesses  Lack of a strategy for the future (both for the field and for the centre);  Lack of critical mass;  Poor age distribution;  Lately decreasing impact in Bulgarian national debates.

Recommendations
 The overall “B” for the category “quality/productivity in an international context” seems to point to the recognition of the Centre as legitimate successor to the bigger institute of some years ago. The Panel agrees that in the very specialised field the Centre continues to make valuable contributions.  Quality of research in thracology - in whatever institutional constellation would benefit from stronger and deliberate internationalization (visits abroad; foreign scholars invited to the Centre). Such intensification of contacts might help along the development of a broader vision, and might finally lead a positioning that would help this highly specialised field to play a better integrated role in the history of the Balkans.  In whatever constellation, the Centre’s field of research must also be expected to continue the productive cooperation with universities in Bulgaria.  Overall, the Panel is concerned, that the lack of critical mass and vision make the continuation of the status quo problematic: in full recognition of the past achievements of the institute and of the necessity of preserve this important field of study, it is recommended that a constructive discussion be launched within BAS, on how best to use the tradition and unique position of the Centre not simply to preserve its existence, but in order to strengthen Thracian studies as an interdisciplinary field.  Such a discussion may take as its point of departure the important overlaps between the work (and work practice) of the Centre with the BAS Institute of Archaeology. A more detailed assessment of unique assets and existing or potential overlaps and synergies should point in the direction of a merger.

60

705 National Institute of Archaeology with Museum (NIAM) Introduction
The Museum and Institute of archaeology have been close to the core of the BAS activities ever since its inception in the 19th century. The current combination (NIAM) was established in 1948 on the basis of two much older institutions; the institute’s relevance as a national resource of expertise has been acknowledged by successive adjustments to its legal status, all the way to the most recent one in 2007. The structure of NIAM recognises six central academic sections, two decentralised branches, and important elements of research infrastructure, such as library, archives and a laboratory. Of the 128 staff (status beg. 2008), 106 hold a relevant university degree. The division of staff over the six scientific sections indicates an obvious emphasis on pre-modern archaeology:       Prehistory (staff 13); Thracian Archaeology (staff 12); Classical Archaeology (staff 13); Medieval Archaeology (staff 14); Numismatics and Epigraphy (staff 4); Department of Interdisciplinary Studies (staff 6).

Staff at the two provincial branches in Slumen (staff 9) and Veliko Trnovo (staff 6) and the “National Museum of Archaeology” (staff 19) and at the infrastructures are listed separately. NIAM is a very complex structure, but is firmly inscribed in the national scientific environment as national centre and coordinator of all field archaeological investigations on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. It exercises academic and methodological control over them and is the prime collaborator for international teams. Domestically, NIAM organizes the annual reports on the archaeological investigations all over the country, and convenes the annual “National Archaeological Conference”. As the SER puts it, “in view of the nature of the archaeological heritage as a public state property, all the basic activities of the Institute represent academic service to the Bulgarian State and society within the conditions of market economy and civil society.

Evaluation Summary
The panel has come to the conclusion that overall NIAM shows a very good performance in terms of quality and productivity during the period under review. The overall score in quality and productivity, also bearing in mind comparable institutes abroad, is “A” for “work that is internationally competitive. The Institute has demonstrated important contributions to the field and is considered an international player”. NIAM deservedly occupies a central position in the field in Bulgaria and fulfils a crucial role in the provision of expert services to a country immensely rich in 61

archaeological treasures and undergoing rapid and massive construction works as part of its transition into the European Union. Thanks to the museum and regular exhibitions at home and abroad the visibility of NIAM beyond academia proper is very high indeed. The overall score in terms of relevance is therefore “A”; its work is “highly relevant” to the wellbeing of Bulgarian society. The Panel concludes that overall a convincing strategy has been developed for the coming years, well planned and realistic and conforming to what would also be high priorities at an international level. Leadership and management seem to be well in place. The Institute has the potential to strengthen the already broad international cooperation in the coming years, also in terms of funding for large scale projects through participation in international consortia. Internationalization can be further strengthened at other points, but there are all the bases to do so successfully. The very close connection between Institute and Museum seems to function very well; despite the complex structure, synergies are such that structural changes on this point are not to be recommended. In line with a challenge common to practically all BAS institutes, the NIAM leadership will have to develop specific plans to gradually change the age profile of scientific staff (only 10 staff are currently under 35) and to increase the number of PhD degrees awarded. Overall, the score for prospects is “A” or “high”.

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) Strategy The strategy presented in the SER is a sensible and convincing combination of continuity and renewal. Some of the new elements, for example new investigations of metallurgy and metal processing in Thrace, can be done in close cooperation with BAS research units from science disciplines. This strengthening of interdisciplinary collaboration with other science fields and their analytical methods is conducive to methodological innovation which during the last decade has allowed archaeology to gain new insights. The successful translation of this trend in Bulgaria with the help of other BAS institutes promises to yield a new understanding of the mobility of people, technologies and artefacts. The Institute has already built strong collaborations with a number of relevant scientific institutes inside BAS and also abroad, thus making the best of the specific structure of BAS. Overall the institute provided evidence for a convincing pattern of multiple collaboration with many other BAS institutes in other fields of science, all dictated by real research questions (such as: Institute of Experimental Morphology and Anthropology with Museum; Geo‐physics; Organic Chemistry with Phytochemistry Centre; Solid Physics; Nuclear Studies and Nuclear Energetic; Central Laboratory of Optic Recording and Processing of Information; Institute of Mechanics; National Museum of Natural History; Central Laboratory of Mineralogy and Crystallography;

62

Institute of Geology; Central Laboratory of General Ecology) . On other matters, a multitude of contacts exist with specialist analytical facilities elsewhere abroad. This impressive background of existing and possible collaborations with scientific disciplines indicates that a separate department for interdisciplinary studies no longer corresponds to the ways, archaeological science is conducted. It should be abolished, unless it serves for training purposes alone, as such approaches as listed (at least a good understanding of their usefulness to resolve certain research questions) need to be part of the standard postgraduate training of archaeologists. An important element in the strategy is the digitalization of the archives which should be a top priority; this may allow for integration into broader European contexts of data sharing. A further strengthening of international collaboration is welcome, especially through European research programmes. Given the academically and administratively central position of the institute in Bulgaria, such collaborations will benefit under conditions of easier transfer of resources and people within the EU. Contacts and collaborations at the inter-academy level and with specialised research institutes in the West and in the East (including the non-European East) are all in place. Performance The organization of research work in archaeology demands a combination of different expertise and is therefore based on team work. The way NIAM is organising its work is based on this principle: NIAM teams, whenever necessary and appropriate, include scholars from other BAS institutes, from universities, and from museums, and often operate in collaboration with international partners. Internationalization NIAM has an extensive international collaboration including joint field research, laboratory work and training of students and post-graduate students. During the period under review the Institute had eight international projects based on contracts at BAS level. At institute level, a further thirteen projects with relevant international participation were reported. For both types institutions from 19 countries were listed. The projects reported cover a wide range of themes, but the majority is concerned with archaeological sites or artefacts in Bulgaria; often the international collaborations include elements of on-site training, which is current practice but nonetheless as such praiseworthy. International collaborations also include exhibitions abroad, which can provide clear added value in terms of service to society (cultural tourism!). During the reporting period the number of articles published in foreign journals was about 1.5 per scholar (total 105 articles). About ten scholars have produced more than two articles abroad. The 114 contributions to conference papers abroad are the results of less than half of the total number of scholars employed at NIAM. NIAM clearly needs to improve the performance of its researchers on this point.

63

Despite the institute’s own very substantial publication activity, which includes journals with international boards, only six staff members serve on editorial boards of foreign scientific journals (most of them not of top rank). This is not satisfactory. Articles published in Bulgarian research journals (550) are mostly written in Bulgarian, but in most cases have useful summaries in English or French. A clear indication of the international role of some of the NIAM scholars is the fact that they are invited to take part as specialists in archaeological projects abroad; scholars from the Institute participate as experts in several foreign institutions. Nine scholars had stays abroad during the period under evaluation, and the number of participants in congresses abroad are listed as 75 (to 20 different countries). Both figures could be improved: the Institute (or, indeed, BAS through some special support scheme) should actively plan for more of its scholars to contribute to international conferences. On the other hand it is a sign for the Institute’s international recognition that no less than 40 foreign scholars have visited the Institute, mainly in connection with bilateral agreements with BAS or institute-toinstitute collaboration. Teaching collaborations with four foreign institutions seems to be at the appropriate level. The web presence of the Institute is informative for colleagues abroad, but could show more in terms of news, both discoveries, outreach activities and ongoing excavations: for these are all activities, which add significantly to the good visibility and reputation of the institute both domestically and internationally. Position in the domestic context NIAM has a strong and widespread scientific interdisciplinary co-operation with a number of BAS institutes in the sciences and the humanities and with relevant universities in Bulgaria. This co-operation typically takes the form of formal contracts as emerging or already existing consortia, of which at least one has won a competitive grant of the Ministry of Education and Science. NIAM is very well placed for new funding rounds which seem to encourage cross-institutional (and, by implication, cross-disciplinary) work. Strong co-operations also exist with national, regional and municipal museums, including joint fieldwork, joint publications etc. Collaboration with institutions concerned with the national infrastructure and local administrations are also among the assets of NIAM. With increasing foreign and local investment going into largescale infrastructural developments and upgrades (notably: road, rail and water traffic; water and energy supply) NIAM attracts important third-party contracts for legally obligatory rescue excavations. NIAM functions as the chief coordinator of all field archaeological investigations in Bulgaria and therefore fulfils a central role in the entire institutional set-up of Bulgaria. A special commission within the Institute controls the quality of the archaeological field work in Bulgaria and a copy of documentation goes to the national archives of archaeological research at NIAM. The structure is highly commendable as it links, institutionally and intellectually, the expanding sector of rescue excavations to the best available expertise in the country and ensures

64

accurate and accessible documentation. Expert activity of NIAM staff is impressive on all accounts, both at national and international level. In purely academic terms, NIAM organizes the national annual archaeological conference, which provides a platform of great importance for discussions, dissemination of research results before publication etc. The important project ‘Archaeological Map of Bulgaria’ has been much improved by the introduction of GIS technology and is an important reference point with the continuously expanding excavation work coordinated by the institute all across the country. The five chosen scientific achievements all concern excavations; they may all be considered of international importance. Also the five most important applied achievements are mainly concerned with archaeological field work of importance also outside Bulgaria. The number of PhD students is 27 (with only one from abroad - this number could be higher) and 10 degrees have been awarded during the period. Here is the panel sees room for improvement, which may be achieved through even better cooperation with university institutes. Since the institute can also be said to be playing a leading role in the region – e.g. in terms of Thracian archaeology – international recruitment may also be improved. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) Projects The total number of projects is no less than 277. A substantial part of these are, as it should be, team-work based “rescue” excavations etc., but some area also individual studies. 25 projects are funded solely by the internal institute budget. 63 projects are supported through contracts with ministries and private companies. 29 projects have benefitted from additional international funding from sources as diverse as: EU, NATO, ESF, UNESCO, PHARE etc. 24 projects are partly funded under BAS bilateral agreements and institute-to-institute cooperation. No less than 123 projects are described as being commissioned from third parties, including state or private companies from across the country (a substantial part of these are indeed “rescue” excavations) and from abroad. Six projects have attracted additional funding through the competitive schemes of the Bulgarian NSF. This comparatively small number – small for a successful and internationally recognised institute – can probably be explained by the increasing burden of work due to “rescue” excavations which leaves little room for additional applications. The Institute is aware of the risk not to let the urgency of and income arising from “rescue” excavation thwart the need for methodological innovation which cannot easily be achieved under such conditions. For this reason, the crossBAS interdisciplinary contacts are very useful.

65

The specificity of the Museum-based activities has been taken into account by the Panel, but is not fully reflected in this report. It is clear that the presence of the Museum is an asset, both scientifically (reference collections) and in terms of outreach (visibility; expert staff for preparation of exhibitions). The combination of institute and museum significantly enhances the standing of the institute; this unified approach to research, preservation and presentation must therefore be preserved as it is. Future museological work envisaged by and for NIAM as part of the national strategy is likely to further improve the current state of affairs at the Museum. Publications During the reporting period, institute staff published 105 scientific papers in foreign journals, as well as c.550 articles in different Bulgarian scientific journals, of which some are provided with useful summaries in English (especially those in journals and collections published by NIAM itself). Of all of these, a decent percentage has appeared in journals that are internationally recognised within the community. 114 published papers resulted from conferences abroad, but only 46 of the scholars of the Institute have such papers; no less than 455 refer to conferences in Bulgaria. The Institute itself edits no less than 15 scientific journals and series and has a remarkable productivity on that point. Archaeologia Bulgarica is published in a number of languages and has an international editorial board. Panel members felt that it would be a service to foreign readers if not only summaries in English (or other international languages) but if also captions were translated; international visibility and reception of the findings would be likely to benefit, too. The Panel was reassured to find that several foreign researchers are on the boards of these journals. In terms of scientific books, the panel recognised six titles published abroad (the SER lists seven, but one title is a contribution to an exhibition catalogue) as well as 43 published in Bulgaria, of which some have been written in languages other than Bulgarian. Some titles can be identified as contributions to anthologies. This corresponds to a good level of activity. Interestingly, no textbook seems to be listed among the titles, which can be read as another indication of the very strong research focus of the institute. Altogether the above indicates a very good productivity, particularly when taking into consideration that archaeologists tend to spend much time on field work before publication. The panel has come to the conclusion that overall NIAM shows a very good performance in terms of quality and productivity during the period under review. The overall score in quality and productivity, also bearing in mind comparable institutes abroad, is “A” for “work that is internationally competitive. The Institute has demonstrated important contributions to the field and is considered an international player”. The Institute is an attractive partner for other leading archaeological institutes in other European countries and countries beyond Europe.

66

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
Apart from the general intellectual contributions to knowledge about the past of the nation through publications and outreach – a knowledge all the more precious as it is presented in scientific, not in ideologically tainted terms – the existence of a strong group of experienced researchers at NIAM is fundamental in order to meet the challenges that the archaeological heritage of Bulgaria is facing in times of accelerated socio-economic change, induced by the transition from socialism and, more recently, the integration into the EU. Increasing investment in large-scale infrastructural developments (transport; water and energy) means that NIAM’s role as prime partner for rescue excavations and as coordinator and de facto academic supervisor of all field archaeological investigations in Bulgaria has been strengthened. If anything, its staff should be increased. The fact that a special commission within the Institute controls the quality of archaeological field work in Bulgaria is a highly commendable structure as it links, institutionally and intellectually, the expanding sector of rescue excavations to the best available expertise in the country. The same goes for the institute’s control over accurate and accessible documentation of such excavations. The expert activity of NIAM staff is amply documented and testifies to the relevance of their work, both in national and international contexts. It should not be underestimated that the outreach activities (exhibitions) and the extensive archaeological field work (e.g.: creation of archaeological parks) can be and are important elements contributing to the growth of cultural tourism, which will eventually further diversify the tourism product of Bulgaria. The institute provided convincing evidence for its active role in supporting / developing heritage and tourism activities, e.g. projects of trans‐border cooperation of the PHARE Programme, focusing on the transformation of archaeological sites into top tourist destinations; the participation in the work on an all‐Balkan project of Cultural Corridors; regional exhibitions; assistance given to the construction of reception tourist centres. NIAM researchers also prepare and direct projects on conservation, restoration and display of immovable cultural valuables, as some of them further develop to museums in situ. Lecturers from NIAM train personnel and contribute to handbooks on tourism at different universities in Sofia and Varna. Teaching The Institute has provided extensive teaching at a number of Bulgarian universities during the period under evaluation. This expert-guided training makes a significant contribution to the education of well-qualified students of archaeology in the country, well-prepared for the labour market in their field. The total sum of academic hours can even be considered as being too high for staff at a researchheavy institute, certainly in the first part of the period, but it has later been reduced by more than one third (from 2.040 to 1.365 hours). It has not become quite clear whether this reduction occurred by coincidence or came as part of a deliberate strategy; in either case, it is a welcome development, provided that the concomitant possible reduction of extra income does not lead to young scholars leaving the career.

67

The list of teaching activities also includes a large number of summer ‘practise’ (field archaeology), schools or seminars – several of them abroad, which is a useful and necessary addition for a strongly field-work based discipline. For example: twelve seminars are listed for 2008 where scholars from the Institute have taught - many of them abroad (Germany, Italy, Russia, Serbia, USA) - together with two post-graduate courses taught abroad by one member of staff. Museum Clear evidence was provided for the integration of the Museum into the scientific and outreach work of the institute in past, present and future. The Museum and the Institute operate as parts of a single body; their functions are complementary to one another: archaeological finds from field investigations of both institutions enter the depositories of the Museum; field research is carried out jointly; similarly, collective teams organize exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad. Both museum and institute staff function as editors and authors in NIAM publications. Museum specialists of academic rank can and do direct and review PhD theses in the Institute. There is a coordinated financial administration, which provides much needed and very useful flexibility. The combination of Museum and Institute affords the possibility to NIAM to carry out successfully the task delegated by the new Law for the Cultural Heritage, namely to play a leading role in localization, study, preservation and popularization of the archaeological heritage of the country. In the view of the panel, NIAM deservedly occupies a central position in the field in Bulgaria and fulfils a crucial role in the provision of expert services to a country immensely rich in archaeological treasures and undergoing rapid and massive construction works as part of its transition into the European Union. Thanks to the museum and regular exhibitions at home and abroad the visibility of NIAM also beyond academia proper is very high indeed. The overall score in terms of relevance is therefore “A”; its work is “highly relevant” to the wellbeing of Bulgarian society.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Panel appreciated the elements of strategic planning presented in the SER and during the site-visits and found them a sensible and convincing combination of continuity and renewal. New investigations of metallurgy and metal processing in Thrace involve close cooperation with other BAS research units from the science fields in a move that promises to rejuvenate archaeology in Bulgaria and to unlock new potential. Against the background of multiple interdisciplinary collaborations within and beyond the context of BAS, the role of a separate department for interdisciplinary studies at the Institute has become obsolete in research terms. An important element in the strategy is the digitalization of the archives which should be a top priority; this may allow for integration into broader European contexts of data sharing.

68

The strategy foresees a further strengthening of international collaboration through European research programmes. Given the academically and administratively central position of the institute in Bulgaria, such collaborations are likely to benefit under conditions of easier transfer of resources and people within the EU. The necessary contacts and collaborations at inter-academy level and with specialised research institutes in West and East are in place. The activities of the Institute and its museum are of great national importance as to the cultural heritage of Bulgaria. The field projects contribute to improving the possibilities for a growth in cultural tourism. NIAM can benefit from the growing need for expertise in “rescue” excavations; if anything, its staff level should be adjusted upwards to be still better able to provide the necessary services to society. It is very encouraging to observe that the expanding activity in “rescue” excavations also allows comparatively younger scholars to function as team leaders, thereby showing their potential for higher responsibilities in the institute and elsewhere. NIAM has extensive collaborations with a large number of universities and museums in Bulgaria. Invaluable are its archives of archaeological field work in Bulgaria during the last 50 years and the ongoing project of an archaeological map of Bulgaria. The Panel sees potential for increasing publications by NIAM scholars in foreign scientific journals. In terms of internationalization, the already good frequency of visits by foreign scholars can be further augmented. By reserving some money for this specific purpose, the Institute will be able to still better connect with research environments abroad. Such visits could probably be developed jointly with universities, for example as part of graduate training courses. The number of scholars going abroad for longer research stays or for guest lectures could probably also be raised. The laboratory at the central facilities is up to date, but quite small and - as also staff present during the visit agreed - the capability for conservation of the many objects in the museum and deposits is too limited. Funding should be made available to improve the status quo. The close connection between Institute and Museum is clearly a benefit to both institutions. The Museum will benefit from museological intervention; a more attractive museum shop and possibly a small café can generate additional income. The main threat to the otherwise impressive vitality of the institute is the age profile of academic staff. This phenomenon characterises practically all BAS institutes, and NIAM is well aware of the danger. Currently, 51 of the scholars are 51-70 years of age and a further 36 staff fall into the age bracket between 31 and 50. Short of a general critique of the funding of research and scientific recruitment in Bulgaria – it is imperative that the problem is addressed through extra efforts by the institute leadership. A more aggressive marketing of employment possibilities in the sectors of rescue excavation and cultural tourism may be helpful, as could be a scheme of non-salary awards for successful young scholars.

69

The Panel concludes that a convincing strategy has been developed for the coming years (well planned, realistic and conforming to high priorities at an international level). Leadership and management seem to be well in place. The Institute has the potential to strengthen the already broad international cooperation also in view of funding for large-scale projects through international consortia. Internationalization can be further strengthened at other points, but there are all the bases to do so successfully. The very close connection between Institute and Museum functions well: despite the complex structure, synergies are such that no structural changes are recommended. In line with a phenomenon observed for practically all BAS institutes, the NIAM leadership must achieve a gradual change of the age profile of scientific staff (only 10 staff are currently under the age of 35) and to increase the number of PhD degrees awarded. Overall, the score for prospects is “A” or “high”. The Institute is considered by this Panel as an internationally competitive research institution and as an attractive partner for other leading archaeological institutes in other European countries and countries beyond Europe.

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
N.B.: some of the “weaknesses” are structural weaknesses of the system, and some are rather points of improvement some of which are also addressed under “recommendations”. Strengths  Productivity and international visibility of NIAM based research (qualified staff);  Strong national position as central institution for archaeological excavations (administratively and academically);  Management and leadership potential (less threatening overall conditions would help);  International network of scholarly and collaborative contacts;  Interdisciplinary exchanges and cooperation within BAS and within Bulgaria;  Inter-institutional network (arising from and crucial for “rescue” excavations);  Excellent potential for further growth and societal relevance;  Evidence for good nurturing of emerging talent (young team leaders in rescue excavations). Weaknesses  Unfavourable age balance among scientific staff: more younger scholars needed; support to be given to PhD candidates to finish their doctoral work in time;  More support needed for widening international presence (congresses);  More support needed for laboratory and other ancillary services;

70

 Monitoring by institute leadership needed to achieve a balance between teaching and research activities (an overall policy needs to be implemented, defining the character of BAS scientific staff);  Proactive solutions to be developed in order to achieve balance between workload in “rescue” excavations and necessary advances in basic research (notably making use of the BAS network of institutes).

Recommendations
With an overall “A” for all categories of the evaluation (quality/productivity in an international context; relevance, with a focus on Bulgarian society; and prospects, with an emphasis of potential and ability of Institute and Museum to reach the objectives set), NIAM is one of the leading institutes evaluated by this Panel. However, a number of recommendations might help further strengthen and improve the position of the institute, a strengthening that it would fully deserve. Most of these recommendations reflect concerns already well present in the deliberations of the institute’s leadership. Their listing here is to emphasise that such constructive reasoning is fully endorsed by the international evaluation panel.  The leadership of the Institute should develop medium- and long-term plans for a gradual change in age profile, working through BAS with the relevant authorities to make it possible that young scholars can be attracted and, if promising, kept; as part of this, the number of PhD students – and hence cooperative arrangements with institutions of Higher Education - could be enlarged; giving responsibilities to younger scholars makes work at NIAM attractive;  care must be taken as to the ratio between “rescue” excavations and basic research; phrased differently: funds for basic research should be integrated into the financial planning for the funding of “rescue” excavations (e.g.: the Swedish model);  against the background of multiple interdisciplinary collaborations within and beyond the context of BAS, the role of a separate department for interdisciplinary studies at the Institute has become obsolete;  the integration of Institute and Museum should continue; the specific skills that students can learn in the museum context could be presented as an asset for a future generation of graduate students;  the laboratory should be enlarged and receive more funding as part of Cultural Heritage programmes in order to have provide capacity for conservation purposes;  there is a potential for further internationalization which should not only not be missed, but be actively encouraged, if possible as part of a support strategy operating across BAS.

71

706 Institute of Balkan Studies Introduction
The Institute of Balkan Studies was established in 1964, against the background of the foundation, on the initiative of UNESCO, of the “Association internationale d’études du Sud-Est Européen”. The research activities of the institute are directed toward the Balkans / South East Europe. It has 52 full-time employees, 41 of them faculty, who are organized in five departments, of which four deal with the history of the Balkans and the fifth with the cultural history of the Balkans. The institute focuses on “the history, literatures and languages of South-Eastern Europe, over a span of nearly sixteen hundred years, from the late 4th until the late 20th century. It also explores the cross-cultural contacts among the South East European nations as well as their relations in the spheres of politics, economics, and religion, thus contributing to a transnational perspective on Southeast European history” (taken from a written presentation prepared by the Dept. “Cultural History of the Balkan Peoples” for the site visit). As a form of domestic area studies, the approach is highly multidisciplinary, examining Bulgaria as part of a greater Balkan or South East European region: researchers working at the Institute of have disciplinary affiliation in Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History; Archival Studies, Diplomatics, and Palaeography; European Literatures, but also, curiously, American, Asian, African, and Australian Literatures. The Institute is visible internationally and very visible regionally. Its research covers a wide area of topics, perhaps even too wide; its strategy to concentrate, in the future, on some selected topics is worth supporting. The Institute seems to have the potential to combine its many bilateral contacts in the region into a multilateral network and perhaps also be organizer or co-organizer of more multilateral research on the regional level.

Evaluation Summary
The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: the institute’s work is internationally visible; it has made valuable international contributions in the field (with about 1/3 or papers and contributions published abroad in foreign languages including some of the Balkan languages). Its researchers have good international contacts, especially in South East Europe and partly in Central Europe: regionally the Institute is even very visible. Nationally the Institute is important as it is collocates Bulgaria in the wider region and has gathered a lot of expertise for this area. In terms of impact and relevance the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”). One of the strengths of the Institute – its wide-ranging expertise – is also one of the obstacles when it comes to sustaining a leading position in an increasingly international arena: in terms of prospects, the lack of a sufficiently clear research 72

profile (also vis-à-vis national competitors) and of a strategy for the future convinces this panel to assign as overall score “B” (“moderate”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) Strategy According to its strategic notes, the Institute will focus in the future on the following major areas of research:  The Balkans and Europe: Travel, Communications and Everyday Life;  The Balkans in the Context of the East-West relations: Crossroads of Civilizations;  Ethnicity, Religion, and Nationality in the Balkans, 15th to 21st centuries;  The Balkans and Europe: Processes of Transformation, Modernization, and Integration, 18th to 21st centuries;  Sources of Balkan History;  The Balkans and the World Order. Through this reorientation, potentially interdisciplinary priority areas are described within which the Institute intends to bring the members of different departments into closer contact with each other through common projects. The Institute also hopes that the selection of these themes will contribute to increasing the mobility of research fellows. It is striking that the institute of history has selected a very similar set of themes as its priorities for the next years. Overall, the areas of research areas chosen are huge, but relatively concrete, except perhaps for the last one. The institute also plans to continue its educational activities as one of its long-term goals is to acquaint Bulgarian public with the accomplishments of scholars, writers and artists of the neighbouring countries. This concentration on six major research areas is, in principle, a movement in the right direction, as it will raise the profile of the institute in certain fields. However, the fields as they stand still cover a very vast area indeed and it might be advisable to concentrate efforts on the most promising of them (see also below under “Prospects”). Internationalization The focus of research interests of the Institute is the study of South-Eastern Europe, a notably complex multinational, multicultural and multilingual region. When looking at the list of bilateral projects and agreements it is clear that Central Europe also falls in the Institute’s field of interest.

73

25 out of the 41 research projects listed in the report have an international partner, mostly within the framework of the Academy’s bilateral agreements. In the period under review the Institute has used the framework of the Bulgarian Academy’s program for international exchange by carrying out a number of “collaborative (bilateral) projects” with the Academies of Sciences in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and with the University of Harkov. Some of these inter-academy projects include as second BAS partner the institute of history. There are also some bilateral collaborations with other academic institutions abroad, such as the Institute of Balkan Studies in Thessaloniki, the Institute of Mediterranean Studies at the University of Rethymno, Crete, the Turkish Historical Society in Ankara, the Institute of National History in Skopje or the University of Artois, France (“Balkan literatures and comparative literary studies. Problems of reception, translations and French-language publications”), which also resulted in publications. Some of the Institute’s scholars are working on projects in the context of the European Science Foundation’s EUROCORES Programme “Inventing Europe”. They focus on “the History of European Infrastructure and European Integration” and “European Ways of Life in the ‘American Century’: Mediating Consumption and Technology in the Twentieth Century”. The Institute works in close cooperation with a number of Bulgarian and international institutions and organizations, such as the Balkan Studies National Committee which it presides over and the Bucharest-based International Association for Southeast European Studies (AIESEE). In the framework of BAS’ bilateral agreements the scholars based at the institute have visited foreign countries for various periods of time: Croatia , Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia. The scholars have also taken lively part in international congresses, conferences etc. in many European countries, including Turkey and Macedonia. A couple of visits to Canada and USA are also mentioned. The institute has also welcomed a certain number of foreign visiting scholars, the overwhelming majority of whom in conjunction with the abovementioned bilateral collaborative projects. Some of the institute’s researchers have also been sent abroad on study and research visits (11 such cases during the period), and some have lectured abroad. One scientist is reported as being abroad on “permitted, unpaid leave”. The lively international contacts are reflected in papers published in foreign scientific journals (65 items), in congress and symposia proceedings, as well as in thematic subject collections (98 items). These papers are written in (or perhaps translated into) a wide array of languages: French, German, English, Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian, Russian, Czech, Albanian, Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Polish, Italian. Only very few of these papers are published in journals that are included in the major databases (SCI; ERIH; the institute’s own journal is not yet included in ERIH). The bibliography provided also lists eight scientific books published abroad, namely in Ankara and Istanbul in English and Turkish, and one book each in Tirana in Albanian and in Thessaloniki in Greek. Two of the books are published in French.

74

Most of the papers and books published in Bulgaria are in Bulgarian but there are exceptions. The well-known institute journal Études balkaniques has only articles in English, French, German, Italian, or Russian, and is used by the staff members for their publications. Overall this is a respectable performance, but not an outstanding set of results. Five of the institute’s scholars participate in editorial boards of eight foreign journals. The institute has the right to accept students of European, American, Asian, African and Australian literatures to study for PhD; this is rather odd when the BAS Institute for Literature has among its accredited post-graduate courses “Literature of the peoples of Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia”. It seems that this potentially vast area of study is not connected to the core work one would expect emanating from an Institute of Balkan Studies. Whatever the multitude of contacts, they have not let to a better mobilisation of foreign or EU resources; the vast majority of funding (c.90%) comes from BAS core resources. National level The contacts with the universities seem to allow the institute’s researchers to teach regularly at all levels (BA, MA and PhD students). The Institute also educates PhD students itself. For the period under review it had 21 PhD-students, 15 of whom were awarded their degrees, which is a quite good result. While the Institute has the basis for increasing the number of young researchers, it emerged from the site visit that it seems to have a problem with keeping them (financial reasons, better job opportunities elsewhere). The age composition of scientific staff at the Institute is more or less in line with other institutes, with 11 researchers between 30 and 40, 10 between 40 and 50, 16 between 50 and 60, and 10 over 60. It presents therefore the common problem of over-ageing. One textbook on Bulgarian foreign policy for students from Varna Free University has been published by an associate of the institute. The contacts with the universities seem, as is the case with many of the BAS institutes, rather unidirectional, that is from academy institute to university department, not the opposite way. In order to exploit in an efficient way the rather scarce resources in the humanities the influences should of course go both ways. Contacts within BAS are not as well developed as the interdisciplinary reorientation of the Institute would suggest. One joint project exists with the Institute of Ethnography (“Balkan History and Culture in its European Context”) and the panel learnt about newer projects – which do not fall within the reporting period - with two other BAS institutes. One of these is funded through the Human Resources Operative Program of the EU directed towards young PhDs “to help them develop their research and teaching skills”, i.e. not a research programme. There are other institutes that could be good cooperation partners, for example the Institute of Folklore; its list of publications contains many items that at least partly cover the same areas as the areas in which IBS dwells.

75

A peculiar case of low-level cooperation within BAS is this Institute’s relationship with the Institute of History. Both institutes have matching counterparts in their chronologically structured departments, except that the Institute of History covers the same periods from the point of view of national, Bulgarian history. Even though research in the two institutes do not at first sight show significant overlap or duplication, synergies are not exploited either: the history of Bulgaria - the central topic in Institute of History - is present to a large extent in the research done under the aegis of the Institute for Balkan Studies. In fact, against the background of modern historiography elsewhere, it seems almost counterintuitive to embark on writing a national history of any Balkan country without including the “Balkan aspect”, i.e. without taking into account the histories of surrounding countries and peoples. In plans for the future, projects envisaged by the Institute for History are getting somewhat closer to the approaches practised by historians at the Institute for Balkan Studies; by the same token, the leadership of this Institute sees as “the main goal of the above-mentioned [six] research areas ...to encourage the members of different departments to participate in common projects, to strengthen the interdisciplinary approach and to increase the mobility of the research fellows”. Despite these declarations of principle, there is a reluctance for the two institutes to work together, possibly due to different – mono-disciplinary (History) and multidisciplinary (Balkan Studies) – approaches to their objects of study. Most of the institute’s publications (some 70 books and some 600 articles) are published in Bulgaria even though the amount of articles and books abroad and in foreign languages is relatively high. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The productivity of the Institute can be considered good in absolute numbers: the list of scientific projects comprises 41 items. Of these nine are projects with one participant, three have two participants, and the remainder involve larger groups, ranging from 3 to 12 participants. This indicates that many researchers take part in more than one project which might be a sign of a certain internal mobility in the Institute. The Institute’s research teams “employ a multidisciplinary approach to a wide variety of topics that are relevant to the history and culture of South-Eastern Europe. Their main goal is to conduct an in-depth study on the complexity of cultural, religious and political interaction and the links of South-Eastern Europe with other nations.” A list of eight team projects is given. Some of them have a direct counterpart in the longer list of 41 research projects, other projects in that list seem to appear clustered into larger team projects; there also exist some individual projects quite outside of and alongside the team projects. The relation of these team projects to the departments was not properly explained. Contrary to the organisation of work presented (thematic clusters) the books mentioned as outcome of the of research work are mostly single-author studies.

76

This applies also to the books that had been are mentioned as the five most important publications of the Institute. Overall, the publication list is impressive and covers a very wide area of subjects. The interest in reception studies or in studies that concern the interest for Bulgaria and the Bulgarians in other countries is understandable and relevant in a society in rapid transition from totalitarianism to membership of the EU. Not surprisingly, perhaps, also an analysis of the products suggests a potential for close collaboration with the Institute for History than is hitherto apparent from joint work. The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: the institute’s work is internationally visible; it has made valuable international contributions in the field. With about one third of their papers and contributions published abroad in foreign languages including some of the Balkan languages, the impression is that the network outside Bulgaria almost seems to be better than the use of opportunities for fruitful collaboration inside the country. Its researchers have good international contacts, especially in South East Europe and partly in Central Europe: regionally the institute is even very visible.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
Much of the institute’s work refers, whether it is focused on history or contemporary affairs, to the geopolitical and cultural position of Bulgaria in the region. As such, the institute fulfils an important function in the Bulgaria-centric knowledge production. Unfortunately, as has been hinted at before, it seems that links with the universities are not as intense and as well-structured as they should be to ensure a regular transfer of this new knowledge into curricula. Also the cooperation with other institutes at BAS is relatively weak. On the other hand, there seems to be a good presence if researchers from the Institute in relevant committees, boards, unions etc in Bulgaria. In 2008, the Institute signed an agreement for bilateral cooperation with the Institute of Diplomacy and the Cultural Institute; both institutes are affiliated with Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs”. In connection with this, the Institute formed “five teams, whose task (it) will be to provide consultancy on the developments in Greece, Romania, Turkey, and the Western Balkans. In addition our expertise will cover areas such as the formation of ethnic, national and religious identities in Southeast Europe and Turkey.” The Institute therefore is actively seeking to put its resident expertise at the service of government and society. The institute reported on the presence of numerous of their researchers on relevant boards and committees governing the science sector in the country: “senior Associates of the Institute of Balkan Studies sit on the National Specialized Academic Boards in three different fields: 1) Ancient and Mediaeval History, Archaeology and Ethnography; 2) Early Modern and Modern History; 3) International Relations. They also sit on the Academic Boards of the Macedonian and the Thracian Research Institutes respectively, the Sts. Cyril and Methodius National Library, the Archaeography Committee of the National Library, the Managing Boards of the Bulgarian Foreign Policy Association and the Institute for Democracy and Stability

77

in Southeast Europe, etc. Research associates of the Institute are members of a number of subject associations and learned societies. For domestic debates the Institute’s work is important as it is collocates Bulgaria in the wider region, has gathered a lot of expertise for this area, and makes the expertise available to the relevant bodies and Committees. Less well exploited are the intra-academy exchanges, which however not at the heart of this criterion. In terms of impact and relevance the overall score is therefore “A” (“highly relevant”).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Institute has been and is still the leading institution of Balkan studies in Bulgaria, even though its position is increasingly challenged by university researchers, a challenge of which the institute researchers are fully aware. The future, self-defined, six major areas of research are, each of them, huge (for example: “Ethnicity, Religion, and Nationality in the Balkans, 15th to 21st c.”). They need require many experts of various profiles to be brought together: the Institute is expected to enhance its area studies profile by strengthening interdisciplinary approaches to research. Even though the institute has experts in many fields – witness the varied content of the articles and books authored by its researchers - all the expertise needed cannot reside in an institute of its size (52 full-time employees, 41 of them faculty). This is especially true if the Institute wishes to carry out more extensive and comprehensive research as mentioned above. Consequently, the leadership wants to encourage members of different departments within the Institute to participate in common projects; however, there is also need for much more and more sustained cooperation with researchers from other BAS institutes, from the Bulgarian universities, and from the other South-East European countries as well as, broadly speaking, the international scientific community. Provided the Institute manages to link up its many bilateral connections into a functioning multilateral regional and international network. The Institute seems still to have the potential to be the organizer or co-organizer of more multilateral projects concerning the Balkan or South East European area but for that they need to concentrate their efforts on some of the large-scale team projects: nearly all of these projects have the potential to grow if the Institute gets the opportunity to include researchers from all the other research environments listed above. Over the period under review, the Institute has awarded between two and four doctoral degrees per year, which is a figure in line with many other institutes in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Equally in line with most other institutes, the age distribution of employed researchers does not promise well for the future. This phenomenon, as in all the other cases, can probably not be attributed to management failures. On the other hand, it is surprising that fundraising from nonBAS sources has been weak: this observation seems to point to a leadership that is not sufficiently entrepreneurial itself or is not successful in instilling such behaviour among its scientific staff.

78

One of the strengths of the Institute – its wide-ranging expertise – is also one of the obstacles when it comes to sustaining a leading position in an increasingly international arena. Some first steps have been taken to advance the interdisciplinary dialogue within the Institute, but much bolder steps are necessary to maintain the leadership position that the Institute has had and still has in some areas. Currently, in terms of prospects, lack of a sufficiently clear research profile (also vis-à-vis national competitors) and of a strategy for the future leaves this panel no choice but to assign as overall score “B” (“moderate”).

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths  Interdisciplinary area studies institute;  Comparatively good visibility (also publications abroad and in other languages);  Presence in advisory and expert bodies in Bulgaria;  Potential for regional leadership role. Weaknesses  Lack of focus (despite the envisaged, newly defined, large-scale research areas);  Comparatively weak connections within BAS system (and in general within Bulgaria);  Need for more “entrepreneurial” management and leadership.

Recommendations
The specific recommendations must be read against an overall score for quality and productivity of “B”: the Institute’s work is internationally visible; it has made valuable international contributions in the field. Its researchers have good international contacts, especially in South East Europe and partly in Central Europe. For national debates and advice functions, the Institute helps to collocate Bulgaria in the wider region and makes expertise available to society. In terms of impact and relevance the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”). In terms of prospects, lack of a sufficiently clear research profile (also vis-à-vis national competitors) and of a strategy for the future leaves the Panel no choice but to assign as overall score “B” (“moderate”).  Better (and better motivated) concentration of research activities;  stronger leadership in promoting activities (incl. research programmes) across the borders of the five departments, also in terms of fundraising;  more cooperation with other BAS institutes and universities in Bulgaria;  better use of the regional and international contacts, also in terms of fundraising;  development of research agendas and publications.

79

707 Ethnographic Institute with Museum (EIM)

Introduction
The EIM was established in 1949 as a research unit within the BAS, whereas the Museum had been in existence since 1906 and was given the status of National Ethnographic Museum in 1969. Collections are mostly kept in depots (some 50,000 items of folk arts and crafts from the 17th to the 20th centuries), due to lack of space for permanent exhibits. Occasionally, special temporary exhibitions are organised in Sofia and/or in cooperation with museums outside the capital, elsewhere in Europe and beyond. At present the Institute consists of five departments:  Bulgarian Traditional Culture (staff 10);  Current Ethnology (staff 14);  Balkan Ethnology (staff 8; 7 research support staff);  Scientific Information and Documentation (staff 11: two research fellows);  Ethnomuseology (staff 25: eight research fellows, 10 research support staff). The EIM has its own specialised library with c.25.000 volumes, eight reading rooms and ethnographic archives (photographs, fieldwork notebooks and field reports, etc.). The EIM library is part of a network of 49 departmental or ‘branch libraries’ which are all part of the BAS Central Library. The Institute has a number of in-house publications, series and periodicals some of which have achieved some status abroad. Since 1973 the EIM has taken the lead in convening the national conference of Bulgarian ethnologists.

Evaluation Summary
The EIM is the national centre of reference in ethnography and ethnology, and enjoys some international visibility in South-Eastern Europe and beyond. It has become an indispensable interlocutor in dealings with foreign academic institutions in the field. The association with the National Ethnographic Museum has given it additional weight, but the day-to-day running of the museum can also be seen as a liability (it entails disputes over real estate and concerns about lacking investment in the museum infrastructure and maintenance of the premises, a former princely palace). Productivity of researchers at the EIM is comparatively high, in terms of both research projects and output and teaching/training activities. A good number of research projects carried out by members of the institute can rely on substantial external funding. Publication output is also very high in total numbers, though the 80

overall quality is uneven. The EIM currently produces a quarterly journal, a yearbook in English, and a book series (irregular intervals). The size, distribution and competence of the scientific personnel is good, although more progress is needed in the recruitment of PhDs and the provision of research careers for the promising ones among them. The EIM has the potential to become internationally competitive, but for this potential to be realised some internal reforms are required which in turn crucially depend on substantial investment and legal-academic reforms that can only be implemented at higher levels (BAS, government). This institute evaluation does not suggest a new constellation that would integrate EIM and the Institute of Folklore, but a solution to the obvious overlaps must be found by BAS. The evaluation highlights some of the common and specific challenges as well as the assets that need to be preserved. The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: “the institute is internationally visible; it has made valuable contributions to the field.” The EIM is the national centre of reference in ethnography and ethnology, enjoys some international visibility, and is an important player in South-Eastern Europe. Overall, the work of the institute is not innovative enough yet to warrant an A. The association with the National Ethnographic Museum has given the Institute additional weight. It has become an indispensable interlocutor in dealings with foreign academic institutions. Productivity of EIM is high in total numbers (research output; teaching-training), but much of it is targeted at the domestic audience. The overall score on relevance is a “B” (moderate), which is primarily due to the as yet imperfectly articulated relationship with the Museum and the equally as yet somewhat coincidental collaboration with the universities. It goes without saying that with its status as national centre the Institute has all reasons to aspire to a full “A”. This panel believes that the institute has sufficient assets (and a sufficiently energetic leadership and scientific staff) to be able to strengthen the institution over the next few years with the necessary support from BAS. The prospects are “high” (overall “A”). However, the panel is convinced that the field would be best served in Bulgaria and the region by one strong research-led institute to arise from a merger between the two institutes of ethnography and folklore.

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential)

81

The EIM, like BAS institutes in general, aims to meet its academic responsibilities as a centre of reference at the national level; this is part and parcel of its legalnormative status within BAS and Bulgaria’s academic and research system. Such a national mission legitimises its pursuit of being a domestically leading institution, but also risks putting some constraints on its scholarly outlook, the setting up of an independent research agenda, its potential for innovation, and ultimately even to its international profile and competitiveness. Some of the basics of ethnographic work [e.g.: the building of systematic inventories of folk custom and everyday cultural practices, past or contemporary; ethnographic mapping; documentation of ethnic and cultural diversity] never become obsolete or superfluous. Therefore , they must remain part of the core mission of a national centre of reference. A paradox arises when the need to meet national responsibilities makes catching up with international scholarly standards and research agendas more difficult. Many of the themes broached by EIM’s researchers sound a bit outdated, despite the ‘fashionable’ titles and project outlines. Research topics mostly fall within the boundaries of the national (including attention given to Bulgarian living outside Bulgaria). There is also some special and recurrent attention given to the study of ethnic minorities within Bulgaria (Roma / Gypsies, Turks / Muslims, and a few other national, religious and linguistic minorities). Conventional topics of study predominate; they are seen as part of the Bulgarian tradition, great or small: myth, rituals and beliefs, custom and customary practices, the oral tradition, traditional arts and crafts in rural areas, issues of national and ethno-cultural identity. On the other hand, and in terms of the organisation of research, many of the ‘research projects’ listed - which do not differentiate between a museum exhibition and original research proper - are carried out by individual researchers or in small groups, without specific funding, and focusing on ‘narrow’, plainly descriptive approaches. The long listing of these ‘projects’ leaves an impression of dispersion of research efforts, and of a lack of a proper research agenda for the EIM as a whole. Some of the more innovative and internationally visible research pursuits demonstrate that it is possible to rejuvenate the research agenda, to engage effectively in collaborative research, and raise quality standards in research and writing. Noteworthy examples are research projects on national and transnational identities and the process of Europeanization; topics of post-socialism and the ensuing socio-political transformations; research on borders and urban studies; work on migrations and labour mobility; youth and gender studies; studies on new religious movements. Such lines of research need to be given continuity. In this regard, the present and long term teaching-training and research programmes of the Balkan Ethnology department, and the Current Ethnology department to a lesser extent, might be seen as important steps in the right direction.

82

The work of the Museum should be discussed separately; only in part can it be considered a research infrastructure in the modern sense. The articulation of work between institute and museum is not yet wholly satisfactory. The Museum is in dire need of renovation, starting with the unsatisfactory state of repair of its premises. At present, there is not enough space to show even a very small part of the 50,000 items in the collections. Also, new concepts of museology should be explored for the Museum to remain attractive as a research resource and for the general public. The Museum has recently obtained from the Bulgarian National Science Fund a substantial grant for a project which aims at the implementation of new museology initiatives that should enhance the exhibition (permanent and temporary) and educational dimensions of the Museum (“Inclusive Museum, 2008-2011”). Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The number of permanent staff positions at the EIM is high at 79 (77 are presently occupied). EIM currently counts 42 research staff (20 junior and 22 senior research fellows), of whom 38 are PhD-holders and 4 hold a DSc. Research supporting staff number 35 (23 graduates), eight of whom operate in administrative positions. The Institute shows modest evidence for rejuvenating its staff: over the 5-year period evaluated nine PhD dissertations and one DSc thesis were successfully defended, seven research associates degree III-I were elected and three habilitations (senior research fellows) were completed. Overall, the distribution of personnel at the EIM seems to be balanced. The age and academic profile of scientific staff is still acceptable, even though the number of younger PhDs at the beginning of their careers, who perform proper research tasks, should be increased. The position of the Balkan Ethnology department is the most satisfactory in this regard. Projects A total of 132 projects are identified, though the SER does not discriminate between research projects and outreach activities (exhibitions). Listings of a range of activities of a heterogeneous character further inflates the figures reported. This explains the otherwise implausible mean of more than 3 projects per member of scientific staff. If one takes into consideration the external funds obtained, only twelve of these projects seem to rest on substantial funding support. 33 projects are supported via the BAS core budget as part of the research efforts expected in return for salary payments (exception: project #8 related to the digitalisation of libraries: 10k BGN). 12 projects receive funding from the Bulgarian NSF. Of these, two have obtained substantial funding (“Bulgarians in Bessarabia in the Post-Soviet Space”, 120k BGN; “Labour Activities of Bulgarians in Spain”, c. 60k BGN). 11 projects are financed via contracts with governmental agencies and private companies, but only for one of them figures are given (#56 ethnographic exhibition: 12k BGN).

83

19 projects receive support from diverse international institutions, but only three obtained substantial grants (“European Dimensions of Culture and History of the Balkans”, funded by the European Social Fund, Min. of Education and Sciences: c.200k BGN; digitalisation of ethnographic documents and audiovisual materials at the EIM, funded by British Library and The Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund, UK: c.100k BGN; “Dynamics of National Identity and Transnational Identities in the Process of EU Integration”, c.75k EUR). Nine projects are funded via bilateral agreements or in the framework of instituteto-institute cooperation (no figures given). 38 projects are reported to be funded via contracts and commissions from third party sources, government or private agencies. Funding figures are given for only two of them, #86 (€ 6.000) and #87 (€ 6.300), which are related to the organisation of museum exhibitions. Publications EIM is very active in publishing. In Bulgarian, a quarterly journal has appeared regularly ever since 1975 (Bulgarska Etnografia; renamed in 1995 Bulgarska Etnologia). Since 1998 Ethnologia Bulgarica. Yearbook of Bulgarian Ethnology and Folklore carries in English a selection of the best articles previously published in Bulgarian in the quarterly or elsewhere (despite the title only three volumes so far, the latest in 2006). Jointly with the Institute of German and Comparative Ethnology at the University of Munich, EIM started publishing the journal/yearbook Ethnologia Balkanica in 1997 and had it printed in Sofia until recently (nine annual volumes). All these periodical publications provide valuable insights into the progress of the field in Bulgaria. Of the four other important book series in Bulgarian produced by the Institute, two have continued publishing in the reporting period: Ethnographic Problems of Folk Culture, 1989-2007, 7 vols., and Problems of Bulgarian Urban Culture, 1998-2007, 4 vols. Scientific staff members regularly contribute entries to national encyclopaedic projects (e.g.: Bulgarian Encyclopaedia) and to thematic dictionaries (e.g. Mythology of the Human Body. Anthropological Dictionary. Sofia, 2008). Over the five-year-period under consideration, EIM based researchers have produced a large number of publications: 217 papers in scientific journals (75 of which in foreign journals and 142 in Bulgarian journals, mostly periodicals of the EIM or other BAS units). 338 papers were published in conference proceedings and thematic collections (120 abroad and 218 in Bulgaria). Only few of the papers are published in journals included in the SCI, some more in journals listed in ERIH (its category “C” also includes the two EIM journals). A certain number of these articles are also published in Ethnologia Balkanica. Clearly, the predominant focus of this intense publication activity is Bulgaria itself, and, to a lesser extent, the region of the Balkans. The list is completed by 55 books (of which six at publishing houses abroad) as well as small numbers of more popular textbooks (five), booklets and brochures (five), and short articles produced for consumption by the general reading public (64).

84

Some items are listed more than once (e.g. when published in a different language and/or in slightly modified versions). If remarkable in purely quantitative terms, the researchers’ productivity - if mapped tentatively against measures of international quality and visibility - needs to be qualified. Researchers at the EIM ought to be encouraged to seek publication of their best work in prestigious international journals. At the same time, the EIM should invest in raising the standards of their own journals, following the guidelines set in the ERIH project, for instance: opening the journal to external contributions (solicited and unsolicited), establishing an independent international editorial board, introducing a proper system of peer review for all papers submitted for publication. The digitalization of back issues of the EIM’s journals and collections (and making them available electronically via CEEOL) is to be praised. EIM’s plans for the publication of successful PhD dissertations in electronic form, and eventually in print, are also to be commended. Teaching A total of 3.690 academic hours were taught by EIM scientific staff in Bulgaria over the reporting period, as well as a total of 356 academic hours taught abroad. In addition, the institute reports 1.393 hours in practicals and seminars in Bulgaria and 50 hours in practicals and seminars abroad. 23 BA or MA dissertations were supervised. 192 hours were taught in PhD programmes; 15 PhD dissertations were supervised in Bulgaria, and one abroad (Leipzig). Nine PhD degrees were awarded (seven of which to women). Most of the undergraduate teaching activities are circumstantial and not inscribed in the implementation of the EIM’s own or joint educational pursuits. The EIM should aim to set up collaborative postgraduate programmes, preferably joint Masters and/or PhD degrees, with Bulgarian and European universities or academic institutions of similar statute. The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: “the institute is internationally visible; it has made valuable contributions to the field.” The EIM is the national centre of reference in ethnography and ethnology at the national level, enjoys some international visibility, and has become an important player in South-Eastern Europe. The association of the Institute with the National Ethnographic Museum has given it additional weight. Productivity of EIM is high in total numbers (research output; teaching-training), but too much of it is targeted at the domestic audience. The work of the Institute is also not innovative enough to warrant an “A”.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
BAS and the EIM have a legal statute and a particular scholarly status which bring potentially a privileged position: such a position must not be taken for granted, though, but acquired and maintained in the context of an increasingly open and competitive scientific arena, both at the national and international level. Old and new universities in Bulgaria are quickly raising their research profile and are well

85

placed at the interface between graduate education and scientific research. EIM should develop a strategic plan for closer collaboration with universities in both directions: setting up of joint teaching-training and educational programmes, and more intense collaboration in collaborative research projects. The relevance and impact of work carried out at the EIM would be strengthened if the role and mission of the Museum were more clearly differentiated (e.g.: publications): Museum staff publish introductory studies related to exhibitions, as well as the respective brochures and catalogues. They also elaborate the contents of web resources linked to given exhibitions or projects. Research fellows linked to the Museum publish scholarly works which in the SER are not differentiated from those of the Institute’s researchers. The documentation provided is not sufficiently clear in this respect. The requirements of “museology” differ significantly from those of basic research. Next to promoting some innovative lines of research, the EIM has taken the lead, ever since 1973, in convening and organising the National Conference of Bulgarian Ethnologists. The last was in 2007 on the theme “Strongholds of Folk Tradition”. The Museum keeps objects of ethnographic value in 14 different collections (a total of c.50,000 items of folk arts and crafts, 17th - 20th centuries, from Bulgaria and neighbouring areas). The Museum organises regular ethnographic exhibitions at its seat in Sofia (some of which in collaboration with local and provincial museums), and also outside Bulgaria in Europe and beyond. Institute staff also contribute to the outreach activities and to catalogues etc. While these events tend to produce valuable material, the permanent exhibition is, by contrast, rather poor. The Museum has been involved in two international projects during the period under evaluation: Parcours (2004-2005) is an educational project addressed primarily to children, carried out in collaboration with a French agency and partners from nine museums in as many different countries; and “Carnival King of Europe”, on the social dimensions, material culture and ritual aspects of Carnival, carried out in collaboration with ethnographic museums from Trento, Marseille, Zagreb, and Skopje, and financed through the EU’s Culture Programme. Despite the outreach activities of the Museum, the overall score on relevance is a “B” (moderate); this is primarily due to the so far imperfectly articulated relationship between Institute and Museum and the equally so far somewhat unstructured collaboration with the universities. It goes without saying that with its status as national research centre the Institute has all reasons to aspire to obtain a full “A”.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
Substantive reforms are required at both the organisational/managerial and the scientific levels of the EIM. An great obstacle to overcome is the imbalance between great assets in “human capital” and meagre material resources. Only a substantial 86

investment would allow the Institute to get closer to the model set by its equivalent in the German Max-Planck Society, for instance. It is not unlikely that there would be a positive side-effect, i.e. greater success in acquiring external, competitive funding. The discussion about the necessary pre-conditions for a proper fundraising strategy still needs to start and would also need to include the museum programmes. Provided that reforms are successfully carried out, the potential of the EIM to fulfil its mission and face new challenges is high indeed. The incorporation of younger PhDs as full researchers should be made a strategic priority, including specific programmes for better funding of doctoral training and post-doctoral scholarship programmes. Such an initiative can hardly be carried by the Institute alone and should be discussed in a broader context in order to be supported by investments on the part of BAS and the government. Future prospects may include contributions to “cultural tourism”. Such a line of work, which has important implications both for the ‘basic’ and ‘applied’ ends of the research chain, would perfectly fit the national interests of Bulgaria, and could involve other BAS institutes as well (e.g.: NIAM). This panel believes that the institute has sufficient assets (and a sufficiently energetic leadership and scientific staff) to be able to strengthen the institution over the next few years with the necessary support from BAS. The prospects are “high” (overall “A”). Overall, one of the major issues to be addressed is the parallel existence of two institutes of ethnography and folklore (which used to be one historically). The Panel is convinced that the field would be best served in Bulgaria and the region by one strong research-led institute to arise from a merger of the two institutes in Sofia.

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths  solid position of the EIM within Bulgaria and the Academy;  human capital (which must, however, be replenished with more PhD students);  museum is a potential asset;  high productivity in total numbers (which must, however, be qualified in terms of quality) Weaknesses  insufficient engagement in the innovation in theory, methodology;  so far no Institute-wide research agenda;  weak articulation of strategic collaboration with universities;  poor definition of borders between Institute and Museum (and scholarly and curatorial profiles of the professional and scientific staff);  insufficient investment in infrastructure (museum; collections [except for those parts receiving foreign support].

87

Recommendations
The following recommendations must be read against the background of an overall positive assessment of the institute. The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: “the institute is internationally visible; it has made valuable contributions to the field.” The EIM is the national centre of reference in ethnography and ethnology at the national level, enjoys some international visibility, and has become an important player in South-Eastern Europe. The association of the Institute with the National Ethnographic Museum has given it additional weight. Productivity of EIM is high in total numbers (research output; teaching-training), but much of it is targeted at the domestic audience. Overall, the work of the institute is not innovative enough yet to warrant an “A”. The overall score on relevance is a “B” (moderate), which is primarily due to the so far imperfectly articulated relationship between Institute and Museum and the equally so far somewhat coincidental collaboration with the universities. It goes without saying that with its status as national centre the Institute has all reasons to aspire to a full “A”. This panel believes that the institute has sufficient assets (and a sufficiently energetic leadership and scientific staff) to be able to strengthen the institution over the next years with the necessary support from BAS. The prospects are “high” (overall “A”). The following recommendations suggest lines of thought that might be helpful in advancing the profile and standing of this institute; a true restructuring is however advisable.  simplification of the internal structure; remove artificial boundaries between the numerous departments;  focus of departments should be thematic, rather than territorial or pseudochronological (the split between “traditional culture” and “currentcontemporary ethnology” in particular is highly controversial);  an acceptable solution to avoid overlaps and increase synergies between EIM and the Institute for Folklore must be found;  a research agenda must be defined for the EIM as a whole, including priority lines and profiles; this is notwithstanding the need to foster individual innovativeness in approaches and themes, particularly when obtaining external funding;  solid funding schemes (perhaps at the level of BAS) must be set up for the training of PhD students and for post-doctoral programmes to stabilise career prospects at least in the medium term;  teaching-training activities should be developed jointly (also at the graduate level) with universities and other academic institutions in Bulgaria and elsewhere in Europe;

88

 permanent efforts towards innovation in theory, method and themes must be fostered without discontinuing fundamental lines of work (o rprogrammatic endeavours, such as mapping, building inventories, systematic documentation, incl. the ‘intangible cultural heritage’, digitalization of ethnographic archives, museum collections and library material.  special and continuous attention is also to be given to publication policy. Namely, to the consolidation and eventual expansion of the EIM’s publication outlets: journals, series and collections. As regards the journal/s, the EIM should work towards the raising of publication standards (such as: internationalization of editorial boards, timeliness of publication, opening the journal to unsolicited submissions from scholars in Bulgaria and elsewhere, implementation of a rigorous protocol for anonymous peer review of all papers submitted for publication). The consolidation and eventual expansion of the publishing initiative: Ethnologia Bulgarica. Yearbook of Bulgarian Ethnology and Folklore, is highly desirable in this regard. Also, it is highly recommended that the digitalization of past issues of EIM’s journals and collections is completed, and that these continue to be accessible in electronic form via CEEOL or other web outlet.  improvement of library holdings and services (incl. possible sharing of resources by an integration of libraries and archives of adjacent areas) and sharing of resources;  secure and renovate premises and infrastructures of the Museum so that space for exhibitions is increased and repositories are safe and accessible; new concepts of museology should be explored and implemented; best use must be made of the recently awarded NSF grant “Inclusive Museum (20082011)”.  the role of research support staff in the sections Scientific Information and Documentation (9) and Ethnomuseology (10) must be clarified;  professional website facilities for the Museum and for the EIM as a whole can operate as portal to collections and publications (Digital Humanities). It can become an important window into the museum; the digitization process should go hand-in-hand with the implementation of an Open Access policy.

89

708 Institute of Art Studies Introduction
In 1947, the Institute of Fine Arts and the Institute of Music were established within the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The two institutes merged in 1988. In 2007, the present structure was created. It comprises four sections:     Fine Arts (scientific staff 27); Music (scientific staff 20); Theatre (scientific staff 8 and 3 “specialists”); Screen Arts (scientific staff 9 and 2 “specialists”).

The restructuring of 2007 had meant a reduction of sections from nine to four. Also the period here under review saw a further reduction of the number of scientific staff from 70 to 66. In 2006 the Scientific Council decided to accept no longer part time positions of researchers: this had become a problem, since for economic reasons far too many scholars chose to have full time positions at the universities and only kept a part time position at the Institute, thereby de facto neglecting the primacy of research. The scientific profile covers a wide time span from antiquity to modern art, and practically all art forms. The main focus is on Bulgarian culture as a part of the European cultural heritage in accordance with the priorities of BAS. So far, the institute has failed to exploit the potential for interdisciplinary work intra muros. The SER testifies to a good ability to describe the activities of the institute in accordance with such priorities; the main activities of the Institute fall under 14 systematic headings and leave out hardly any area in which such an institute could be active. But they cannot be understood as part of a well-defined mission for the future. The BAAART project, which is run by this institute, holds out the promise of becoming an integrating factor and real research tool in the coming years (“Digital Humanities”), provided it is not mistaken as a repository for preservation; BAAART has also attracted interest among other BAS Institutes, and could therefore be the basis for a cross-institute collaboration in cultural studies.

Evaluation Summary
The Institute has good productivity and undoubtedly plays an important role in the cultural life of Bulgaria as witnessed by the participation of its scholars in numerous cultural and prominent outreach events across the country. However, both in terms of the scope of research themes and in terms of mobilising non-Bulgarian networks for events and cooperation, the level of internationalization is too low for a research

90

institute of its size. The poor visibility of the institute’s work outside Bulgaria, vide the low level of publications in foreign languages, confirms this assessment. Even though the four existing sections refer to four distinct art forms, a stronger interdisciplinary research with the participation of all four sections of the Institute could be developed; such cross-sectorial work would use the potential of this rather large research institute better. The leadership has made plans to change the age profile of the Institute, and it is important that this is carried through. The plans for the future are well described, seem realistic, but lack a clear sense of the potential of the institute in terms of rejuvenating methodological approaches as a consequence of the encounter of experts in different art forms. The panel feels that at a purely technical level, the database project BAAART could function as an important research tool in the coming years, but support for this idea among the individual researchers seems to be low. Overall the panel found the quality and, certainly in terms of international visibility, the productivity of the institute to deserve a score of “C”: “the Institute does solid work, and has added to our understanding, but does mainly operate at a national level”. There may well be potential for achieving international visibility at institute level, provided a new approach is taken to cross-sectorial work. At the national level the Institute is of great importance not only through its extensive research activities, but also through its participation in contemporary cultural life. Also the contribution to the university and art academy education in Bulgaria is very good. In terms of relevance the institute therefore can earn a “A”, as it is being considered “highly relevant” for Bulgaria. Prospects for the institute as a powerful research unit are “moderate” at best (“B”), as there seems to be a mismatch between the ideas of the leadership and the centrifugal forces among the researchers; it is also too early to judge whether the restructuring of 2006 has really borne any fruit. Researchers are subjected to heavy reporting duties (quarterly reports), but unclear how these detailed insights in individual activities are used to stimulate change and exchange.

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) Strategy The strategic plan presented for the Institute is a sensible combination of continuity and new elements. Some of the new elements have been clearly identified: among them is the intention to develop more cooperation with partners abroad, including plans to undertake the role of a bridge between Russia, the Balkans and Europe,

91

particularly between EU-members and non-EU-members. Given the diverse nature of scholarship across countries, this seems to be a slightly formalistic approach. Thematically, there are specific plans that include a project on arts in the era of socialism, digitalization of the archives (including the BAAART project) and improvement of the data-base. There is a clear understanding that a way forward could be an improvement of the quality of the project proposals and to involve more researchers. The Institute also wishes to intensify the initiation of seminars and workshops as well as courses for art teachers, guides etc., thereby providing direct knowledge transfer from the academic to the non-academic sector of the society. The Institute leadership presents elements for a four to five year plan of which the policy parts remain somewhat unspecific, whereas there seems to be a clear sense of (very wide-ranging) thematic potentials and priorities. An even more long-term plan is offered in terms of staff rejuvenation: this is a welcome phenomenon, given that the staff problems can only be tackled with a long-term objective in sight. Within 15 years the institute hopes to open up c. 25 positions for younger scholars, i.e. about eight positions in every five-year-cycle. It is far from clear what means the institute has to ensure that such a programmatic approach can be translated into reality, especially since even in the SER the Institute expresses worry about its financial future. The leadership is aware of the restricted visibility of its activities, and has it made clear that it wishes to focus more, over the coming years, on attracting a higher percentage of PhD students from abroad (at present there are two foreign PhD students). Internationalization Scholars based at the Institute participate in a number of international projects, but in most cases this participation seems to be on the basis of a single scholar participating in such a project. The Institute has only three projects with foreign institutions based on contracts at BAS level (Austria, Finland, Romania). Projects on an institute-to-institute basis and with additional foreign funding include, according to SER Annex 11, seven projects with the following countries: Canada, Germany, Greece, Japan, The Netherlands, UK, USA). Among the project funded by external sources , there is a good number of projects funded by foreign public or private foundations etc. with, again, typically a single scholar from the Institute as beneficiary. Scholars from the Institute have made c. 85 visits abroad to a very broad range of countries. The number of scholars from the Institute who have had long term visits to foreign institutions, including teaching under the European Commission’s “Erasmus” programme, include mainly senior scholars. Typically, they would be invited to give lectures, do some fieldwork or go a longer study stay. Also here the range of countries is wide. While it is laudable that the institute members make use of the support schemes available to them, it is a concern of this panel that in the entire period under review only six foreign scholars are reported to have visited the institute.

92

The number of articles published in foreign scientific journals (including anthologies) is comparatively low, i.e. an average of less than one article per scholar during a five-year-period. If the figures are correctly reported and interpreted, there would be only 30 articles in international research journals, of which barely 10 recognised across the communities. These articles are produced by a fairly small group of researchers within the Institute, e.g. in 2008 by 15 out of a total of 66 scholars. Also the 36 contributions to conference papers published abroad (equally a rather low total) are produced by a fairly small portion of the scientific staff at the Institute. Among congress proceedings etc., the overall ration is 1:4 between international and national publications. At best one book can be considered as being published abroad during the period 2004-2008, even though a small number of the local publications were in foreign language or bi-lingual (e.g.: Bulgarian-English and Bulgarian-Greek). The institute’s regular editions (for instance, the two journals, the annual volumes with conference proceedings as well as monographs) include summaries in foreign language. Whether the recent establishment of the Info and Publishing Centre will also help increase circulation remains to be seen. Only two of the institute’s scholars sit on editorial boards of foreign journals. Some of the researchers based at the Institute taught abroad during the 2004-2008 period (Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland), and the Institute is involved in an “Erasmus” exchange programme with Dijon and Poznan. The Panel is concerned that the international profile of such a large institute should be higher, even though for methodological reasons also in many other countries a certain reticence to internationalization can be found in institutes of art studies that are focused on studying national cultural heritage. A suggestion for such an opening could be that the proposed (team-work based) project on art in the socialist period is where the Institute should really make an effort for more publications not only in Bulgarian but also in other languages; similarly, such a project (expanded to include international contacts) could help to mobilise synergies between the different branches of the institute. Yet, this possibility does not seem to be embraced wholeheartedly by members of the institute. Due to the different size and different traditions prior to the 2006 restructuring it may make little sense to compare the four sections; indeed, the asset of the institute, beyond the individual expertise of the researchers, lies in the combined strength of the four branches, and it is this strength that is not used in the international contacts. National level The Institute of Art Studies has collaborative arrangements with a number of universities in Bulgaria, notably in teaching activities. Researchers have a very high teaching load, but also manage to attract what is allegededly the highest number of PhD students of all BAS Institutes. Some important projects have been taken forward in collaboration with other BAS institutes such as Encyclopedia Bulgarica (finished in 2005) and Bulgarian Art Archives and Advanced Research Technologies (BAAART), which in addition involves

93

university institutes. This project is still in an initial phase, and the further financing is uncertain. There are some publications jointly with the Institute of Folklore. Some of the projects in the field of art history seem to have overlaps with the neighbouring institutes of archaeology and architecture; the exact division of labour (or the added value of having different institutes collaborate or work in parallel) is not always clear, nor has a consistent pattern of collaboration emerged. 26 researchers from the Institute have been / are on editorial boards of 13 Bulgarian journals, and it is characteristic that a similar showing cannot be reported for international journals. The Institute is strongly involved in the cultural life of Bulgaria, through festivals, television broadcasts, publications for a broader public etc. The Institute’s scientific staff produces a large number of texts directed to the general (educated) public in the country; this prime audience may account for a statistically important share of the output – the material refers to the socialization of the Bulgarian readership (middle-aged scholars in the humanities, university lecturers, intellectuals, students, specialists in arts, culture, journalism, etc.) – but this cannot be an excuse for not engaging with the scientific debate dominating the fields elsewhere. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) Projects The Institute has been successful in generating funding. The total number of projects listed is very high indeed: 372, mainly smallish, individual projects are supported solely by internal BAS funding. Twenty more projects have attracted funding through the competitive calls issued by the Bulgarian NSF. No fewer than 41 projects are funded by contracts with ministries, organizations etc. In terms of international funding, four projects have been awarded funds from the EU etc., and three projects benefit from BAS agreements with institutions in Austria, Finland and Romania. 28 more projects are based on contracts with other sources of funding from Bulgaria or abroad. This number of projects seems too high when considering the number of researchers based at the institute; most of them are individual projects. Yet, interestingly, the publications presented among the works chosen as the five most important achievements are all results of team-work. The same goes for the five most important achievements in “applied research”. This clearly shows that there is already a good tradition for team work at the Institute, but the four sections can do much more to work together. The Institute has had a good track record as to publishing in Bulgaria: 317 articles in Bulgarian journals (nearly all in Bulgarian), 173 conference papers, mainly in Bulgarian, and no less than 89 books; however as is also the case in some other institutes contributions to anthologies are also listed here. For many of these products, the institute has benefited from close cooperation with universities and cultural institutions from across the country.

94

Teaching Scholars from the Institute have taught very high numbers of hours at a number of Bulgarian universities and also at the Academies of Arts, of Music and for Theatre and Film Art. Teaching has been at all levels, and also abroad (Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland). The close relationship of staff with universities allows them to recruit many PhD candidates. The Institute has the highest number of registered PhD students among BAS research units, and recruits ca. 10 new ones every year. The overall number rose from 16 to 21, among them 2 foreign students, and reached a high of 29. The number of PhD degrees awarded during the period is very good (20); the fall from seven in 2004 to just one in 2008 remains unexplained. The panel has come to the conclusion that overall the institute has performed well over the reporting period. However, quality and productivity in terms of international recognition allow for an overall score of only “C”: “the Institute does solid work mainly at a national level. There is some structural potential for achieving international visibility at institute level. The work of the institute is nationally visible.”

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Institute definitely contributes to the cultural life of Bulgaria and also to the development of cultural tourism in the country. The Institute can be credited with a very strong presence in the cultural life of Bulgaria, including through expert activities and services (e.g.: expertise in court). The Institute has close ties with many institutions of higher education, the Union of artists, with many national cultural institutions, such as the Bulgarian National Film Archive, the National Theater and the National Opera, the National Museum of Fine Arts, and Crypt, the National Art Gallery, Sofia Art Gallery, Sofia Film Fest, the International TV Festival in Plovdiv, the International Theater Festival in Varna, Rouse Music Weeks and many, many more. All these contacts bear witness to the fact that the scholars from the Institute take an active part in the artistic life of the country and contribute to the development of Bulgaria’s cultural heritage. IAS researchers are regularly nominated to expert commissions that help to preserve and expose cultural heritage. They assist in the creation of modern cultural artefacts, such as movies, theater productions, exhibitions, concerts, etc. Almost half of the scholars collaborate with newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations as critics and reviewers. During the reporting period, 67 brochures and catalogues and 439 articles were issued and c.100 contributions in electronic media were made. The collections of the institute form a diverse treasure chest of national cultural heritage in itself (though one may wonder whether a research institute that has undergone so many stages of restructuring is the safest guardian for such treasures): fieldwork material materials gathered by the then newly formed Institute of Music and Institute of Fine Arts, the library and archives, the invaluable musical archive with thousands of recordings and deciphered folk songs and dances,

95

including original recordings on gramophone records (1930s to 1950s), numerous tape recordings and video materials, and personal archives of artists etc. Researchers based at the institute play an important part as teachers at universities and art academies. In terms of relevance for the national cultural scene and the national cultural heritage, the institute as it is to be considered “highly relevant” (overall score: “A”). At the national level the Institute is of great importance, particularly through its participation in the cultural life. Also the contribution to teaching at the university and to art academy education is very good. Yet, an internationally better anchored research institute would be beneficial both for the scientific exploitation of the cultural traditions that are at the core of the researchers’ concerns, and for the training of the large numbers of PhD students that the institute can attract.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The main positive aspect of the Institute’s self-presentation is its significant contribution to the cultural life of contemporary Bulgaria. By the same token, its scientific profile, notably internationally, is rather low. In its plans for the coming years the Institute expresses a strong awareness of the need to improve the international visibility of its research, which is indeed perhaps the most important challenge, but – as yet – those are plans, and it is not quite clear what measures would be taken to change the academic culture among the researchers concerned. The fact that the Institute has attracted visits from so few scholars from abroad during the period is a weakness that it would take little effort to improve and which would be very fruitful as to a stronger international collaboration. The Institute should try to reserve some money for this purpose. It is after all a fairly cheap way of getting top scholars to give lectures at the Institute and thus develop and strengthen international contacts – this is particularly important for the young scholars for whom such contacts may be valuable in the future. The potential for more interdisciplinary research within the Institute itself has hitherto not been exploited and the plans discussed do not show what steps would be taken to develop this diversity of approaches and expertise into a real asset. While the collections have been mentioned above as an important asset of the institute (even though its location and issues of accessibility raise doubts and concerns), the library, while large, is not, it seems, functioning as a research library. The age profile of the institute is somewhat better than in many other institutes, yet it remains something to be taken care of – as the Institute is very well aware. The leadership has developed a transition plan, that seems feasible, provided resources are at least not cut, and the attractiveness of the institute for PhD students leaves some room for hope that positions can actually be filled by qualified young scholars.

96

In terms of prospects , this panel feels that there is room for optimism. Reflections on planning ahead for a different future are well under way, even though the specific plans are as yet much rooted in the traditional tracks of research. The overall score therefore can only be “B”, or “moderate” level of preparedness for change. The management and leadership tools seem to be in place, but they are, as yet, not being used to steer towards change.

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths     Excellent connections to the contemporary arts world in Bulgaria; High potential for interdisciplinary work in-house; Potential for creating a joint research tool (BAAART); Attractiveness for young researchers (highest number of PhD students among BAS institutes)

Weaknesses  Poor level of international visibility, notably in terms of publications and hosting foreign scholars;  As yet little cross-sectorial research activity (and many small-scale singlescholar projects);  As yet no evidence for the translation of the plans into activities;  Uncertainty of funding for flagship project (BAAART) and about the future of collections and infrastructure.

Recommendations
This panel had been asked primarily to examine the international standing of the scientific work of the institute. It has come to the conclusion that overall quality and productivity in terms of international recognition can be given an overall score of only “C”: “the Institute does solid work mainly at a national level. There is some structural potential for achieving international visibility at institute level. The work of the institute is nationally visible.” In terms of relevance for the national cultural scene and the national cultural heritage, the institute as it is to be considered “highly relevant” (overall score: “A”). Yet, it is believed that an internationally better anchored research institute would be beneficial both for the scientific exploitation of the cultural traditions that are at the core of the researchers’ concerns, and for the training of the large numbers of PhD students that the institute can attract. In terms of prospects , there is room for cautious optimism: the overall score on this account is therefore “B”, or “moderate”. The following recommendations are to be read against this background. The Institute needs

97

 to strengthen its international profile, particularly as to publications (in other languages than Bulgarian), notably in foreign scientific journals and anthologies (proceedings etc.);  to intensify its internal interdisciplinary cooperation, focus more on team-work and reduce the large number of small-scale individual projects in order to make the best use of its size and internal diversity;  to secure the funding of their flagship project BAAART and to make good progress in the near future, so that it can serve as an integrating research infrastructure;  to implement its plan (and secure the necessary resources) for the improvement of the age profile of scientific staff.

98

709 Institute of Folklore

Introduction
The Institute of Folklore (IF) was established in 1973 when it split from the Ethnographic Institute and Museum’s Department of Folklore. Its mission is “the documentation, preservation, and investigation of folklore and cultural traditions of Bulgarians inside and outside the country, of ethnic, confessional and other minority communities”. The institute consists of four departments:     Anthropology of Verbal Traditions (staff 7); Anthropology of Music and Dance (staff 9); Anthropology of Folk Arts and Visual Forms (staff 3); Balkan and Slavic Folklore (staff 10).

The restructuring in 2006 involved the replacement of outmoded terminology in the department names with names that included the term “anthropology”. In 1983, the section “Scientific Information and Scientific Archive” was established, replaced since 2007 by the National Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage (NCICH) which carries out activities around the theme of ‘intangible cultural heritage’, as defined by UNESCO (systematic data collection, ‘salvage ethnology’, theorization and popularization of ‘traditional’ folklore). The Institute’s specialised library has four reading rooms and comprises 4.871 volumes in collections, c.3000 books, c.1800 issues of periodical publications and 34 current periodical titles; this library is one of a network of 49 ‘branch libraries’ comprising the BAS Central Library. The Institute keeps archives (manuscript; printed materials; photo, sound recordings, video, digital materials[CD-Rom’s]). The archives have been substantially enlarged over the last decade as part of the ICHLiving Human Treasures endeavour; those materials are in the process of being digitalized in collaboration with the Humanities Informatics section of the BAS Institute of Mathematics and Informatics. The IF produces and publishes a quarterly journal since 1975 (Bulgarski Folklor) and a number of book series or collections in Bulgarian, incl. one initiated in 1889, “Collection of Folklore and Folk Studies. The Institute is among the permanent organisers of the National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore, and its members participate in juries of this and other folklore festivals and prize contests across the country.

Evaluation Summary
The Institute is the national centre of reference for the documentation, study, preservation and popularization of folklore. Its National Centre for Intangible 99

Cultural Heritage (NCICH) carries out activities around the theme of the ‘intangible cultural heritage’, as defined by UNESCO: systematic data collection, ‘salvage ethnology’, theorization and popularization of ‘traditional’ folklore. The Institute plays a leadership role in this field in South-Eastern Europe, and has been instrumental in creating and animating important academic networks. Other departments are not as strong and centrally placed. Productivity over the period evaluated has been good in terms of publications output and engagement in educational pursuits. Overall, the score on quality and productivity is “B”: “the institute is internationally visible and has valuable international contributions in the field”. The institute plays an important role in the dissemination of knowledge in society and in maintaining folklore as a key element in discussions about identity. This is also noticeable in the consultancy and advice work to government and local institutions on matters related to ‘intangible cultural heritage’. Researchers are in the relevant committees, participate in the organisation of national and local festivals, contribute as experts and scriptwriters to TV and broadcast productions. In terms of relevance to society, the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”). For prospects to be more promising the Institute need to sharpen its profile (mission and research agenda), otherwise the institute risks failing to meet new scholarly and scientific challenges. Such a recalibration is needed also in order to position the institute better in competitions for external funding. In terms of prospects, the panel assigns an overall score of “B” (“moderate”). However, the panel is convinced that the field would be best served in Bulgaria and the region by one strong research-led institute to arise from a merger between the two institutes of ethnography and folklore.

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) In the outline of this Academy institute’s mission one finds a peculiar mix of research responsibilities with administrative and representation duties towards the government (Ministry of Culture). Such a framework may support its claims to operate as a nationally leading institution, but may also limit its autonomy to draw up an independent scientific research agenda, free from political constraints. An example is the strong commitment to the “Intangible Cultural Heritage” (ICH) endeavour via the establishment of the National Centre for ICH as the academic liaison between the Ministry of Culture and UNESCO worldwide. Bulgaria has taken a lead in performing the tasks suggested by UNESCO, and the methodology developed by the Institute has been acknowledged as an example of “good practice”. This recognition bolsters the position of the Institute domestically and gives it purpose and prestige (committees, travel, protocol etc.). The Panel is concerned, however, that this commitment may also distract the attention of research fellows

100

from innovative research, and jeopardize the intellectual independence of the Institute to develop its research agenda, based on strictly scholarly considerations. Much of the work carried out at the Institute revolves around the study of Bulgarian folklore. This structure leaves the Panel with a sense of duplication and redundancy, not of synergy. Yet, it is this focus on the (anthropological) study of folklore which makes the Institute unique: during the site visit, it became even more evident than it had been from the written documentation how (and how much) folklore has become in Bulgaria one main pillar of local and national identity. Consequently, the institute is likely to be able to rely on a degree of political and social support. Along the same line of priorities, work on ICH documentation was presented to the ad hoc expert group as the most important ongoing research project. Similarly, the list of top of achievements and products features prominently the project to build a national register of Living Human Treasures-Bulgaria and the CD and catalogue of this register. The institute should be proud that the state (Ministry of Culture) has adopted the register, and that UNESCO praises Bulgaria for being the first country worldwide to complete it by using its own methodology. In the region South-Eastern Europe, the institute occupies a leadership position in this regard, which has allowed the establishment of a good network, including institutions mostly from the region, but also beyond (Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic Republics, Poland, France, Italy, Finland, etc). This panel wonders, however, whether such activities (building an official register of ICH; preparing applications for UNESCO’s list of world heritage), can or should be described as a scientific research programme. The publications highlighted as the top-10 do not fully dispel the sense that there is a lack of actively engaging with cutting-edge methodologies in folklore studies, even though the materials presented cover a wide field, and are presented creatively and – in terms of editorial skills - attractively. Themes include: the beggar in Slavic folk culture, oral narrative traditions, narration and identity, the role of folk music in present times. The notion of Bulgarian ‘tradition’ is rarely examined critically in these publications. Attention is given to Bulgaro-centric themes which are also dealt with in other BAS institutes, such as Bulgarian ‘national culture’, diasporas, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities. The research projects listed are very heterogeneous in character and do not reflect a profile, nor are they a testimony to the specificity of the research effort conducted at this institute. Too many rather descriptive topics appear in this list, which leaves an overall impression of fragmentation: a properly focused research agenda is lacking. At the individual level there many positive signs, particularly among the younger fellows and researchers, where a lot of talent remains underutilised or at least undernourished due to unfavourable institutional arrangements and the emphasis on the documentation work. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) Personnel

101

Of 48 permanent positions at the institute, 38 are occupied by scientific staff (15 junior and 23 senior research fellows), of whom 32 are holders of a PhD, and six hold a DSc. Research supporting staff consists of ten people (nine of whom graduates), three in administrative positions and seven employed as researchers at the NCICH and the Departments. Concerning the age profile of research fellows the younger and middle generations are poorly represented which casts a shadow over the future of the Institute. Most research fellows are women (31 out of 38). This “feminization of research staff” (a phrase used by the institute leadership) is explained with poor salaries. Nevertheless, the Institute had managed to attract some younger researchers and PhD candidates. The existence of three thematic departments (mirroring the three main dimensions of folklore) risks perpetuating compartmentalization, in particular when we see all these three dimensions incorporated in a fourth department where the territorial (Balkan region) is combined with the ethnic (Slav) in referring to the field of folklore. The establishment of the NCICH as an independent unit adds to the impression of redundancy. Projects The 94 projects reported do not differentiate between research projects proper and outreach activities (exhibitions, editorial work). A mean of c. three projects per active research fellow is indeed implausible for proper research projects. 45 of the listed projects are funded through BAS core funding, a few being linked also to scholarships (e.g. Fulbright, Mellon). Otherwise, the projects reported seem to rely on the research fellows’ salaries. Five projects were funded by the Bulgarian National Science Fund, one of them with a substantial amount (# “Commemoration of the Dead in Bulgaria after 1944”, an individual project funded via a scholarship for young scientists, 43,700 BGN). Three projects were financed via contracts with governmental agencies and private companies and take the form of commissioned service, rather than research proper. 15 projects were sponsored by diverse international institutions, sometimes through small financial contributions. 26 projects were funded through bilateral agreements or in the framework of institute-to-institute cooperation. But few figures are given and many projects are listed more than once; performance in terms of mobilising external funding is rather poor. Publications The Institute F produces and publishes a quarterly journal since 1975 (Bulgarski Folklor) and a number of book series or collections in Bulgarian, which in a certain sense give continuity to the prestigious series initiated in 1889 “Collection of Folklore and Folk Studies”. In total numbers, productivity is high: of the 334 papers in scientific journals reported, 90 were published abroad, but many also in the in-house Bulgarski Folklor; 17 were published in journals listed in ERIH (category “C”), while none

102

appeared in SCI-listed journals. Further reported are 338 papers in conference proceedings and thematic collections (of which 1/3 abroad); 19 edited volumes and 29 books (all but one, in each category, in Bulgaria). Textbooks (5), booklets and brochures (6), short articles for the general public (13) are also listed. Some items are listed twice or three times if published in different places or in slightly modified versions. Teaching Over the period under evaluation 22 research fellows delivered lectures in 114 thematic courses in eight HE institutions in Bulgaria and at two universities abroad (total: 11,130 academic hours taught over five years, plus 1,503 hours in practicals and seminars). Scholars based at the institute have supervised the work of 93 graduate students in Bulgaria and of 19 postgraduates from abroad (Slovakia: 8; Czech Republic: 9). 88 students from Bulgaria and 5 from abroad successfully defended Master degree theses. The Institute participates in a joint master degree with the universities of Sofia and La Sapienza, Italy. 19 PhD students are being or have been trained (eight continue to be trained at the end of 2008), and 7 PhD degrees were awarded over the period 2004-2008. The Institute claims that it received the highest evaluation and has been accredited to train PhD students in three sub-fields. The Institute already demonstrates a high commitment to educational pursuits (including secondary education, and collaboration with Bulgaria’s Open University). It would be desirable that it continues – as much as its statutes allow - setting up collaborative postgraduate programmes, preferably joint master and/or PhD degrees, with Bulgarian and European institutions. The Institute is the national centre of reference on documentation, study, preservation and popularization of folklore. The National Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage (NCICH) carries out documentation, classification and evaluation activities around the theme of ‘intangible cultural heritage’. The Institute plays a leadership role in this field in the region (South-Eastern Europe), where it has been instrumental in creating and animating important academic networks. Other areas of work are not as strong and centrally placed, however. Productivity over the period evaluated has been good in overall numbers, but not necessary in terms of indicators of scientific quality. Overall, the score on quality and productivity is “B”: “the Institute is internationally visible; it has made valuable contributions in the field”.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Institute is the centre of reference in what regards the documentation, study, preservation and popularization of folklore at the national level. The focus on the (anthropological) study of folklore makes the institute unique; during the site visit, it became evident how (and how much) folklore has become

103

one main pillar of local and national identity in Bulgaria. Consequently, the institute is likely to be able to rely on a degree of political and social support. The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) states that each country is to create a “National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage”. To this end the Institute has developed a methodology for the building of a Bulgarian list (“Living Human Treasures –Bulgaria. List of Activities”), officially approved by the Ministry of Culture and ever since constituting the centre of gravity of the institute’s activities. The list identifies traditional activities and skills, officially recognized by the state as important components of Bulgaria’s intangible cultural heritage, which should be the subject of preservation. The Institute provides the liaison between the government and UNESCO; this creates a high profile role, but it is debatable whether the activities under the “Living Human Treasures” endeavour can or should be considered scientific research. Indeed, this focus on documentation may be one obstacle to the Institute developing a research agenda proper. The Institute plays an important part in the dissemination of knowledge in society; partly this occurs through teaching-training and educational activities. There are multiple (individual and institutional) links to higher education and secondary education institutions. Researchers are involved in the popularization of culture and folklore science through the media. They engage with local cultural centres and popular festivals: the institute is among the permanent organisers of the National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore, and its members participate in juries of this and other folklore festivals and prize contests across the country. The commitment to the transfer of knowledge is also noticeable in the consultancy and advice work to government and local institutions on matters related to ‘intangible cultural heritage’. The Institute provides expert advice and consultancy to government and other national (mainly: Ministry of Culture) and local institutions (local cultural centres) and in maintaining folklore as a key element in discussions about identity. Researchers participate in the relevant committees, are national and local festivals, contribute as experts and scriptwriters to TV and broadcast productions. In sum, they are the national authoritative institution in all matters related to folklore and cultural heritage. This commitment to the popularization of folklore and ‘cultural activism’ may come at the expense of the fellows’ dedication to scientific research proper. In terms of relevance to society, the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The achievements of the Institute in educational pursuits, both in higher and in secondary education, and its role in the dissemination of knowledge and popularization of national folklore are important. Also to be praised is the 104

commitment and professional qualification of the ‘human capital’ affiliated to the Institute. For these reasons and others stated above, the institute is well positioned to fulfil the core of its present (traditional) mission, namely “to systematically document, preserve and study folklore”. The consultancy status that it has secured for itself visà-vis government and local administration is likely to provide solid support for the future, as does its liaison role between the government and UNESCO. The Institute leadership has been efficient in grasping these new professional opportunities for a highly motivated and committed staff. The Institute has managed to attract some younger scholars, the current documentation tasks giving them some job prospects. However, the panel has doubts whether this adds up to an adequate mission and prospects for the future of a research institute, particularly when placed in a changing and competitive international research arena. Placing things into a long-term perspective, the institute needs to rethink its mission, and rework its research agenda. This is a most important precondition for reinforcing its ability to meet new scholarly and scientific challenges, and for increasing the prospects of successfully competing for external project funding, which seems to be a key factor in securing survival in the long run. In terms of prospects, the panel assigns an overall score of “B” (“moderate”). Overall, however, the major issue to be addressed is the parallel existence of two institutes of ethnography and folklore (which had been one historically). Beyond the specific recommendations made below, BAS should develop options for a possible merger of the Institute of Folklore with the Ethnographic Institute with Museum, given the overlapping scholarly aims. In such a way, the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ activities and the materials collected at the NCICH could be incorporated to a (renewed and curatorially strengthened) National Ethnographic Museum.

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths:  the liaison role between government and UNESCO in matters related to the promotion and preservation of national folklore and the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ has allowed the Institute to gain some prestige, contacts and recognition in society;  leadership at the national and international levels (South East Europe and beyond);  some originality shown by some research in broaching the subject of folklore and related matters (which is considered an ‘old-fashioned’ or outdated subject matter elsewhere);  committed and competent staff. Weaknesses:

105

 narrowness of original mission and thus of the research agenda, now further reinforced by the function assigned under the NCICH.  unsatisfactory scientific track record (quality indicators of publications; low level of real external funding);  the age profile is a threat to the viability of the Institute (too few members of scientific staff from the middle and younger generations)  overlaps and lack of synergies between the institutes of ethnography and folklore.

Recommendations
The Institute is the national centre of reference on documentation, study, preservation and popularization of folklore. The National Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage (NCICH) allows the institute to play a leadership role in this field in the region (South-Eastern Europe). The productivity over the period evaluated has been good (publications and engagement in educational pursuits), the scientific quality less so. Overall, the score on quality and productivity is “B”: “the institute is internationally visible and has valuable international contributions in the field”. The Institute plays an important part in the dissemination of knowledge in society (including advice to government and local institutions) and in maintaining folklore as a key element in discussions about identity. Researchers participate in the relevant committees and are organizers of national and local festivals, they contribute as experts and scriptwriters to TV and broadcast productions. In terms of relevance to society, the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”). For its future as a research institution of renown to be more promising the Institute needs to sharpen its profile (mission and research agenda), lest it risks failing to meet new scholarly and scientific challenges. In terms of prospects, the panel assigns an overall score of “B” (“moderate”). If the following recommendations suggest lines of thought that might be helpful in advancing the profile and standing of this institute, it is a true restructuring that is seen as most advisable, and some of the recommendations would be equally applicable to a merged, larger institute.  the existence of three thematic departments (mirroring the three main dimensions of folklore) risks perpetuating redundancy, which is accentuated by the existence, in parallel, of the Department for Balkan and Slavic Folklore and the NCICH as an independent unit. A simplified internal structure should be designed that would allow for greater synergies;  work on ICH matters should not prevent innovative research agendas being developed in other fields, be it by individual members or by small groups. The ICH efforts must not place an excessive constraint on the independence of individual researchers, lest the Institute lose its status as a research institute;

106

 the Institute should develop a strategy for its desired outcomes from engagement with teaching-training activities (joint degrees at the master and doctorate level; contacts with research universities in Bulgaria and elsewhere in Europe);  the Institute must secure better funding (through BAS) for PhD students, as well as of post-doctoral programmes which will provide support for younger/recent PhDs and stabilise their research careers;  research infrastructures must be improved (library services, archives etc.);  In-house publications deserve attention: the journal Bulgarski Folklor should raise standards (i.e. following the guidelines set by ERIH: international editorial boards, timely and regular publication, unsolicited submissions by scholars from outside, peer review of all papers submitted for publication). Abstracts of articles should be provided in languages other than Bulgarian; following the example of the institute of ethnography, the best articles should be translated. Individual volumes of the Collection of Folklore and Folk Studies may also be published in world languages. In-house publications, also past issues, should be digitalized and be made accessible in electronic form, e.g. via CEEOL;  a professional website could become an important resource and eventually a portal to the institute’s collections and archival materials (incl. those pertaining to the ICH endeavour). Moreover, it would constitute an indispensable element as part of digitalization and “open access” policies, of relevance for research and the dissemination of knowledge.

107

710 Cyrillo-Methodian Research Centre

Introduction
The Centre was established in 1980. It evolved from a commission that had existed under various names between 1914-1944 and from 1971 to 1980. CMRC has been designed as becoming the world-leading institution specialized solely on the promotion and coordination of Cyrillo-Methodian studies. In order to further deepen its research activity, it was reorganised in 1993. Today the Centre has 25 positions, of which 23.5 are occupied; scientific staff is divided into 17 researchers and 7 PhD-students supporting research. Apart from a library, CMRC is structured in five units, comprised of three thematic sections (Cyrillo-Methodian Sources, Texts, and Traditions), an editorial and publishing group, and a bibliography group. Most researchers are working in the Sections of Cyrillo-Methodian Sources (9 staff) and Cyrillo-Methodian Texts (7 staff). According to its mission the CMRC conducts fundamental and applied research and related activities devoted to the study, preservation and popularisation of the literary and cultural heritage of the inventors of the Slavic alphabet and teachers of the Slavs, St. Constantine-Cyril and Method, their disciples and followers, and the historical development of the Cyrillo-Methodian tradition. Its members have been conducting postgraduate-courses within the CMRC and have been delivering lectures and classes in Bulgarian and foreign universities and other educational institutions. The research field of CMRC is central for Slavistics and highly important also in the European context, as it unites two major religious and cultural traditions. The potential relevance of such a specialised research centre in terms of cultural dialogue and appreciation of cultural diversity in Europe (and at the roots of Europe) cannot be overestimated.

Evaluation summary
CMRC is a small, but well functioning and very productive institute with a remarkable position both nationally and internationally. While its quality and its international activities make it a world centre in the field, its multi- and interdisciplinarity permits the CMRC to act also as a complement to and provider for other Bulgarian university- and BAS-institutes, especially in its consultation and teaching activities (incl. successful participation in the Erasmus-programme). Cyrillo-Methodian studies nowadays have to compete with many other scientific areas and have recently lost ground in other countries (even though a new institute is presently being built up in Nitra/Slovakia). Bulgaria is one of the leaders in this domain which is still well developed, both at universities (mainly Sofia and V. 108

Tărnovo, to a minor degree also Plovdiv and Shoumen) and in other BAS institutes: there are some (potential) areas of contact with the institutes for literature, Bulgarian language, History and Balkan Studies. In the Bulgarian context, CMRC fulfils the function of being a central institution for this field of research; in the view of this panel it should be given more possibilities to strengthen this coordinating function across fields and institutions. Because of its high international standing, national projects and thematic sections are gradually being replaced. Large-scale and fast-developing publishing activity in all languages of the world of slavistics are expression of this dynamism. As yet this is not matched by (reported) income. Further plans are being made for strengthening the Centre success in competition for EU project-funding. The Centre has made the best use of the limited possibilities to support the integration of young scientists. The overall score on quality and productivity is “A”. The work of the CMRC is “internationally competitive” (i.e.in comparison with similar, language and culturespecific institutes elsewhere). The general productivity is very high and in its own very specific field the Centre plays a central role internationally. The national impact is high: the centre promotes Cyrillo-Methodian issues through teaching at several universities and through close contacts with colleagues both from universities and other BAS institutes, but its activitires remain limited largely to the purely scholarly sphere. Its relevance could be enhanced; currently the overall score on this account is therefore “B” (“moderate”). Under an energetic and goal-oriented leadership, the Centre has made good use of opportunities in general funding, cultural heritage and research infrastructure funding and emerging international contacts; its prospects as a worldwide-renowned centre of learning are “high” (“A”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) A major trait of CMRC is its multi- and interdisciplinarity, not only as concerns formal and informal co-operations with scholars of other institutions, but also because its members are graduates of and working in various fields of the Humanities (Slavic Philology, Byzantine Studies, Latin Philology, Slavic and East European History, Art History, etc.). This breadth of scholarly backgrounds among staff allows for internal cross-disciplinary collaborations on critical editions, or in comparative studies (translations). External cooperation has been further widened through the inclusion of Bulgarian and foreign colleagues in joint research projects and scientific meetings, organised by CMRC, bi-lateral collaboration agreements with other BAS- or university-institutes, libraries.

109

The CMRC has also been striving to increase its revenue, which in 2007 reached a maximum of just under 20% of the central BAS subsidy. Some income is derived from the sale of publications and from external sources both domestically (NSF, Ministry of Education and Science) and abroad. Even combined the figures are still pitifully low for a centre aspiring to world-leadership; BAS must take a strategic decision to sufficiently fund this central research unit, in which it holds a unique strength. The Centre lists among its most important scientific achievements their publications and current work in four thematic circles. Much of CMRC research is executed in project work and even though the amount of individual projects is still relatively high (and to some extent must remain comparatively high, considering the specific tasks involved), 28 cooperative projects have been conducted during the past five years. 19 included participants from other institutions, nine of them from Bulgaria and 16 based in altogether nine other foreign countries. Among the achievements listed are important editions, studies (such as the timely contributions to the The Holy Land and the Manuscript Legacy of the Slavs), monographs. This is fully in line with the publishing profile of such an institute in the world-wide context. Important for the entire field are CMRC’s engagement in the preservation of the CyrilloMethodian literary and cultural heritage in the form of collections of data and primary sources (Cyrillo-Methodian bibliography, Cyrillo-Methodian scientific archives, collection of microfilms and copies of Cyrillo-Methodian sources). The Centre has been making efforts to improve the age balance of its research staff by opening new avenues for young scholars: with the appointment of one young researcher per annum the Centre ranks well among the humanities units of BAS. The envisaged future development of the CMRC, its plans and strategies are aptly described. They can be read partly as a continuation of its present activities (with certain new priorities to be seen in 4 major research areas), partly they are expressed in new policies like the introduction of prizes to stimulate a competitive environment. The international recognition and positioning of CMRC is good. It functions as a de facto secretariat and main publishing centre for Cyrillo-Methodian studies and as such maintains contacts with a high number of foreign institutes and scholars. An average of 57% of the yearly projects have been executed in international cooperation. Much of CMRC research is executed in project work. Although the amount of individual projects is relatively high, 28 cooperative projects have been conducted during the past five years. 19 included participants from other institutions, nine of them from Bulgaria and 16 based in altogether nine other foreign countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia). 14 of these collaborations were organized and financed on the basis of bilateral agreements, four projects were subsidised partly or wholly by foreign organizations (German DAAD, Austrian Academy of Sciences, EU Erasmus Programme). As a total, foreign subsidies amount to c.13,600 Euro vs. 22,923 Euro of subsidies from the Bulgarian NSF in 2004-2007. These figures are astonishingly low compared to the overall achievements.

110

The percentage of scientific works published abroad is high: out of a total of 266 scientific books and articles almost one fourth (67) was edited in foreign countries. Of great importance in this context, both nationally and internationally, are the series CMRC has been publishing regularly over the past years in various languages: the quarterly journal Palaeobulgarica since 1977, and the Kirilo-Metodievski studii [Cyrillo-Methodian Studies] since 1984, where both monographic studies and collections of articles appear. Palaeobulgarica has been included in major reference databases and has the widest distribution of all series devoted to Medieval Slavic literature and culture (partly because it is distributed both directly by the CMRC and via networks in Germany and Great Britain). A joint publication with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem represents the series Jews and Slavs. These publication activities add to the good international visibility of the Centre’s work. 13 CMRC scholars are taking part in 35 national and international expert bodies on various issues (ESF; German Humboldt Foundation; Slavonic Bible Commission at the Int. Committee of Slavists; American Society for Byzantine Music and Hymnology; Italian Assoc. for the Study of Sanctity, Cults and Hagiography, etc.). But only one scholar sits on the editorial board of a foreign journal (Studi Slavistici). This poor representation among editorial boards abroad is surprising (not to say worrying) for a world-class centre and must be increased, also to open up opportunities for seeing the work of Bulgarian scholars published abroad. Partly through participation in international scientific meetings, partly through cooperative research CMRC reports 16 visits of its members to 17 foreign countries, six supported by a foreign grant or through the Erasmus Programme, and 54 visits of foreign scholars from 15 countries to the CMRC (Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Ukraine as destinations; Austria, Belgium, Greece, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Spain, the UK and the U.S.A. as sending countries). The CMRC was one of three BAS institutes to receive a charter to participate in the Erasmus Programme, which further increased opportunities for exchange for its young scholars: in the initial three year period (2004-07) “two doctoral students from CMRC were trained for a period of five months in Italy and Germany, and the CMRC trained four people from Poland for a period of five months. Within the framework of the same programme, the Centre accepted eight and sent six scholars to the partner universities in Germany, Italy and Poland. For the purposes of the Erasmus programme and the Training & Career Development Centre of BAS, a special multidisciplinary programme for training of doctoral students was developed ...(“Language and Culture of Medieval Europe”). A system of credit transfer was successfully introduced. At the national level, many of the Centre’s research staff also teach (at a variety of Bulgarian institutions of higher education). The main differences of the CMRC to research conducted at university units lies in the predominance of research work, the potential and realisation of interdisciplinarity of the research effort, and the better possibilities for team work – all of which are necessary preconditions for the preparation of critical text-editions and large databases.

111

Competition in the field is mainly focused on specific thematic topics, but is resolved through extensive cooperation with a number of Bulgarian universities and BASinstitutes. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) During the reviewed period CMRC scientists published the considerable amount of 291 works (58.2 per year / 17.11 per person). The breakdown in categories is as follows: 11 scientific monographs / collections (2.2 per year) and 255 full textpapers (51 per year), plus 3 brochures and 22 articles of popular science (five per year). This is a remarkable achievement by all accounts and especially considering the adverse funding conditions under which the Centre has been operating. A good number of the publications have been in journals that are included in relevant international citation databases, but this impression is due mainly to the inclusion of a BAS in-house journal (Palaeobulgarica) in a recent European reference project (ERIH). Most scholars have regularly taken part in national and international conferences. The educational activities of CMRC members within the period amount to a total of 2,015 lecture-hours (29 units by 10 members) and 1,049 practicals / seminar-hours (six units by eight members), altogether 3,064 or 612.8 hours per year on average. Teaching is conducted at six universities and other institutions of higher education in Bulgaria and t five foreign universities. Furthermore, one post-graduate course and five specialization courses for post-graduates in the frame of the Erasmus / Socrates Programmes were held at CMRC. The thematic range of such courses comprises also Latin, Medieval Greek, and rather rare subjects like Cyrillic Codicology and Palaeography, Mediaeval Slavonic Hymnography and Hagiography. At the same time eleven students have prepared their MA-thesis under the guidance of CMRC specialists, and seven PhD-students were trained in the CMRC (plus two from Poland in the frame of the Erasmus Programme, with two CMRC-students spending a term each in Italy and Germany). Against this background of successful inclusion of younger scholars it is puzzling to see that apparently no degrees were awarded in the period under review; even if an economic argument is provided (salaries for employed junior researchers are currently lower than doctoral scholarships) this fact sheds a negative light on the CMRC. The overall score on quality and productivity is “A”. The work of the CMRC is “internationally competitive” (i.e.in comparison with similar, language and culturespecific institutes elsewhere). The general productivity is very high and in its own very specific field the Centre plays a central role internationally.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The research field of CMRC is central for Slavistics and highly important also for the cultural dimensions of the expansion of the European Union, as it unites two major religious and cultural traditions. The potential relevance of such a specialised

112

research centre in terms of cultural dialogue and appreciation of cultural diversity in Europe (and at the roots of Europe) cannot be overestimated. Internationally the CMRC has a unique standing, as the few institutes of Slavic studies that are also analysing Cyrillo-Methodian themes are usually restricting their efforts to certain national areas and are lacking experts in others. Institutes in non-Slavic countries, on the other hand, have to concentrate their work on special problems, due to their limited number of scholars. On the national level there are some overlaps with certain BAS- and universityinstitutes of Bulgarian literature and language, some of whose members are also taking up Cyrillo-Methodian problems. CMRC scholars lecture at different levels at a number of universities. However, despite the scholarly excellence of the Centre, it must be said that efforts should be expanded in carrying towards a wider public the relevance of CyrilloMethodian studies, both in Bulgaria and beyond. The current low number (three brochures and 22 articles of popularising science, i.e. roughly per year) do not do justice to the importance of the field for Bulgarian heritage and to the scholarly prominence of this Bulgarian centre worldwide. The latest project – too recent to be formally reported – which is funded through the Bulgarian NSF, is perhaps a step in the right direction: work has begun early in 2009 on “The Cyrillo-Methodian Cultural Heritage and its Bulgarian and European dimensions”. This project includes specialists in Archival Work as well as specialists in the sphere of computer software. The work on the draft contract concluded under this project for three years funded with 440 000 BGN has started and also involves scholars from abroad, and perhaps even more importantly a number of junior researchers inside the country (CMRC and others). It is more directly aimed at making core elements of the Cyrillo-Methodian heritage accessible. The national impact of the Centre’s work is relatively high, mainly by promoting Cyrillo-Methodian studies through teaching at several universities and through close contacts with colleagues both from universities and other BAS institutes. However, the visibility of the Centre’s work remains limited largely to the purely scholarly sphere. Its relevance in Bulgarian society at large could be further enhanced; currently the overall score on this account is therefore only “B” (“moderate”).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Centre has an ambitious plans for the future, including the some new and wellchosen thematic priorities, development of a web-based depository, joint applications for EU-funding, and strengthening the Centre’s own system of quality control. Some new policies are envisaged, such as the introduction of prizes to stimulate a competitive environment.

113

Quality control at the Centre is presently being executed – apart from the usual reviews of books, the participation of international fora etc. – through peer reviews of project-proposals on the one hand, and quarterly reports in the form of a questionnaire, which led up to a final Annual Report which is evaluated by the Scientific Council. The pay-back of the intensity of this reporting is not clear. The leadership of CMRC is very inclusive (and yet surprisingly effective): presently seven members are involved – directorate (3), scientific secretaries (2), scientific Council (1), and General Assembly (1). The age structure of the Centre’s staff is quite good for such institutions (both by international comparison and even more so in the domestic context) and can roughly be judged by the fact that there are six young specialists with higher education, eight junior and nine senior research fellows. The average age of CMRC researchers is the lowest among the Humanities institutes of BAS (where an overall average of c.50 years was counted in 2006). During the evaluation period more than one third of the scientific staff could be recruited via promotion and/or defense of a PhD-thesis. The Centre has however been making efforts in improving the age balance of its research staff by opening up new avenues for young scholars: with the appointment of one young researcher per annum the Centre ranks highly among the humanities units of BAS. The leadership is keenly aware of the need to broaden access to younger researchers and is displaying great energy and creativity in this respect; the completion rate of PhD must be improved, however. The Centre can be expected to continue its productive cooperation with other institutions; some thematic overlap, particularly with the BAS Institute for literature, ought to be tackled. There is need for further infrastructural improvements. In 2008, BAS received funds from the surplus from the national budget for 2007, which was allotted to a task "Creation and development of a research infrastructure with digital libraries so that the scientific and cultural heritage that is of national importance may be preserved and presented to the public". Currently, other BAS Institutes (Literature; Bulgarian language) are main beneficiaries, and it is hoped that also this Centre will also either be supported in the same way or will be given statutory access to equipment owned by other BAS institutes. Under an energetic, creative and goal-oriented leadership, the Centre has made good use of opportunities in general funding, cultural heritage and research infrastructure funding and emerging international contacts; its prospects as a worldwide-renowned centre of learning are “high” (“A”).

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths - International standing of a world-wide unique research institute; - Highly qualified staff with great experience and enthusiasm; - Energetic and creative leadership;

114

- Commitment to introduce younger scholars to active research. Weaknesses - Improvements needed for infrastructure (computing; support for crucial bibliographic and editorial work etc.); - Insufficient PhD completion rate; - Unsatisfactory outreach presence.

Recommendations
The following recommendations are given against the background of an overall score on quality and productivity of “A”. Obviously, the work of the CMRC is already “internationally competitive” (i.e. in comparison with similar, language and culture-specific institutes elsewhere). Also general productivity is very high and in its own very specific field the Centre even plays a central role internationally. In the national context, the Centre promoted Cyrillo-Methodian issues through teaching at several universities and through research cooperation with colleagues from universities and other BAS institutes. Its impact remains limited largely to the purely scholarly sphere. Its relevance could be enhanced; currently the overall score on this account is only “B” (“moderate”). Under an energetic and goal-oriented leadership, the Centre has made good use of opportunities in general funding, cultural heritage and research infrastructure funding and emerging international contacts; its prospects as a worldwide-renowned centre of learning are “high” (“A”). The following recommendations are therefore meant to support the case for the Centre to be further strengthened in view of its achieving a world-leading position.  the digitization process (especially of data-collections), for which a project has already been started in 2008; the best use is made of the new media to secure and strengthen a world-wide unique resource position in the field;  better exploit collaborative potential within BAS system: there are some (potential) areas of contact with the institutes for literature, Bulgarian language, History and Balkan Studies;  strengthen the coordinating function within Bulgaria for the entire field, also vis-a-vis universities;  only one scholar participates in an editorial board of a foreign journal. This is a poor representation for what is potentially a world-class centre; the Centre’s leadership must be urged to increase significantly this presence abroad, also to open up opportunities for seeing the work of Bulgarian scholars published abroad (closely linked to the envisaged function of coordinating the field nationwide);  CMRC may need to increase its outreach activities, to maintain awareness for the importance of its research topic;  underfunding is a serious risk and must be overcome; in order to develop its potential to become a world-leading centre, the CMRC cannot be expected to rely on competitive funding alone as supplementing central

115

BAS subsidies. BAS must take a strategic decision to sufficiently fund this central research unit, in which it holds a unique strength.

116

711 Centre for Architectural Studies

Introduction
The Centre for Architectural Studies, founded in 1949, studies the history and theory of architecture and urbanism in Bulgaria from antiquity to the present. It also addresses social, economic and legislative questions as regards urban planning and the preservation of architectural heritage in Bulgaria. The Centre conducts fundamental and applied research and is currently host to 22 employees, of whom 19 are scientific staff. It includes three research sections:  history and protection of heritage,  architecture,  urbanism The institute also houses a museum, archive and library, and an administrative unit. A centre for post-graduate studies and an experimental studio are currently being established. In 2008, the Centre was reformed and thus shifted its focus from Theory and History towards applied science, including sustainable development of urban spaces. It is as yet too early to determine whether these changes have improved substantially the research quality of the centre, or indeed its function within Bulgarian society.

Evaluation Summary
The Centre has started a process of reform by which it intends to shift from history and theory towards applied science. Most of these ideas still wait for realization so that history of architecture is still very dominant. The Centre suffers particularly from over-aging and lack of international connections. This relative isolation translates into an urgent need to re-launch its work under a different constellation, based upon up-to-date theoretical foundations and inspired by methodological innovation. A substantial restructuring would be needed in order to make it more efficient and to enable it to catch up internationally – in terms of both methods and networking. This panel was disappointed by the lack of quality and conceptual rigour in the current scientific work or, indeed, the planning for a more ambitious future. It may not be advisable that at the current level of research the advice function of the institute be expanded; this may be different or individual members of staff who may be good professionals in their own right. Consequences for PhD training may also need to be drawn.

117

The overall score in terms of quality and productivity, compared in an international context, is “D”: much of the centre’s work is repetitive, or flawed in approaches and methodology. In terms of relevance, the work of the centre is given an overall score of “B” (moderate), which refers more to the need of Bulgaria of an institute in this field than to the performance of the current centre itself. The prospects of the centre are low (overall score: “C”), in terms of its current intellectual and institutional leadership, as well as in terms of realistic planning of a sustainable future for the institute. The panel could not see the added value of such an institute for the Academy, and, despite claims to the contrary, even less the use made of the BAS system, with its expertise in many fields, by the researchers in the institute.

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) The areas of research practised at the centre cover, in principle, a very wide range of topics, including sustainable development of urban environments, historic and modern Bulgarian architecture, and theoretical issues. In fact, the range of subjects addressed and activities is too broad for the limited resources and academic expertise available. The thematic profile of the centre urgently requires focus and streamlining. The links to neighbouring areas (and potential for cooperation) must be better exploited and articulated (including, natural resources, urban history, theories from cultural studies reading the built environment through language and literature, archaeology etc.). As it stands – and as also witnessed during the site visit - a strong focus of the centre has been, and still is, on traditional issues of the historical study of architecture. The most solid and, at the same, methodologically most interesting work is probably what is being conducted in close cooperation with the BAS Institute for Archaeology. Otherwise – to judge especially by the insights gained during the site visit - , much of the research seems to be conducted in single-scholar enterprises, often over a lifetime, and without much efforts to either create “followers” (i.e. inspire young scholars, who might help in large research enterprises) or to involve colleagues. This peculiar structure of the practice of scientific work is worth mentioning here only in so far as it seems to contribute to the surprising isolation in which the scientific staff of the institute operates – and hence to the disconnectedness of the

118

resulting products from the rest of the academic discourse in the wider area of the study of built objects and environments. A small part of the institute’s activities is embedded in regional or European or international frameworks. The Centre cooperates with some European research institutions, typically by operating as the Bulgarian bridgehead, providing access to or copies of archival material and documentation. The Centre does not seem to be recognised as an equal partner by the leading institutes elsewhere on the continent. The documentation also indicates support obtained through cooperation with UNESCO and in the context of European Commission sponsored projects, and also lists other actors. There seems to be practically no income that would be generated by these participations in international projects. The poor level of international cooperation overall is best expressed by two figures: only five foreign visitors from three countries have visited the institute in the five years under review; scientific staff from the institute report a total of six participations in international conferences throughout the five years. Equipment and infrastructure are, it seems, still at incipient stages, and unable to serve as guarantors for the feasibility of plans for a brighter future. Questions about the concrete steps to upgrade the material infrastructure could not be answered satisfactorily. The report shows that in 2008 funds for infrastructural development were reduced to 280 (sic) BGN. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The Centre is not an institute and should therefore not be compared to larger structures. However, for its a current number of scientific scientific staff (19) a mere seven scientific articles published abroad in the reporting period is not a satisfactory result. 100 scientific articles and some 20 articles of a more popular nature were published in Bulgaria. Altogether, there were 214 publications in the reviewed period, out of which perhaps 10% abroad. All books were published in Bulgaria. On average, every scholar has 2 publications per year, and this despite the existence of various channels of in-house publication. Productivity is low, in particular as regards book production. Even when considering that much of the products fall in the broad field of architectural, and perhaps urban, history and therefore traditionally comprise a great deal of documentary evidence, such a “collectionist” approach seems to outweigh any willingness to apply analytical methods by far. Between 2007 and 2008, the core funding from BAS had been increased by 25%. It remains to be seen whether this investment will result in an increased volume of

119

outputs. The impressions gathered during the site visit do not leave much room for optimism.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Centre conducts fundamental research in the field of Bulgarian architectural history, at times illustrating its exploits with relevant 3D-computer reconstructions. The Centre is in a unique position to make important contributions to the field; it seems that it is in this potential function – i.e., as potential contributor, rather than by virtue of its actual scientific achievements – that it is sought out occasionally as a partner in international collaborations. The Centre aims to address social, economic and legislative questions as regards urban planning in Bulgaria; however, this seems to be a recently acquired mission as there is very little concrete outcome so far. Scholars based at the centre have been involved in giving policy advice as regards legal harmonization in the field of architecture and urban planning with the Acquis. The Centre is a consultant to the Parliament and different Ministries, for instance in the field of environmental studies and regional development. For example, there are joint activities with the National Centre for Territorial Development in the field of urban planning and territorial and regional planning and in building up the National Territorial Planning Scheme. The need for the parallel existence of these two centres has remained unexplained. Across the country, staff based at the centre is involved in applied studies on the protection of cultural heritage, for example in the municipality of Kyustendil (joint work in the preservation of architectural monuments on the territory of the municipality, developing joint projects for adaptation and conservation, for studying monuments and disseminating knowledge about them). The Centre also assumes an important role in collecting sources on the history of architecture and urban development; what could be seen of the archival activities does not correspond to the standards expected from a nationally leading institute. The Centre publicizes Bulgarian cultural heritage nationally and internationally, for instance with exhibitions. Generally speaking, scientists from the institute deliver lectures at a number of universities and colleges; the Centre has notably joint training courses for PhD students with the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy and Varna Free University. In terms of relevance, the work of the centre is given an overall score of “B” (moderate), which refers more to the need of Bulgaria of an institute in this field than to the performance of the current centre itself.

120

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Centre has embarked on – or was requested to launch - a fundamental reform process in 2008, the results of which have not yet become visible. The intention appears to be to move towards strengthening applied research, at the expense of the history and theory of architecture, and to give stronger emphasis to doctoral education. There are some doubts as to whether the current scientific staff and leadership is strong and determined enough to spearhead such an important transition which would radically change the face of the centre, indeed, perhaps restore the status of institute, and its position in Bulgarian society. The Centre also aims to create more flexible groups of non-permanent researchers and guest professors. Currently, the age structure is particularly unfavourable: 16 out of 20 staff members listed are over 56 years old, only four members are under forty. The current age distribution reflects, in all likelihood, the need for what would otherwise be midcareer academics to seek a living in other sectors of the economy; no institute examined by this panel shows this problem in quite as dramatic a fashion as this one. In a few years’ time, the Centre will have lost the majority of its staff through retirement. With the current staff, there seems to be no effective systems of quality control; even under the prevailing regime of HR management the transition the Centre is embarking on would require that the ability of currently available expertise to contribute to the new challenges be verified, irrespective of whether such testing has an influence on promotion. On the other hand, the Centre is strongly committed to supporting and promoting young researchers. It has been accredited as an educational unit for doctoral degrees in the following disciplines: theory and history of architecture; preservation, restoration and adaptation of architectural monuments; synergy with other arts (sic); architecture of buildings; urban planning. The Centre is currently training 15 PhD students, of whom a number seem to be professionals wishing to complement their experience with a higher degree; this is, per se, a good phenomenon, and could even testify to the attractiveness of the institute as a centre of higher learning; for this hypothesis to be measured against reality, more information about alternatives would be necessary. The institute upholds working relationships with other institutes within the BAS, national and international institutions, including universities. Most projects are individual ones, and very limited in scope and time. International visibility (or even

121

presence in international conference and expert meetings) is very low and no strategy seems to exist for changing this particular shortcoming. The prospects of the centre are low (overall score: “C”), in terms of its current intellectual and institutional leadership, as well as in terms of realistic planning of a sustainable future for the centre in a leadership position in Bulgaria.

Overall Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths  the process of shifting from theory and history to more practical and problem-solving tasks (such as the revitalization and reutilization of industrial sites) may be promising; it remains to be seen whether this transition is feasible and sustainable;  role played in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage; good expertise in the field of history of architecture;  Some contacts through European projects on developing natural resources management systems in Bulgaria and working relationships with Bulgarian and international institutions, incl. universities, UNESCO and other fora;  emphasis on in vocational education and PhD training consistently attracts young researchers who may in a better future help renew the Centre. Weaknesses  productivity and international visibility and presence are very low;  no effective systems of quality control;  ambitious plans for the future are not grounded in a pragmatic strategy on how to turn the vision into reality; the realization of plans expounded would require very substantial new funding, which in not currently expected;  particularly unfavourable age profile of scientific staff.

Recommendations
These recommendations below should be read against the background of an overall pessimistic assessment by the Panel as regards the future of the centre. The panel was disappointed by the lack of quality and conceptual rigour in the current scientific work and about the virtual absence of any realistic planning for a more ambitious or even just sustainable future. The Panel has doubts about the ability of the current management structure to lead the centre successfully through the transition period.

122

The overall score in terms of quality and productivity, compared in an international context, is therefore “D”: much of the centre’s work is repetitive, or flawed in approaches and methodology. In terms of relevance, the work of the centre is given an overall score of “B” (moderate), which refers more to the need of Bulgaria of an institute in this field than to the performance of the current centre itself. The prospects of the centre are low (overall score: “C”). The recommendations are therefore meant to guide a process of last resort, by which, through a substantial commitment and investment BAS indicates that it sees the need to have such a centre: a revision of the current management structure seems to be paramount for launching any such process. The status quo is not sustainable.  The Centre urgently needs a realistic, yet strategic vision for its future. Instead of spreading its activities in all directions, it must define its desired profile and related priorities more clearly and focus on a limited number of core activities;  the Centre must allocate project funding according to priorities set, and on the basis of excellence and relevance of projects, rather than based on tradition; for this, the Centre needs to create framework conditions that aim at increasing quality by introducing a clear system of quality control and, more importantly, incentives linked to the strategic plan;  activities with vital national functions (e.g. in the fields of urban planning or environment, but also certain cultural heritage projects) must be developed in close cooperation with the relevant ministries;  no research institute can function by commissioned work alone; nonpermanent and flexible working groups, including scientists and, why not, practitioners from outside of the Academy, thereby transcending established structures and hierarchies, could be instrumental in reviving the intellectual vibrancy of a field sectors of which elsewhere are carriers of innovation and creativity (e.g.: urban studies);  the Centre should make an effort to improve international exchanges, increase participation of its scientific staff at international conferences, and encourage more publications in internationally read publications and languages other than Bulgarian.  Substantial investment in infrastructure (starting from e-mail and internet connections, via office equipment and library, all the way to professional material for the other ancillary services [archives; computing]) are urgent; without such substantial investment (or guaranteed access to such tools in partner organisations) no further steps should be undertaken towards increasing intake of doctoral candidates, as their training is at risk of not being conducted at a sufficient level.

123

124

Social Sciences

125

801 Institute of Sociology Introduction
Established already in 1968, the Institute of Sociology is the national academic research centre in this field for Bulgaria. Its mission is to conduct fundamental as well as applied research, elaborate issues of the theory, methodology and history of sociology, including international comparative research, engage in resolving practical problems of Bulgarian society and carry out training of doctoral students. With its staff of 82 persons (56 scholars and 26 auxiliary research, administrative and technical personnel) the Institute is one of the medium-sized BAS research units. The average age of the research staff is rather high at 52 years. The current organizational structure of the Institute was introduced in 2008. The Institute is divided into seven research units (six Research Departments and one Laboratory), three Scientific Support Departments and three Administrative Units. The delimitation of research departments mirrors the main areas of the Institute’s research programme:        Social change, social deviation and control, Sociology of economics and politics, Knowledge-based society: science, education and innovation, Sociology of values, religions and everyday life, Communities and identities, Methodology of empirical sociological studies, Social conflicts.

The Scientific Support Departments include the Information Support and Communications Department which provides information for research projects and electronic communication, the Library and Editors of scientific journals Sociological Problems (a quarterly) and, as of late, also the new journal Sociology. The Institute’s premises are very modest and insufficient. Relocation is expected.

Evaluation Summary
In terms of tradition, qualification and experience of its personnel, infrastructure, scientific productivity and cooperative links with the domestic as well as foreign partners, including institutions of higher learning, Bulgarian state and public administration bodies, private business, and NGO’s, the Institute is an important national scientific player in the field of social sciences. The Institute also represents Bulgarian sociology abroad. The scientific productivity of the Institute expressed by the number of publications of its staff has been increasing during the five years 126

2004-2008. The Institute is handicapped by an unfavourable age structure of its research staff, by the process of its progressive ageing and by its inability to attract young researchers and stabilize their number and situation inside the institute. A rejuvenation of staff is the most important prerequisite to the Institute’s long-term survival and development. The Institute leadership explains this problem by the financial situation of the Institute – its inability to offer young researchers competitive salaries. Ideas have been outlined in the SER how to improve this situation. The overall score on quality and productivity is „B“: „its work is internationally visible“. The Institute has been fairly productive on the domestic stage, its internationally visible production is still modest. In terms of relevance, the overall score is „B“ (or „moderate“). In its research, the Institute is successfully focusing on some theoretical and methodological issues of sociology as well as on scientific analysis of important social problems of the country. In some areas it seems to be too dependent on commissioned research; it would benefit from developing its own, comprehensive and independent research agenda. Experience in successful fundraising and its emerging networks are likely to serve the Institute well for the future. So far, the immense challenges ahead are not matched with an entirely convincing overall strategy for it as research institute; as a consequence, prospects can be described as „moderate“ („B“).

Evaluation Report
The Institute follows with its research the main strategic priorities set at national level and expressed in the funding priorities of the Bulgarian NSF. The problem of developing an independent strategy has been acknowledged by the institute leadership; there is a plan to develop such a strategy through dedicated stakeholder consultation. The institute has been successful in attracting external research grants – much more so than many other research units at BAS. In fact, external reserch income corresponds to 2/3 of the figure for BAS core funding.

a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) The available evidence testifies, on average, to a good scientific quality of at least a considerable part of publications and expertises authored by the Institute’s members. About 20% of the publications appeared abroad, mostly in Western European countries journals and conference proceedings, where a certain level of scientific quality control is usually required. Five articles were cited as having appeared in SCI journals. Some form of general quality control must be assumed also for the many Bulgarian language book publications. However, a brief examination of the „Ten Selected Major Publications“ presented by the Institute – all

127

books – suggested that their quality might be uneven; not surprisingly, the institute is also proud to have produced many textbooks, training aids, and books for the general educated public. Functional quality can be expected in the case of the expert consultancy reports and other materials produced for and accepted by bodies of government and public administration. The panel was impressive by the Institute’s participation in the FP6 international LifeLong Learning 2010 Project which was presented as the highlight of current work and which indicated a highly competent performance of the Institute’s team. The Institute has participated in a number of FP6 and FP7 research projects (in three of them as WP leader, in one as subcontractor and in four as partner). Its researchers operate as evaluators in and for committees assessing research proposals submitted in response to FP Calls. Beyond Europe, researchers have established relations with US and Japanese institutions, as well as research groups elsewhere. While the bulk of the Institute’s research contributes to the sociological analysis of Bulgarian society and its transformation, the Institute also produced some results of a more general theoretical and methodological relevance – on, for example, dialectical sociology and disciplinary structure of sociology, on the comparative study of the stratified consumption patterns, or on „Social Times and Time Notions“. The vast majority of papers in journals (ca. ¾) and proceedings (ca. 2/3) appear through Bulgarian channels of publication, it is impossible to pronounce on the level of quality control exercised here. A deeper assessment of quality of the Institute’s scientific performance would require a more intimate knowledge of the published outputs – a condition that could not be met in the case of writings available in the Bulgarian language only, unfamiliar to the evaluating team asked to assess primarily quality and productivity in an international context. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) Researchers at the institute work under adverse conditions; practically all work presented among the 10 highlights of the five-year reporting period was funded almost exclusively by BAS core funding, i.e. as part of the researchers‘ salaried employment, plus support from BAS research commissions. Also most of the top five achievements of applied research were produced with rarely more than such minimal support. Considering these adverse conditions, the number of researchers, their pedagogical and consultants‘ obligations and their average age, the scientific productivity of the Institute, as measured by the total number of publications, has been impressive, altogether 581 pieces of publications of which c. 20% published abroad. During the period 2004-2008 the cumulative output amounted to 35 papers published by the Institute’s researchers in scientific journals abroad and 131 papers in scientific journals in Bulgaria, 85 contributions were published in congress and symposia 128

proceedings and thematic collections abroad and further 216 such contributions in proceedings and thematic collections in Bulgaria. 54 scientific books authored, coauthored or contributed to by the Institute’s researchers were published in Bulgaria (none abroad), as well as 23 textbooks and training aides, 25 popular books and brochures and 20 popular articles. The most frequent type of publications – 37% of the total – were papers in congress and symposia proceedings and thematic collections published in Bulgaria. The Institute’s productivity measured by the annual number of publications has been increasing during the five years under review, reaching the maximum in 2008 – the last year for which data are available. The visibility of the Institute on the international stage has been limited due to an insufficient presence of Bulgarian authors in refereed international journals and in publications presented by renowned European and international social science publishers. When measured by the total number of citations (426 citations reported, the source and validity of these figures being unclear) the scientific impact of the Institute’s production is not too impressive. The low number of citations is not surprising considering the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Institute’s publications were available in the Bulgarian language only. The third possible measure of the Institute’s productivity is the number of completed research projects; the Institute was both active and successful in this respect. Given the wide variety of scientific remits indicated by the titles of the seven research departments, it does not seem appropriate to highlight individual achievements. An important role for Bulgarian sociology and for some targeted dissemination of its results is played by the quarterly Sociological Problems, a peer reviewed journal published by the Institute, with three issues in Bulgarian, one in English, and with foreign scholars represented in its editorial board. The journal is peer-reviewed since 1994 and is included in the catalogue of the international scientific markets – Central and Eastern European on-line Library (CEEOL Periodical List). A similar function is likely to be played by the new journal Sociology (Bulgarian language, four issues per year) which the Institute has just launched in cooperation with seven Bulgarian universities. The overall score on quality and productivity is „B“: „its work is internationally visible“. The Institute has been fairly productive on the domestic stage, its internationally visible production is still modest.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Institute’s scientific outputs – research projects, publications, scientific journals, pedagogical and organizational activities - have been primarily relevant to the development of Bulgarian sociology and of human potential, to the analysis of Bulgarian society as well as to the on-going integration of Bulgarian sociology into the European social science structures. However, even this Bulgaria-centred

129

research may have a more general European relevance in that it illuminates the kind of social and cultural issues facing a Balkan late-comer to the EU. Several of the Institute’s research projects produced results which are more-or-less directly relevant for public policy. For example, the prognosis on (Bulgaria’s) population size until the year 2050, work on a strategy and practices for overcoming school dropout and the re-socialization of Roma children at compulsory school age, the conception for a new law on higher education, etc. The Institute has developed a rich network of cooperative relationships with other BAS research units as well as with universities, which testify to its central position on the domestic stage. Within BAS, the Institute has a number of collaborative arrangements with the Centre for Population Studies, the Institute for Philosophical Studies, the Geographical Institute (with these last two for example in the project “European Integration of Bulgaria”, financed by the Bulgarian NSF, 2003-2008) the Economic Institute, and several other BAS research units. Some of such cooperation is based on formal agreements between the partners; for example: the Institute has signed a contract for collaboration with the “Centre for Population Studies”. The mode of cooperation with departments of sociology in universities has been changing from originally individual engagements of the Institute’s scholars to cooperation based on contracts between the Institute and its university partners. In the period 2004-2008 more than 30 researchers from the Institute taught in various institutions (total of 8600 hours of lecturing). The Institute’s scholars supervise graduate students in higher education as well as doctoral students, both in-house and extra-mural. Regular doctoral seminars have been organized in the Institute. The Institute has cooperated with state and public administrative bodies, consulting, preparing and evaluating policies and plans in the social sphere, providing expertises, carrying out research etc. The Institute’s associates are members of working groups, councils, commissions etc. established by the state administration. Co-authorship of the Demographic prognosis of the Republic of Bulgaria was one of the Institute’s main contributions in this respect. Some cooperation took place with business organizations, e.g. research on energy efficiency, on innovations etc. An example of such collaboration is the ongoing interdisciplinary survey led by the Institute on “Indebtedness of Bulgarian Households: Current State, Tendencies, and Perspectives” (June 2009). The research team comprises scientists from the BAS institutes of sociology and economics, financial experts from the Bulgarian National Bank, government agencies and private firms. Cooperation with the financial specialists proved especially beneficial: they provided an important link between science and the private, financial, and industrial sectors. The Institute was able to expand its connections with leading banks, the Bulgarian Industrial Association, the Association for Economic Incentive etc. The survey is currently in its fieldwork stage; the research team plans to participate in projects funded by the World Bank on similar topics, namely “Indebtedness of the Population” and “Level of Financial Culture”.

130

In terms of relevance, the overall score is „B“ (or „moderate“). In its research, the Institute is successfully focusing on some theoretical and methodological issues of sociology as well as on scientific analysis of important social problems of the country. In some areas it seems to be too dependent on commissioned research and would benefit from developing its own, comprehensive and independent research agenda.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The importance of sociology as the scientific instrument which provides selfknowledge of Bulgarian society, assists in designing and evaluating social and other policies and generalizes such findings in medium-range theories, guarantees good prospects for an institution which will be able to meet these demands. The Institute has at its disposal many of the necessary resources – highly qualified and experienced staff, a recently modernized structure of research departments, a history of successful research and a network of external cooperative relations with other BAS institutes, with institutions of higher learning and government, public administration, as well as in the private sector. The Institute has made progress towards its integration into the thematic and institutional structure of European and international sociology. The Institute is handicapped by the unfavourable age structure of its research staff and its progressive ageing due to inability to attract younger and stabilize younger researchers: the number of doctoral students fell from 35 in 2004 to 6 in 2008. A rejuvenation of the staff is seen as the most important prerequisite to the Institute’s long-term survival and further development. The Institute is aware of the need to rejuvenate its staff, as well as to seek additional financial resources, but its future plans should be further specified, and cast in a form that lends itself to swift implementation. The Institute is scheduled to move into a new building, where a number of other research institutions are located (incl. BAS institutes and departments of Sofia University Kliment Ohridski) which are well equipped with high-tech computer labs and libraries. It hopes to benefit from joint utilization of these facilities which, it expects, will further enhance co-operation between research teams. More and more successful joint national and international conferences can then be envisaged as one way of creating and strengthening the domestic and international networks. In some areas, the Institute seems to be too dependent on commissioned research and would benefit from developing a comprehensive and independent research agenda. On the other hand, it is clear that its experience in successful fundraising and its emerging networks are likely to serve the Institute well for the future. So far, the immense challenges ahead are not matched with an entirely convincing overall

131

strategy for it as research institute; as a consequence, prospects can be described as „moderate“ („B“).

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths  Good scientific productivity, highly qualified and experienced staff;  recently modernized structure of research departments, history of successful research;  existence of a rich network of external cooperative relations with domestic and international partners, other BAS institutes, the institutions of higher learning and the bodies of government and public administration, as well as relations with European, US, Japanese institutions are the main strengths of the Institute. Weaknesses  Unfavourable age distribution (progressive ageing of research staff with potential psychological concommitants) and failure to attract and stabilize young researchers;  Insufficient visibility of the Institute on the international stage is due to low-level presence of Bulgarian authors in English language and international journals and in publications presented by renowned social science publishers;  Poor infrastructure (which may be overcome by moving to the new building);  Underspecified strategic plan; it should build on assets (and envisaged role) of the institute, rather than shadowing national priorities alone.

Recommendations
The overall score on quality and productivity is „B“: „its work is internationally visible“. The Institute has been fairly productive on the domestic stage, its internationally visible production is still modest. In terms of relevance, the overall score is „B“ (or „moderate“). In its research, the Institute is successfully focusing on some theoretical and methodological issues of sociology as well as on scientific analysis of important social problems of the country. In some areas it seems to be too dependent on commissioned research; it would benefit from developing its own, comprehensive and independent research agenda. Experience in successful fundraising and its emerging networks are likely to serve the Institute well for the future. So far, the immense challenges ahead are not matched with an entirely convincing overall strategy for it as research institute; as a consequence, prospects can be described as „moderate“ („B“). It is against this background that the following recommendations sketch some trajectories for the future stabilisation of the institute as a research unit with its own character.

132

 the Institute should maintain as an important component themes of its scientific programme fundamental sociological research, not succumbing to the temptation to throw all its resources behind applied research, however important the applied projects may be;  by the same token, the Institute should strengthen studies of social structure, stratification, social mobility, poverty and social exclusion in Bulgarian society, as well as gender studies – themes highly relevant in transitional societies and paid extensive attention in other east and central European transitional countries;  the function of the Department of Methodology of Empirical Sociological Studies should be rethought; those functions connected with the technological support of empirical studies and with data processing could be entrusted to the Institute’s scientific support branch (to be strengthened by a statistician). As for the choice of research methods and data interpretation, these are skills that must be part of any sociologist’s professional training, making the existence of a specialized department unnecessary;  special attention should be paid to the Institute‘s publication policy: editorial boards should include foreign scientists; all papers should be submitted to anonymous peer reviews. The best output should be published in world languages (preferably in English); English language abstracts and more extensive summaries should be made available in Bulgarian language journals (and the same should also apply to the more important books). Efforts should be made to present a larger proportion of the Institute’s outputs in the form of monographs and journal articles and to offer the best papers for publication in refereed international social science journals;  a good grasp of world languages, preferably of English, should become a qualification criterion for the Institute’s staff, including heads of the departments, and doctoral students and should be required from the Institute’s new members;  programmes offering short- as well as long-term stays of senior researchers and doctoral students in foreign universities and research institutes should be monitored by the Institute and exploited as much as possible;  establishing a computerized Bulgarian social science data archive in the Institute might strengthen its role and relevance within the country and make the Institute a sought-after partner for foreign and international social science bodies;  irrespective of the salary level, the Institute could probe whether nonmonetary incentives within its reach (such as, for example, improving career opportunities of young researchers, entrusting young scientists with their own research projects, facilitating their study stays abroad etc.) would not help attract young researchers in spite of the less than attractive salaries;

133

 temporary cross-departmental working groups could be constituted ad hoc to strengthen the implementation of research projects that reach across the existing departments.

134

802 Institute of Economics Introduction
With a staff of 59 researchers (out of a total of 86 employees), the Institute is a medium-sized research unit. Founded in 1946, its current situation is the result of successive restructurings after 1990 during which many of its fellows were requalified. The Institute is currently organized in 4 research departments whose make-up corresponds to the usual headings in academic teaching of economics, and 3 scientific supporting departments. The four research departments are:     Economics of the Firm; Regional and Sectoral Economics; Macroeconomics; International Economics.

Like the other BAS institutes, the Institute of Economics is also required to “support the economic development and the economic reforms in Bulgaria through active engagement in research and policy advice, and education of high-qualified specialists and researchers”. Perhaps as a consequence of this requirement the research activity of the Institute is oriented mainly towards applied research. The Institute has prepared important reports upon request of different governmental bodies. Some researchers are considered as national or international experts in their respective fields. Participation in teaching and training is also an explicit objective assigned to the Institute; this must be understood against the background of the dramatic changes after 1990 in the “mainstream” economic theory and the correlative re-organization in the country of higher education in economics. The Institute is a nationally acknowledged centre for PhD training. The menu of courses of Masters training offered by researchers based at the Institute in joint programs with Bulgarian universities is of wide scope and of high level. A drawback of this success is the increasing burden of teaching activities on research staff; a positive aspect is the additional income for institute and individuals. The Institute has published in 2005 the first post-transition “Economic Encyclopaedia”. It is responsible for two scientific journals, Economic Thought (founded in 1956) and Economic Studies (founded in 1985). Both journals currently publish refereed papers in English or in Bulgarian, have international boards of editors or advisory editors, and are indexed since 2002 by Journal of Economic Literature and EconLit, as well as included in data bases SCOPUS and EBSCO and delivered on line by CEEOL. This good visibility of the in-house journals no doubt adds to the international recognition for some of the institute’s work.

Evaluation Summary

135

In terms of personnel, output and professional recognition, the Institute is a very important national player, rather well linked with state, regional and international institutions, foreign academies, international university teams and networks specialized in comparative studies on all the issues related with the transition and the process of European integration of South-Eastern Europe. A dynamic management aims at and partially succeeds in creating the conditions for international recognition; yet, currently this depends more on the international connections and reputation of individual researchers than on the overall activity of the institute. The Institute prepares important reports upon request of the Presidency of the Bulgarian Republic. Its researchers have participated or participate in the management of and elaborations of strategies for Bulgarian economy and business. Economic problems of the day are quickly identified as theoretical issues, proposed as research projects to potential funders among Bulgarian state institutions, addressed in publications and in fora and conferences. The Institute participates in interdisciplinary studies with other BAS institutes in the field of social sciences, the most remarkable joint realizations being a White Book of the Population of Bulgaria and the definition of a National Strategy for Sustainable Development of Bulgaria. It has bilateral co-operations with institutes of other academies (Hungary; Russia). Some of its researchers are included in international comparative studies based on the experience of countries from Central Europe in the process of accession to the EU. In addition, the Institute is part of several international research networks in the fields of economic development, economic policy, management, dynamics of institutions and markets. The ratio between BAS subsidies and externally acquired funding is satisfactory, but changes significantly for third-party funding from year to year. The overall score on quality and productivity is “B”: the institute produces “work that is internationally visible… and has made valuable international contributions in the field”. There is clearly potential for increased international recognition, which is encouraged by the Institute management. The institute’s relevance for different needs of scientific analysis of the Bulgarian economy is indisputable; the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”). The context for the future development of the Institute under its dynamic and goal-oriented management is positive, even though the institute is plagued by current problems as other BAS institutes (over-aged; under-equipped); prospects are “high” (“A”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential)

136

The panel found that quality can be detected more on the side of innovative potential than on the side of actual international recognition. However, already during the reporting period some researchers were regular partners in EU programs and guests at well-reputed institutes. Some researchers participated in projects sponsored by the World Bank, UN agencies, and foreign universities. Some research was published in high-level international scientific journals. The research activity of the Institute is oriented mainly towards applied research. The institute is aware that in order to provide objective and independent expertise, it has to remain organizationally and administratively independent. The BAS system secures such an environment. There is active encouragement for interdisciplinary and innovative projects: in the area of climate change, impact, sustainable development, and migration, a team based at the Institute participates in the FP6 project SUS.DIV (Sustainable Development in a Diverse World). With its decision to allow no more than one quarter of researchers to pursue individual projects, the scientific council set a signal for such more ambitious and multidisciplinary projects; such a decision is to be seen against the background that two third of the projects completed during the period under evaluation were, apparently, individual projects. The institute itself does not seem to function as an intellectual meeting place (as many modern research centres would): two weekly seminars (the PhD seminar and scientific seminars) for an institute comprising 4 departments and 59 researchers are not enough to foster the synergies between the different units. Temporary transversal working groups of researchers, possibly belonging to different departments, could be formed around a medium-term objective, gathering some of the short-term small projects up-to-now dispersed. Possible themes for such medium-term objectives emerge from the lists of the most important scientific achievements / applied results (the two lists have significant partial overlaps). Recentreing the activity around some evolving scientific objectives would prevent blurring the Institute profile with a high number of small projects in applied research. Some by-products of applied research have their own interest and could be the basis for major scientific achievements. Examples are the construction of a financialeconomic model for projecting the macroeconomic proportions, a model-based study of foreign debt structuring, an attempt of firm modelling in transition economies, an evaluation of the matching of educational-professional training of the workforce and the needs of the labour market, the creation of an information base on foreign trade relations for the period 1986-2006. These are examples taken from the top five scientific achievements selected for each of the priority research directions fixed by BAS. In order for this work to gain the international recognition it deserves and to result in high-standard international publications, these projects should be followed up, for example by being included, in the medium-term, in collaborative projects with bigger teams, coordinated by the author of the initial project and supported with extensive means for scientific computation. The quality of the Institute’s PhD training is recognized by the existence of a program, financed by the European Cohesion Fund, giving scholarships and mobility financing to some young scientists and mainly to PhD students.

137

Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The institute’s research staff is involved in a great number of projects of different scope. 157 projects are listed, of which only 7 projects have received an additional funding from the National Science Fund, possibly due to existing funding priorities which do not adequately cover the area of the institute. A good number of projects is based on contracts with Bulgarian state institutions (40), or EU, OECD, World Bank and foreign universities (45). Most of the 59 researchers have an important burden of teaching activities; against this background, the publication activity for the period 2004-2008 is impressive from a quantitative point of view: over 100 books, monographs and reports published; 48 papers published in scientific journals abroad, 222 in Bulgaria; another c.250 published in collective volumes or conference proceedings, of which about 20% abroad. Impressive also are the diversity of the issues treated and their relevance to the economic problems of Eastern countries acceding to EU. Publishing activity in English is insufficient, as is in general the number of publications in refereed journals. The Institute publishes two scientific journals, Economic Thought (founded in 1956, succeeding the scientific organ of the Bulgarian Economists - Academicians Company) and Economic Studies (founded in 1985). Both journals currently publish refereed papers in English or in Bulgarian, have international boards of editors or advisory editors, and are indexed since 2002 by Journal of Economic Literature and EconLit, as well as included in data bases SCOPUS and EBSCO and delivered on line by CEEOL. The good visibility of the in-house journals no doubt has added to the international recognition for some of the institute’s work. Publication of the journals also has helped the institute to operate in the international academic book exchange through which journals are exchanged with the largest world libraries in exchange for other interesting international journals. This seems to have worked well until the recent past, but the flow of exchanges of working papers and journals with foreign research institutions now seems to dry up. The Institute’s activity of diffusion of scientific economic knowledge by means of papers for general public, forums, etc, is satisfactory. The overall score on quality and productivity is “B”: the institute produces “work that is internationally visible… and has made valuable international contributions in the field”. There is clearly potential for increased international recognition, which is encouraged by the Institute’s management.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The relevance of the institute’s work to the various needs of scientific analysis in the service of the Bulgarian economy is indisputable. A declared goal of the Institute is to tackle the many issues arising from the country’s accession to the EU in the transforming European and world economy. Most of the 157 projects documented

138

can be listed under this objective. The way projects are managed guarantees their usefulness and also their independence with respect to the potential users. Based on the past and present experience of reports prepared upon the request of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria (Economic Report on the Social Challenges and the European Integration, Strategy for Accelerated Development of Bulgaria), a new ambition of the Institute is to establish itself as a kind of Institute of Conjuncture, publishing an annual report on the economic development and the progress of economic reform and organizing each year a conference with thematic papers discussing the report. The state of preparations for this project of some interest was not confirmed during the site visit. The Institute actively seeks to ensure that its priorities and research program bear in mind current problems of the Bulgarian economy. Even for non-commissioned work, the statute strives to make sure that after approval of relevant projects by the Scientific Council, ministries or other stakeholder receive a summary of the study with the results. Experts from the Institute participate in a number of government commissions, and a steady presence of the Institute’s expert voice can be observed. The institute also engages directly with non-governmental organisation and associations. For example there is a clear strategy for collaboration with the Bulgarian employers’ organizations through networks, projects and scientific forums. A research fellow at the Institute is Executive Director of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, and in this position she is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee. The Institute is well positioned within BAS, cooperating with other institutes, even if inter-disciplinarity could be increased in fields where relevant competences reside in other BAS institutes (as is the case for all issues pertaining to the social-economic domain). An Institute of Economics typically attracts into the universities a high number of students in order to prepare them for the economic practice; this Institute also contributes to ensuring that an increasing number of university teachers is acquainted with economic research. The decision to offer the best ones a position as “associated researcher” at the Institute is, right now, an excellent idea. In a more distant future, well-formed university teachers should be and will be considered as a potential pool of good researchers for several economic institutes to be linked with but not necessarily included in the BAS Institute of Economics. This distant future should be thought of. The institute’s relevance for different needs of scientific analysis of the Bulgarian economy is indisputable; the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)

139

The context for the future development of the Institute under its dynamic and goaloriented management is positive, even though the institute is plagued by current problems just as other BAS institutes are: the age and qualification structure of the research staff, characterized by the insufficient proportion of young researchers and the disproportion between the researchers with first (PhD) and second habilitation (Doctorate of Economic Science) is problematic. Sources for funding of fundamental research (e.g. through NSF) are scarce and insufficient premises (in view of the number of researchers), the relative poverty of the library and the underequipped computer network are critical points. Yet, the context of the future development of the Institute is characterized by the acute and increasing need of studying the processes of further economic integration of Bulgaria in the transforming European and world economy. The Institute must enhance its collaborations with the best domestic and with a good range of leading international partners, expanding its activity in international networks it already participates in, and further integrating into the European Research Area. The success of the Institute in expanding its international reputation and maintaining its status as an acknowledged centre for analyses of domestic economic policy will depend on its ability with the help of BAS to attract young researchers and new research group leaders, and to control the compatibility between projects and their financing. The Institute’s management is determined to achieve these strategic goals; however, as it stands, the number of PhD awarded seems to low (two to six per annum for the reporting period) – though it is not very low by comparison. Many more PhD students receive supervision from researchers based at the institute but pursue their studies at universities. The positioning of the Institute vis-à-vis the universities has various dimensions: teaching, joint research projects, seminars, co-organising international and national conferences, joint publications. Involvement of researchers in teaching activities adds to the students’ training and gives the institute access to a pool of promising students who may choose an academic career. The Institute leadership is to ensure, however, that pedagogic activities of BAS researchers should not exceed a reasonable level of hours; they should be to the graduate level (doctoral and masters studies). Strategic decisions with regard to the recruitment of junior researchers have been taken that point in the right direction: an improvement of PhD training will be achieved with support from the European Cohesion Fund. The beneficiaries are 24 young researchers (19 PhD students and 5 young scientists). The program consists of over 20 concrete activities, including training modules, mobility, financing field studies, scholarships for the participants. Currently, there is little evidence of a real involvement of PhD students in institute-wide projects. On the other hand, the project presented during the site visit – a follow up project of long-term studies that involve researchers of different expertise - was presented by a young researcher, who had been recruited after completing her PhD at the Institute. The Institute actively develops post-doctorate specialization, including also foreign scholars. The Scientific Council has decided to seek to attract acknowledged researchers from other organizations by conferring them the status of “associated researcher”, which

140

this Panel considers an interesting decision in terms of opening up to external expertise. The context for the future development of the Institute under its dynamic and goaloriented management is positive, even though the institute is plagued by current problems as other BAS institutes (over-aged; under-equipped); prospects are “high” (“A”).

Overall strengths and weaknesses
Human capital is the main strength of the Institute. Weaknesses are mainly organizational. Strengths  scientific quality and national / international recognition of the researchers;  dynamic and goal-oriented management;  involvement in international networks; Weaknesses  poor infrastructure (rooms; library; computing equipment);  the institute does not seem to function as a proper intellectual meeting place fostering synergies of the different units (only two weekly seminars: PhD seminar and scientific seminars);  unsatisfactory presence of early career researchers in collaborative projects;  imbalance between applied and fundamental research.

Recommendations
The overall score on quality and productivity is “B”: the institute produces “work that is internationally visible… and has made valuable international contributions in the field”. There is clearly potential for increased international recognition, which is encouraged by the Institute management. The institute’s relevance for different needs of scientific analysis of the Bulgarian economy is indisputable; the overall score is “A” (“highly relevant”). The context for the future development of the Institute under its dynamic and goal-oriented management is positive, even though the institute is plagued by current problems as other BAS institutes (over-aged; under-equipped); prospects are “high” (“A”). In the framework of an activity where the scientific profile of the Institute is well defined, the Institute has still:  to focus more visibly on a small number of carefully defined and evolving scientific objectives, supported by transversal working groups;

141

 to improve the synergy and interaction of researchers inside the Institute by creating a more stimulating intellectual environment in situ, and across the BAS system, by encouraging pluri-disciplinary complementarity;  to create the conditions for international publications arising from the fundamental and applied research results, by actively supporting the upgrading of the best work to the level of international publications;  to increase its presence and its activity in international research networks. These recommendations should help the Institute in its efforts to achieve the goals fixed by its dynamic management.

142

803 Institute for Philosophical Research Introduction
This is one of the larger institute in the BAS system evaluated by this panel: total staff of the Institute (31.12.2008) numbers 77 people, 65 of which are research associates. In recent years, the Institute has been successful in increasing the number of PhD-level researchers and younger research fellows. The Institute states as its mission: “to produce philosophical and interdisciplinary knowledge in contribution to building knowledge and wisdom based society, and to become a part of the European research area and knowledge producing networks.” The main objectives reflect an international scope as well as a specific responsibility to the nation:  “to provide and sustain a high level of research activity in the domain of philosophical and interdisciplinary studies, based on comparativeness, international competitiveness and national dignity” and  “to do research keeping up with the current needs of Bulgarian social, economical and intellectual development following the European and worldwide trends of organization of scientific research.” This is reflected in its policy to be present on the international scientific scene with specific technical contributions and to contribute with its expertise to solutions for national societal questions (focus on “end users” of research products).

Evaluation summary
The Institute has a strong and energetic management which stands out among the research units visited. The SER is written in a forceful and dynamic tone expressing strong confidence in the potential and in the newly adapted policy of the institute; this tone was matched in attitudes of leadership and staff who were met during the site visits. In recent years it has reformulated its working patterns and has increased its visibility. It engages in technical sub-fields of philosophy (such as philosophy of science and formal logic) and approaches broader societal issues and problems that touch upon European integration and societal problems at large: its policy is to be present on the international scientific scene with specific technical contributions and, at the same time, to contribute with more applied research to solutions for national societal questions. This Panel would encourage the institute to persevere in the direction of the former. However, some caution is to be exercised with regard to the latter: the institute may be at risk of overestimating and overstretching its scientific capacities with its energetic push toward applied research, as it interferes with a great variety of domains and questions, including some where other BAS institutes are more competent. The enthusiasm and zeal behind its dynamic policy should be tempered by a clear sense of what is feasible and with a better sense of what can be achieved with suitable collaborations with expertise available within the BAS system.

143

Currently, in terms of overall international production the overall score for the institute in terms of quality and productivity is “B” (though it may improve soon for some specific subfields): “its work is becoming internationally visible; the institute has made some valuable international contributions in the field”. The enthusiasm and commitment with which the new policy is promoted still contrasts with the international score the institute can currently obtain on the basis of its output. In terms of relevance, policy and practice of the institute earn it an overall score of “A” (“highly relevant”). Given the energetic and goal-oriented leadership, prospects can be considered “high”, yielding an overall score on this point of “A”.

Evaluation report
Strategy The implementation of the Institute’s revised policy has been under way for a few years now, and results are beginning to show: the Institute can report an increase in the number and international scope of publications (in English and several other international languages). Also the quality of the publication output has improved; there has been some recognition of improvements in project management, and the evaluation system introduced under the new leadership seems to function well. Also “important threshold(s)” towards project financing from third sources outside of BAS have been passed. The institute participates in projects funded by FP6 and FP7 and the number of countries involved in research partnerships is also on the increase. The successful scheme for organizing research has even been extrapolated into an evaluation procedure with repercussions on the status (e.g. tenure) of the researcher. However, ultimate decisions in that respect are taken by the Scientific Council of the Institute based on secret voting by the members.

a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) Internationalization The at times grandiose goals and strategies at first evoke doubts whether they reflect a realistic appreciation of the institute’s means and possibilities. However, it cannot be denied that in some of its output, the institute has attained a respectable level of international visibility. Some departments of the institute participate in ongoing developments linked to technical developments in artificial intelligence and philosophy of science and contain the potential for first rank contributions (artificial intelligence; philosophy of science). Characteristically these are also departments making good use of the possibilities for interdisciplinary cooperation beyond the institute within BAS. At the fringes of the research interests of the institute – but in line with practice elsewhere in Europe - , staff members have been successful in gaining entry to

144

European consortia dealing with, broadly speaking, applied ethics at the science and society interface (new technologies; gender issues etc.). A few of them have been successful in applying for funds under FP6 and FP7. Overall, the number of countries involved in research partnerships is on the increase. A good percentage (c.20%) of the total of articles published in scientific journals has found outlets in journals abroad, though only a small fraction in journals recognised in international databases. Consequently, a further increase of the number of publications in international journals, wherever possible in journals with impact factors, has been included into the objectives for the institute as a whole, and into the individual evaluation system. Also, some of the books have been published abroad. Interestingly, the majority of the top-ten research products were also published abroad. The range of applied results is impressive, but it seems – not surprisingly, perhaps - that it is in theoretical work that a larger, though still relatively small, proportion of publications has been prepared in English and other international languages. Every researcher based at the institute is required to seek involvement in projects connected with bilateral international agreements of BAS. National level The Institute lists four research areas identified by the BAS Strategic Plan to which its researchers have made substantial contributions (some products clearly fall into more than one thematic area):  “economic development and social relations”: involvement of 30 researchers resulting in 26 monographs published by the institute and more than 200 papers;  “cultural and historical heritage and national identity”: 27 monographs and 213 papers;  “security”: 24 monographs and about 250 papers;  “knowledge and human potential”: 11 monographs for the period of 20062007 and about 100 papers for the period of 2007. Other studies by institute members also contribute to priority areas selected by BAS: a project such as “Dynamic ontologies in multiagent information and control systems” is highly pertinent to the priority area of “Informational and communicational technologies”. With the Institute for Informational Technologies in the lead, philosophers too have provided important contributions. Similar patterns apply for “Ethics in Bulgarian health care” and the area of “Biotechnologies and food.” The institute is aware of its responsibilities vis-à-vis Bulgarian society; it is trying to develop sufficient scientific expertise to help solving societal problems and preserving cultural integrity. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The institute has developed its own system for annual evaluation of research fellows, departments and new projects, one of the first complete system for evaluation of the research process across the entire Academy. It looks as if that the comprehensive tracking of production and activities according to a transparent

145

numeric points systems has been working successfully during the last four years and is improving measurable performance. However, the panel is somewhat puzzled by some interpretations of the science of science and of bibliometrics as tools to guarantee optimal performance; with these quantitative measures, the management runs the risk of giving quantity precedence over quality. Instead, an international scientific advisory council, meeting annually with the Institute research staff might be better placed to identify and encourage important new discoveries. Projects The institute actively encourages scientists to operate in projects involving teams, if possible from across the different departments. Many collaborative projects have also won sponsorship by the Bulgarian National Science Fund; topics of such projects are determined by the funders’ thematic calls (which, in turn, often mirror EU priorities). The same principle applies to projects conducted under the Academy’s bilateral and multilateral co-operation. At the national level the institute’s experts are involved in projects for governmental agencies such as the National Security Agency and National Intelligence Service (with a project on “Threats of Islamic Fundamentalism and Terrorism in Bulgaria”) or for the Prime-Minister and the Minister of Education and Science (with a project on “Evaluation in Science”). Solicited expert advisory texts of this kind amount to substantial number (100 to 200) of reports each year. The enumeration of the five most significant theoretical and applied results illustrates the orientation and scope of other such projects:  “Catching-up development: ideas and practices”, including subjects as “Catching-up development in the globalized information society” (publ.: 2007);  “Epistemic Standards in Science” (2004-2007); published in: “Epistemic Standards in Science” (in Bulgarian)  “Social risk, values and ethics”, with publications in 2005 and 2008 (in Bulgarian);  “The Balkan matrix: social and cultural archetypes and modern projections”  (2005-2007), financed by the Bulgarian NSF, and project: “Six decades of Academic philosophy” (2008), yielding two books published in 2008 (in Bulgarian);  „Philosophy of Security in an Insecure World” (2008); International Varna Philosophical School, sponsored by the scientific programs of NATO, 1-4 June 2008. All these projects (with the exception, it seems, of the last) have resulted in publications which, however, circulate mainly in Bulgaria; often the books are published by the Institute or at the expense of the researchers. Among the applied projects, one has yielded the published conference report “Evaluation in Science”, Academic Publishing House Prof. Marin Drinov, Sofia 2007,

146

which gives insights into the complex mechanisms involved in scientific evaluation of individuals and teams, taking into account research and educational activities alike. Complementarities exist, even where they are not dwelled upon at large: the Academy’s “Centre for Science Studies and History of Science” (CSSHS) works on related areas in a complementary way (focus on bibliometrics and scientometrics), while the Institute also addresses philosophical and ethical aspects. Collaborative arrangements seem to function well in projects involving more than one branch of the academy. In the cooperation with CSSHS, the institute’s department “Philosophy of Science” seems to have taken the lead - and appropriately so – by organising three national conferences: “Scientific Popularization” (2005), “Evaluation in Science” (2006), and “Directions of Differentiation and Integration of Scientific Knowledge” (2008). Another example are the cooperative projects together with AI/computer science specialists working in other BAS institutes, as well as universities, which have also led to international collaborations and exchanges (e.g. with Italy or Japan). Publications In terms of the overall academic achievements, a significant increase in total publication numbers during the period 2004-2008 could be noted (2004: 300, 2005: 318, 2006: 317, 2007: 370, 2008: 379). The same tendency is to be seen in the number of participations in scientific events (from 185 in 2004 to 280 in 2008). The institute claims that the total number of publications of the institute’s researchers is 40% of the total of publications in the group of social sciences (seven institutions) and hence significantly greater than the average number of publications of each of these separately. Until recently, the bulk of publications has remained in the language of the country; publications in English have appeared in items either not traced by citation indexes or too recent to show up in such indexes. The impact of a new international philosophical journal “Balkan Journal of Philosophy” published in English, remains to be seen. As to books and collections, the policy aims at increasing publications abroad – the current situation is not satisfactory yet. It is positive that publications are uploaded onto the institute’s website (where copyright rules permit). As it stands, the enthusiasm with which the shift toward the new policy is announced still contrasts with the actual score the institute can currently obtain on the basis of its output. Teaching The increasing performance of research is mirrored apparently also in the institute’s participation in graduate education. Research staff members are responsible for substantial teaching loads at Bulgarian universities and are appreciated because they provide a link to active research. The institute would like to see its official involvement in awarding degrees expanded. For the period 2004-2008 the institute had 44 PhD students, 18 of whom successfully defended their thesis and obtained their degree. The success rate of the

147

institute is above the average of the other Academy institutes and the universities: 75% of the candidates obtained their degree (compared to 20% as the universities’ average). Part of this success is ascribed to the international orientation of the program which includes participation in the European Erasmus program offering students opportunities for extended international experience at foreign universities. On the other hand, there is apparently no official cooperation with universities in leading PhD students towards completion of their work. In terms of overall international production the overall score for the institute in terms of quality and productivity is currently “B” (though it may improve soon for some specific subfields): “its work is becoming internationally visible; the institute has made some valuable international contributions in the field”. The enthusiasm and commitment with which the new policy is promoted still contrasts with the international score the institute can currently obtain on the basis of its output.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The research policies of institutes are subordinated to the approved priorities of BAS. The institute concentrates on four out of the 15 high priority research areas defined by the General Assembly: economical development and social relations; cultural and historical heritage and national identity; security and knowledge; and human potential – all areas of significant relevance for society. For an institute of philosophical research this requires, inevitably, a careful calibration of efforts. Among the advice provided to government institutions and ministries (all the way up to the presidency of the Republic) this panel observed that the following examples seem to fall into this category: an investigation “Threats of Islamic Fundamentalism and Terrorism in Bulgaria” submitted to the authorities of the National Security Agency and National Intelligence Service in Bulgaria; an investigation “Evaluation in Science” – submitted to the Prime-Minister of Bulgaria and the Minister of Education and Science; an investigation “Morality and Socialization of Children and Young People in Bulgaria” – submitted to the viceminister of education and science responsible for primary and secondary education; an investigation “Bulgarian culture between State and Morality” – funded by the Min. of Culture and used for elaboration of a National strategy for development of Bulgarian culture. This relationship with governmental institutions is part of Institute’s strategy for development. Some of these investigations aimed at the domestic political decision-making process have repercussions in the media: the institute had responded with scientific advice to the question “Will the Bulgarian Nation Survive in the XXI Century?” (submitted to the Bulgarian VP). Subsequently, a conversation between vicepresident Angel Marin and the institute director devoted to this investigation was published in the Bulgarian edition of “Le Monde Diplomatique”. The Institute reports links and cooperation with some not-for-profit organizations in Bulgaria, such as the Bulgarian ontological society, Bulgarian centre for process studies, the organization of university lecturers in Bulgaria, and civil-society

148

organisations, as the Board of Ecclesiastical Matters to the Ministry Council, High Institute for Islamic Studies, etc. There is no doubt about the commitment of the current leadership to a new policy of the Institute which wishes to see its expertise engage with broader societal issues and problems that touch upon European integration and societal problems. This panel was impressed with the dynamism of activities in this area, reflected by significant output also in outreach and popular science. However, the panel recommends to proceed with caution: with its engagement with broader societal issues, the Institute risks overstretching its scientific expertise and interfering with a great variety of domains beyond its reach, including some where other BAS institutes may be more competent. The zeal displayed by the leadership should be matched by a better use of suitable collaborations within the BAS system. In terms of relevance, policy and practice of the institute earn it an overall score of “A” (“highly relevant”).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Institute is aware of the requirements for the bold strategy that it has developed. Its long term strategic aim is described as “the transformation into a centre for intellectual activity attracting to its work and its forums scientists and scholars of all other disciplines, both from the institutes of the Academy and from the universities, as well as representatives of art, culture and various governmental and nongovernmental organizations.” Despite the welcome ambition and vision displayed in such and similar statements throughout the documentation provided, there is still a significant distance between the current quality level of production and the envisaged achievements. Commitment and dedication may go a long way, and the evaluation system put in place seems to be pointing researchers in the right direction – clearly a turning point has been passed – but it is now necessary to focus as much on quality as they had been encouraging increased quantity of output. This might require selective growth and intensification of research in areas in which specific assets are maximally exploited so that the potential for internationally recognised visibility is solidified; it would be detrimental for the scientific reputation of the institute were they driven by an obligation to follow through on every trend in societal debates. The Panel appreciates the efforts and encouragements in internationalisation: during the coming five years, every researcher is asked to be involved at least in one project at national level and one project at international level, financed by sources different from governmental subsidy. Regional, collaborative projects and networking with all Balkan countries are encouraged (a sign of a correct and not unrealistic ambition, appreciating a possible, relative leadership role in the region). In terms of training, the institute is trying to make good and early use of the integration of BAS into the Erasmus scheme: preliminary agreements have been reached with three European universities for training of PhD students according to 149

the Erasmus program (The Catholic University of Leuven and University of Liège, both Belgium, and Open University, UK). These agreements will be valid for four years starting in 2009. The institute is aware that it needs to improve its age distribution in favour of early and mid-career researchers. It has been able to show that it is promoting successful PhDs as junior group leaders, also in international collaborations.

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths  strong leadership with clear sense of implementation and need for active encouragement;  good involvement and visibility in societally relevant projects (and commissioned research);  improving representation in international research (in fields removed from direct societal relevance); Weaknesses  risk of overstretching expertise available (instead of systematically building good collaborations also inside BAS), notably in societally relevant projects;  training (in cooperation with universities) as yet not as well coordinated as possible;  the current enthusiasm and dynamism emanates from the current leadership; whether it is sustainable under future leaderships is doubtful;  no independent assessment of intellectual assets (explicit subordination under BAS and other priorities).

Recommendations
Currently, in terms of overall international production the overall score for the institute in terms of quality and productivity is “B” (though it may improve soon for some specific subfields): “its work is becoming internationally visible; the institute has made some valuable international contributions in the field”. The enthusiasm and commitment with which the new policy is promoted and implemented contrasts with the international score the institute can currently obtain on the basis of its output. In terms of relevance, policy and practice of the institute earn it an overall score of “A” (“highly relevant”). Given the energetic and goal-oriented leadership, prospects can be considered “high”, yielding an overall score on this point of “A”.  the Institute’s policy of measuring researcher performance through a scheme for control and collaboration patterns comprises numerous prescriptive elements, and may therefore hamper the emergence of the Institute’s intellectual assets; it must be applied very carefully;

150

 the Institute should develop a more subtle reward system that would allow the most promising researchers with international potential to advance faster;  in order to identify individual excellence and originality and to encourage important new discoveries, an international scientific advisory council might be better placed than the quantitative, production-oriented measures currently used;  the Institute should abandon the (implicit and occasionally even explicit) notion that capturing new trends in scientific research is more important than perseverance in a given specialty: the ambition to be able to respond to societal needs at short notice exacerbates the danger of falling prey to the task of a philosopher into that of a “scientific troubadour”;  the Institute should avoid overstretching its expertise and seek instead to exploit more actively meaningful coalitions of knowledge and expertise across the BAS system.

151

804 Institute of Psychology

Introduction
The Institute of Psychology was established in 1990. It grew out of the “Laboratory of Psychology” that originated in 1973 as part of a “United Centre of Philosophy and Sociology.” Via a transformation into a “Central Laboratory of Psychology” in 1980, it ultimately obtained the 1990 status of institute. It is composed of four departments:       Cognitive Psychology and Measurements, Personality and Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Work, Organizational and Applied Psychology. In addition, and on the same level as the departments, there is also the Laboratory of Psychophysiology and Neuropsychology.

With a scientific staff of 26 researchers and 5 staff members in an administrative and supportive role (librarian), this is one of the smaller institutes. The department of psychophysiology and neurophysiology has a physician as its director, who is also the Institute director. The department of cognitive psychology has an engineer as head, who is deputy-director of the Institute. From the December 2008 break-down of the personnel by age groups we can infer that from the 31 members 15 are below the age of 50 and 16 are above 50.

Evaluation summary
The Institute of Psychology attempts to keep track of international developments in the field of psychology by participating in the research in some subfields and by informing the Bulgarian psychology community at large on the developments in several more subfields. There can be no doubt that it has national visibility and that it is trying to fulfil its national responsibility by increasing participation in the international community of scientists within this field. The complaint is that success is impeded by the spasmodic character of this growth. While the Academy is apparently very important for some specialists as base for doing the main work for obtaining their degree, the Institute finds it difficult to recruit the number of successful PhD’s necessary to replenish its regular staff. Institute members suggested that success in terms of raising a young researcher to an international level is hampered by the restricted possibilities to keep her or him as a research staff member. A combination of growth and a higher flow through rate of PhD-level researchers could increase the scientific metabolism of the institute.

152

The institute seems to find itself at a particularly problematic stage of its transition. Currently, quality and productivity of the institute’s work merit overall no more than a “C”: “work at the institute is solid and is nationally visible”. This is despite pockets of somewhat better quality of research in some subfields such as neurophysiology, where, however, international visibility is poor. In terms of relevance, the work of the institute as a whole achieves an overall score of “B”, or “moderately relevant”. This is despite efforts of some researchers to study important problems relevant to Bulgarian society. Prospects are difficult to judge, but extrapolations from the current performance, the absence of clear plans for the future, and the obvious tensions between staff and leadership do not hold out many promises; the overall score is “C” (“low prospects”).

Evaluation report
The SER is rich in detail, but the institute seems to have found it, in part, difficult to respond in a constructive manner to the additional questions that were raised by the report and its discussion.

a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) Strategy The institute defines its mission (and goal) unambiguously as “to be the leading centre in scientific psychology”, but this seems to refer exclusively to the domestic environment. Positioning in international science is not explicitly listed. The five listed goals are:  fundamental and applied research;  the applied research with the development of “psychological instruments and technologies for optimization of social and occupational environment, enhancement of personal creative potentials; implementation of applied and consulting programs”;  the training of PhD students;  the development of programs for educating psychologists at leading Bulgarian universities;  dissemination of new knowledge within the psychological community of Bulgaria. In principle, a focus on fundamental and applied research and training of PhD students the core of a participation program in psychology at the international level could be constituted. However, clearly national preoccupations still claim priority over and restrict the possibilities of internationalization. Neither theoretical, nor laboratory findings are listed among the top scientific achievements reported, although there are a few such topics of research listed in the

153

extensive enumeration of the institute’s publications. The focus is on questions for helping people (e.g.: a concern with developing insights and methods for understanding and controlling aggressiveness). The Panel had given the Institute an additional possibility of highlighting the equal presence of basic and applied research; this opportunity did, apparently, not appeal to this Institute: the list of the five most important applied results and realizations does not appear surprisingly different from the “theoretical” ones although here the interest in specific applicable achievement scales or measuring instruments is more clearly present. There are, however, other obstacles to a more innovative combination of basic and applied research: theoretical cognitive psychology, for example, should be a important discipline within a “knowledge-based society” and even the return for specific national objectives could probably be made higher through a stronger theoretical position in that field. The question arises whether currently the available means are sufficient for fulfiling this demanding task. For overall, the means for conducting research are very modest indeed. The library has a very limited segment of relevant literature, both in terms of books and journals. The equipment the panel could examine was adequate for the purposes for it was designed (EEG in cognitive tasks) and was used in experiments that could have led to international visibility had they been followed through. Overall, equipment especially for research in psychophysiology and neuropsychology was found not to be up to the latest standards. Researchers admit that for more advanced research they have to resort to equipment elsewhere (more recently also at universities where they teach). Internationalization The institute participates currently in a wide-scope interdisciplinary FP project on social integration within heterogeneous populations or supranational conglomerates. Its participating team is mainly responsible for gathering of empirical (national) data and theoretical analysis of a concept of “co-otherness”. While the overall perspective might seem primarily sociological, the institute considers its contribution as genuine social psychology. Several other projects indicate various participations, mostly from individual staff members, in international projects and publications. Nevertheless, these are specific agreements with external international entities, limited in number and restricted to a few specific initiatives (Romanian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences; medical faculty of Humboldt-University Berlin; Ohio State University U.S., University of Skopje, Macedonia; University of Nish, Serbia). Looking at the scientific projects between 2004-2008, 88% are purely domestic (national) and 12 % are international (with stricter criteria, only 4% can be called truly international). Several of the domestic projects deal with issues which are also internationally at the centre of interest (e.g. psycho-physiological studies on cognitive deficits in sleep disturbed breathing). Papers published in English in these areas in international journals have obtained international visibility: ten papers have been published in

154

journals “with impact factor”. In those rare pockets where genuine research at international level is reached, quality is indeed at an international competitive level. But the number of contributions of this kind is limited; most publications are in Bulgarian and seem to aim at “national significance” rather than at reaching international scope. Some of the publications in English (in particular the monographs) are published within Bulgaria by a Bulgarian publisher and have limited international distribution. The institute publishes its own bilingual journal, with three issues per year (“Psychological Studies”); the mere fact that the research is presented in English is not, however, a proxy for quality, as international quality control (peer review; advisory board) seems to be lacking. National level The priorities of the Institute are specifically connected to EU enlargement and the adaptation to the (new) market economy that this process entails for Bulgaria. The Institute claims to work towards providing methods and psychological instruments for “strengthening the capacity of civil society, national identity and Bulgarian heritage.” Preoccupation with national issues and concerns (and national visibility) is indeed manifest from the list of most important projects and the bulk of publications. This panel has some concerns about how external priorities (and related funding opportunities) are influencing the research agenda in such a way that psychological research proper – in line with the advancing state of knowledge and shifting horizons of research internationally – cannot be pursued. Among the 16 listed agreements for interdisciplinary collaboration with other Bulgarian institutes, roughly one third is with other governmental institutes (ministries, army, medical centres), one third with Bulgarian university institutes and one third with private or semi-private entities. Cooperation within the Academy does not seem to be fully exploited. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) Publications With respect to the overall output of the institute, a steady increase in publications can be observed. A total number of 385 citations is reported, but it is not made explicit on what basis this figure was arrived at. There is no national system for tracing citations. This suggests that such numbers of citations are of limited use for impact analysis. Although the departmental plans for the future indicate interest and familiarity with current international developments in the field, the overall impression remains that all departments keep mainly focused on questions and problem areas that touch upon daily life and that might allow to find solutions for improving the quality of life and the reduction of tension within Bulgarian society. Besides specific syndromes (such as Excessive Daytime Sleepiness), notions such as “social group aggressiveness”, “negative psychic states” recurring at several places in the report

155

indicate sensitivity for the frictions within a drastically changing society and the intention to develop instruments for smoothing the process. Domestic publications make some efforts in transmitting the institute’s research to a wider public; however, little trace of it is found in international contexts: also in Europe-wide consortia, the Bulgarian contribution is often that of providing additional (national) data only. Teaching Apparently, the Institute plays an important role in the formation of PhD’s in psychology. A number of staff members is highly involved in teaching and training (12 out of 31), giving lectures at six institutions. The total number of “academic hours” taught for the period of 2004-2008 is 4.224. In close-up, most staff members are involved at a rate of 150-200 hours per annum. In certain individual cases, however, this can expand to 510 hours a year, which is likely to make it very difficult indeed to fulfil the tasks required from a full-time research position. While a number of PhD students are doing their main research at the institute, some are extramural or independent. The institute has maintained some importance in the formation of PhDs, but the intricate relationship between the institute and universities, especially at this crucial level, is not entirely clear. Responses to questions about PhD student recruitment have been somewhat evasive. Comparisons between the various educational systems in various countries indicate that the transmission of top-level skills required for advanced scientific research occurs at the level of graduate studies along the patterns of a master-pupil relationship. Despite reassurances to the contrary in written and oral reports, this Panel is not convinced that the institute provides the best atmosphere for such delicate relationships to flourish.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
Both the SER and discussions during the site visits pointed to the problems and the opportunities of EU-partnership: the Institute is sensitive to its responsibility vis-àvis the needs of Bulgarian society in this transition phase. The institute believes it can contribute with its expertise to the development of specific products that would help the country advance towards a knowledge-based society. The site visits confirm the observation that the Institute’s commitment to live up to its national responsibilities is serious; however, such preoccupation with narrowly defined goals restricts the scope for participation in advanced research at an international level. The institute reports regular presence through outreach publications and in opinion columns in Bulgarian news media. Almost half of the staff members appear frequently on TV or in radio programmes. Knowledge dissemination has also occurred, albeit infrequently, through thematic round tables (two have been organized for the five-year period) and through schools for young scientists (two have been organized during the five-year period).

156

In terms of relevance, the work of the institute as a whole achieves an overall score of “B”, or “moderately relevant”. This is despite efforts of some researchers to study important problems relevant to Bulgarian society.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The dominant impression emerging from the SER is that of a hard working group operating in a framework where possibilities for meaningful participation in both the national and international research community are few. It is typical of this defensive position that the issue of mobility of researchers is rarely mentioned, neither at the level of established researchers nor at the level of PhD students. On the contrary, complaints are made that PhD’s trained at the Institute cannot be recruited subsequently. Yet, in terms of exposure to scientific novelty, a high turnover rate and flow-through of researchers could be welcomed as a positive indicator of participation in the wider network of national and international research entities. Reference is typically made to the national context, where a position at an Academy institute in the capital is a precious asset; the notion that such an institute could become a port of call also for international scholars from elsewhere is not even considered. If the institute can increase its participation in international projects and exchange programs, a healthier flow-through of researchers of international status might ultimately be achieved. There is some hope that in due time with natural rectification of the current unfavourable age distribution more new talent can be recruited; there is however a real challenge in terms of advanced mid-career researchers being poorly prepared for leadership positions. Prospects are difficult to judge, but extrapolations from the current performance, the absence of clear plans for the future, and the obvious tensions between staff and leadership do not hold out many promises; the overall score is “C” (“low prospects”).

Overall strengths and weaknesses
Strengths  Some good expertise and committed early career scholars;  Some pockets of internationally visible research (neurophysiology);  Potential for collaboration with other BAS institutes;  Identification of societally relevant themes. Weaknesses  Problematic age distribution among researchers;  Tangible faultlines within the Institute among leadership and some research staff;  Focus on nationally relevant themes (losing the focus of cutting-edge research in psychology) and lack of international networks;  Insufficient infrastructure (library; laboratories; IT).

157

Recommendations
The Institute finds itself at a particularly problematic stage of its history. Currently, quality and productivity of the institute’s work justify an overall score of “C”: “work at the institute is solid and is nationally visible”. This is despite instances of somewhat better quality of research in some subfields such as neurophysiology, where, however, international visibility is poor. In terms of relevance, the work of the institute as a whole achieves an overall score of “B” (“moderate”). This is despite efforts of some researchers to study important problems relevant to Bulgarian society. Prospects are difficult to judge, but extrapolations from the current performance, the absence of clear plans for the future, and the obvious tensions between staff and leadership do not hold out many promises and reduce the overall score to “C” (“low”). Against this background, the following recommendations are predicated on the assumption that a properly performing research unit at Academy level needs to be more than an institute responding to and, if successful, satisfying societal needs through sometimes commissioned, sometimes self-initiated research. It needs to be active also in international networks of at the forefront of scientific knowledge production.  The institute needs to consolidate and to intensify research in those areas in which international visibility has been reached (e.g. sleep disorder research); it also needs to identify (in the process of rejuvenating research staff) and seek extra support for attaining a comparable level in other areas for which such specialisation seems within reach; an international scientific advisory council might be helpful for this process;  The Institute needs to salvage and make use of the data gathered (and methodologies acquired) for the kind of international collaborative projects within which equipment for psychological experiments was designed, and complete the research initiated and then abandoned (due to fluctuation of foreign staff); the equipment should be updated and linked up with the most powerful computer equipment to which the Institute can be given access. This might open up possibilities for participation in international work in experimental cognitive psychology for which the panel believes the institute has both the theoretical potential and the methodological expertise.  The institute must develop a policy of establishing international exchange contacts with relevant partner institutes in order to create favourable conditions for the development and the realization of the potential of its young scientists; this drive to internationalisation must include senior staff, who should be encouraged to seek visiting scientist status for more extended periods of time to update their knowledge and familiarity with international science. Support for attending conferences alone is not sufficient.  In order to reduce the risk for continued brain-drain, the institute and academy leadership should specifically identify such international collaboration and mobility programmes, that provide support for extended periods abroad, while including specific rules for an obliged return to the 158

home institution for a specified period after the stay abroad (e.g.: the American Fulbright scholarships and other international exchange programs).

159

805 Institute for Legal Studies Introduction
The ILS is, in the remit of Panel Four, a medium-size research unit with 37 staff members, including 26 research fellows. It is divided into four sections:     public law, civil law, international law penal law.

During the last couple of years the Institute has been undergoing important structural changes. Due to various factors - retirement, promotions to constitutional court and Supreme Court, etc. – many former (senior) staff members have left. Apparently, it was not easy, initially, to attract new researchers, a difficulty the Institute managed to overcome: it is evident by now that new generation of young academics is replacing the „old guard”. While the Institute’s research covers important areas of law, other equally important branches of law are missing, such as: theory of law, competition law, labour law and history of law. Also new emerging fields of jurisprudence like European law and international human rights law are not yet adequately covered. The institute is developing international cooperation, which is however, as yet, rather limited, even though some individual scholars based at the institute have gained international recognition. Staff members have played an important role during the process of harmonization of the Bulgarian legal system with the requirement of EU law, but there are comparatively few research projects dealing with fundamental legal problems. Staff members actively support governmental bodies – legislative, executive and judicial as experts and advisors. The Institute runs successful PhD seminars and organises regular open lectures. It is developing an exchange of scholars. The Institute has a unique mission within the Academy, namely to deal with legal research; therefore, its activity does not overlap with the mandate of any other Academy structure.

Evaluation Summary
The Institute has managed to adapt its activities to very serious challenges facing the legal system of the country due to the accession of Bulgaria to EU. Analyses and expert reports prepared by scholars based at the institute have often served as important tools to facilitate necessary legislative reforms. Yet, so far the institute has not managed to perform a role as initiator and executor of serious studies in the area of law, like for example commentaries to codes or basic law. Also presentations 160

of international treaties, in particular human rights treaties, are not adequately covered. The quantity of publications and other documents prepared by the ILS staff is impressive. However, collaboration with other research units within the Academy, as well as with universities, is limited. ILS cooperates with Sofia and Plovdiv universities as far as teaching and training activities are concerned. However, the ILS has not managed to play a role of facilitator of interuniversity research collaboration. Interdisciplinary research projects run by the ILS – combining lawyers, sociologist, and political scientist are practically non-existent. On the other hand the ILS participate in multidisciplinary projects run by the Institute of Economics and the Centre of Demographic Research. The ILS runs a successful PhD seminar and its staff is performing many important expert tasks and advisory activities. At the international level some staff members are very well known. The ILS as such participates in international cooperation at rather limited level. The Institute management has a proper vision of its future and seems to be aware of its current shortcomings. Based on the - very well prepared - self-evaluation report, anwers to presented questions and discussions during the site visit an overall score on quality and productivity of “B” seems to be adequate: given the specificity of research in the field of legal studies, the Panel noted that “the institute has produced some work that is internationally visible; some researchers at the institute have made valuable international contributions in the field”. The ILS performs an important role within the academic legal studies community in Bulgaria. some leading scholars in their respective fields are staff members. Nevertheless, the Institute has not yet achieved the recognition it should hold at the national level since it is the only research unit in that field. In terms of relevance its overall score is “moderately relevant” (“B”), though evidence indicates this may change for the better. The Institute is undergoing a successful change of generations; international cooperation – as yet embryonic – is growing; the management is competent and entrepreneurial. Much will depend on improving institutional cooperation with universities and successful bids for third party funding. Overall, prospects can be described as “moderate” (“B”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) The research activities of the Institute concentrate on legal studies mainly applied to the current challenging socio-political context, aiming at the harmonisation of Bulgarian law with EU requirements. Researchers have published several books and articles in that area which are of very good quality. Those studies cover important

161

fields of law – criminal law, family law, administrative law, environmental law, and commercial law. However some areas of law are missing – civil law, competitions law, labour law, social security law, as well as, to a large extent, human rights law, with the exception of migration law and legal regulations of citizenship. Overall absent elements include studies dealing with general theory of law and history of law; constitutional law and newly emerging European law are also not adequately covered. Generally speaking the Institute’s research activities concentrate on applied studies. There are not many projects dealing with serious fundamental legal problems. Not surprisingly then, the overwhelming majority of scientific publications is directed at a domestic audience, whether articles in journals and collections, books or outreach material. The output in total numbers may be considered rather high, and the Panel was pleased to notice that books and articles published abroad were of very high quality. The Institute has cultivated, over time, some very valuable contacts with leading European research centres in the field: traditionally, these have been the MaxPlanck-Institutes in Munich and Freiburg and the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies in London. In the period 2004–2008 these institutes were visited by several research fellows (two visits to the institute in London planned for 2009). More recently, the Institute has also started networking within the COST framework (COST Action “International Law in Domestic Courts”). There has also been some participation in consortia under FP6 (see below under section 2) and FP7 (so far unsuccessful); overall, however, the Institute still has some way in order to go to become “a desired partner for similar structures in the EU for research activity at EU level”. The general quality of activities is rather high, but its scope is definitely not yet adequate for a nationally leading institute. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) An appropriate assessment of past productivity as a basis for projections into the future is difficult: in the period of 2004–2008, the Institute reports that it did not have the infrastructure (trained staff and computers) to support in a systematic way a project based work. However, some statements can be made on the basis of the data provided. The Institute has 37 staff members, out of whom 27 are research fellows. It is worth mentioning that around one third of the research staff is under the age of 35 – this is a rather positive sign, especially if compared to the otherwise even more problematic age distribution of researchers at institutes in the remit of this panel. The institute has been quite successful in promoting the academic careers of its staff; it emerged from the site visit that the working environment of the institute is seen as stimulating and providing a welcome and necessary intellectual opening

162

especially for those research staff who, for obvious economic reasons, must pursue, in parallel, a career in the private sector. During the period under review staff members of the ILS have published 169 articles in scholarly journals; out of that number, 19 articles were published abroad. 122 articles were published in collections of different kind, 21 of which appeared abroad. Of the 40 books produced by members of staff in the reporting period, three were published abroad. Additionally numerous textbooks and other papers were authored. That output can be considered fairly high. Of course, in total number as well as in percentages the number of articles and books published abroad is rather limited, but in the context of the transition process, which the legal system of the country is undergoing, this appears to be fully justified: reaching the domestic audience is of paramount importance in terms of introducing the relevant expertise into debates in political and other social arenas in Bulgaria. The Panel noticed that the books and articles published abroad were of very high quality. The Institute deliberately refrained from tracing articles through the citation databases as being not applicable to the work of scholars based at the Institute; coherently, the Institute presented as their major research achievements 10 books, but no articles. The Institute publishes the well-known legal journal “Pravna missal” (“Legal Thought”; quarterly). Authors are well‐established scholars as well as young research fellows and doctoral students. All articles presented for publication are peer‐reviewed. In addition to scientific articles in all fields of law, the journal publishes also book reviews and presents the activities of the associations collaborating with the Institute (Bulgarian Association of International Law, the Bulgarian Association of Comparative Law, the Bulgarian Association of Criminology; see below under section 2). Since 2003, the Institute has been publishing the book series “Trudove na IPN” (“Academic works of the Institute for Legal Studies”). The series gives research fellows based at the Institute an opportunity to publish more substantial works (compared to the articles in the journal). Journal and book series are aimed chiefly at a Bulgarian audience. Recently, the Institute has been running two interdisciplinary projects, financed by the EU operational program „Development of Human Resources“. The project „Investing in People“ requires research and lecturing in legal fields such as constitutional, administrative, labour, criminal and civil law. The project „Enhancing the Capacity of Doctoral Students and Young Researchers in Law“ also includes four modules: theory of law; constituional and administrative law; criminal law; and civil and commercial law. These awards probably reflect an increasing acknowledgment of the central position of the Institute in Bulgaria. The Institute is engaged in doctoral education, and currently covers six sub-fields of legal studies. During the reporting period, three PhD-degrees were awarded per annum. This is a welcome development, as it may presage the completion of the Institute’s research portfolio.

163

An assessment of productivity and quality of work produced by a research institute in the field of legal studies should not be judged only by its scholarly publications and training activities alone. Equally important are expert reports, legal opinions, etc. that have fed directly into the legislative and judicial system of the country. In the period under evaluation, 274 such expert opinions were prepared which strikes this panel as being a fairly high number. Based on the - very well prepared – SER, answers to presented questions and discussions during the site visit an overall score on quality and productivity of “B” seems to be adequate: given the specificity of research in the field of legal studies, the Panel noted that “the institute has produced some work that is internationally visible; some researchers at the institute have made valuable international contributions in the field”.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Institute performs an important role within the academic legal community in Bulgaria. It is in a process of brushing aside a negative, politically charged reputation dating from times past and strives to achieve the position of being the leading academic institution in the field of legal sciences. The number of young scholars who are active in legal research is growing – against the odds of comparatively very low salaries. The Panel was impressed by the enthusiastic and imaginative policy of the new management of the Institute which is ready to unlock new interesting prospects. The combination of highly respected senior scholars – who have a good reputation and standing also at the international level – and younger researches is already producing the desired effects: the working atmosphere seems to be a lively one. Nevertheless the ILS has not yet achieved, at the national level, the position and recognition that it should have given due that it is the only substantial academic research unit in that field. The Institute carries out applied research that supports the operation of the state, including the legislature, the Council of Ministers and its administration, the courts etc. During the period under evaluation, researchers based at the Institute provided, responding to demand and private contracts, comments on current legislation, proposals de lege ferenda, expert opinions. Collaboration agreements were signed in 2007 with the National Ombudsman, National Institute on Justice and the Commission for Protection against Discrimination. The Institute, together with the General Prosecutor’s Office, implements a project under EU operational program “Development of Human Resources” entitled: “The Prosecution – Competent and Effective”. The project objective is to enhance the capacity of the prosecutors and administrative staff in the Prosecutor’s Office as well as to develop a policy for administration of human resources in the system of prosecution. The Institute has started organising round table discussions on burning legal issues (2008: draft Family code; 2009: on children’s rights and parents’ responsibilities and the legal dilemmas in Germany and Bulgaria). It collaborates with and hosts activities of some associations of legal scholars (Bulgarian Association on

164

Comparative Law; Bulgarian Association on International Law; Bulgarian Association on Criminology). The Institute performs an important role within the academic legal studies community in Bulgaria. Some leading scholars in the field, who also have an international reputation, are staff members; important expert work is carried out for the government; some outreach activities are being developed. Nevertheless, the institute has not yet achieved at the national level the recognition it should hold given that it is the only dedicated research unit in that field. In terms of relevance its overall score is “moderately relevant” (“B”), though evidence indicates this may change for the better soon.

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Institute is transforming itself into a dynamic, modern research unit. It is undergoing a successful turn-over of generations. International cooperation – not very intensive at that stage – is growing. The continued and increasing exchange of scholars will certainly produce positive effects. The growing number of successful PhD students gives cause for optimism and the institute is seeking accreditation for two new legal disciplines ‐ sociology of law and international private law (in addition to the six existing disciplines). It works to increase the share of the full‐time PhD students and to attract more foreign students. The lack of institutional collaboration with universities is a problem and it is not fully compensated for by the fact that some staff members as individuals are also teaching at law faculties. The library is in urgent need of support for modernisation (in terms of functioning [staff] and in terms of contents [books; journals; online resources]). The success of the Institute will depend on its ability to be more successful in finding extra-budgetary financial resources. The management is very dynamic and has a vision for the development of the Institute. For the next five years, the Institute has set itself the goal of becoming “a leading think‐tank in Bulgaria”. Some thematic priorities have been identified (though it is not entirely clear how this work-plan will be implemented): 1) better protection of citizens (e.g.: inheritance laws); 2) increase legal certainty in family, commercial and civil law; 3) access to Justice (incl.: enhance access to justice in EU through the use of information technology); 4) fight against organised crime (incl.: study of links between counter‐terrorism policies and their impact on fundamental human rights); 5) the external dimension of the European area of justice. In terms of staffing the generational hand-over is under way; for the next years a further three fte for early career researchers are expected, a further three should be created by turning administrative into research positions. Given the rapid change in the way the HE system is operating in Bulgaria, the Institute realises that better relations with universities are relevant: it plans to institutionalise individual contacts through collaboration agreements, common multidisciplinary projects and PhD training. 165

The institute is undergoing a successful change of generations; international cooperation – as yet embryonic – is growing; the management is competent and entrepreneurial. Much will depend on improving institutional cooperation with universities and successful bids for third party funding. Overall, prospects can be described as “moderate” (“B”).

Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths  emerging good balance between young researches and leading senior scholars;  management and vision for the Institute;  improving / restoring connections to relevant bodies in the national judicial and legislative bodies;  determination to continue and further develop international cooperation;  entrepreneurial search for external (alternative) financial resources and good partners for successful application. Weaknesses  framework conditions (salaries, infrastructure) as yet too weak for serious fundamental research;  underdeveloped cooperation with other institutes within the Academy and with law faculties at the universities;  incomplete portfolio of research activities (due to current focus on appliable research);  library in need of modernisation.

Recommendations
The overall score on quality and productivity is “B”; given the specificity of research in the field of legal studies, the Panel has observed that “the institute has produced some work that is internationally visible; some researchers at the institute have made valuable international contributions in the field”. Even though the institute performs an important role within the academic legal studies community in Bulgaria, it has not yet achieved the recognition it should hold given that it is the only research unit in that field. In terms of relevance its overall score is currently “moderately relevant” (“B”), though evidence indicates this may change for the better. Similarly, with its change of generations, improving international and domestic inter-institutional cooperation, and its competent and entrepreneurial management prospects can be described as “moderate” (“B”). Much will depend on improving institutional cooperation with universities and successful bids for third party funding.

166

Against this background, the following recommendations can be formulated:  Intensification of international cooperation (notably: become a recognised and pro-active regional leader in the area of harmonization of national legislations with the EU law (e.g. Western Balkans).  Develop interdisciplinary studies and fundamental legal research (renewal of staff profile should involve hiring scholars with background in philosophy and sociology);  Develop full portfolio (European law, human rights law, theory of law)  Develop post-graduates studies for practising lawyers. The Institute has a unique mission within the Academy to deal with legal research; its activity does not overlap with the mandate of any other structure. However, while implementing some the above mentioned projects cooperation with other BAS institutes (psychology, sociology) would be desirable. In order to be a leading research institution in the field of legal sciences in Bulgaria the ILS should be able to initiate basic research on a new legal system in the country, which will lead to publishing modern commentaries to constitution, basic codes and EU law.

167

806 The Centre for Population Studies Introduction
This relatively small and young (in terms of duration of its existence) research unit was created in 2002 as successor to the former BAS Institute of Demography; among the reasons mentioned for the restructuring were the urgency for closer attention to societal needs. Its mission is to study the demographic and social processes in population development, to disseminate the findings, to cooperate with institutions of the state in formulating population policies and to enlarge partnership with European researchers and research organisations. The Centre aims to upgrade the level of demographic studies in Bulgaria and to produce qualified specialists in the area of population demography by participation in university curricula. The Centre’s organizational structure has remained unchanged since 2004. It consists of three research units, a scientific support unit and the administration. The research units each deal with a certain set of demographic issues:  ageing, mortality and life potential;  fertility, reproductive behaviour and family;  economic and historical demography. The scientific support staff includes junior experts, the editorial board of the journal „Nasselenie“ (Population) and the library staff plus information services. The library’s stock involves 3.200 printed units (more than one half of them in foreign languages), 47 periodicals and 28 electronic media. The Centre now focuses much of its research on such applied fields, often through commissioned projects, and mostly without generating additional income. The Institute coordinates the unique computerized database on population ageing of the Bulgarian society used in its own research and sought for by other users. The Centre publishes the Bulgarian language journal „Nasselenie“ of which six double issues were published over the period 2004-2008. The Centre’s staff includes currently 23 persons of which 15 are research fellows and research associates, the remaining 8 are research support staff and administration. The three research units are each staffed with four to six researchers. Two thirds of the research fellows and research associates are older than 50 years. Since the beginning of 2008, when its former Director left, the Centre has been headed by a temporary Acting Director (formerly the Centre’s Scientific Secretary). The selection procedure of the Director has yet to be completed.

168

Evaluation Summary
The BAS Centre for Population Studies is a relatively small research unit, whose mission it is to study the demographic and social processes in population development and to disseminate the findings. This it is expected to do through cooperation with state instititions (formulating population policies) European research organisations. It aims to upgrade the level of demographic studies in Bulgaria and to produce qualified specialists in the area of population demography. The Centre is a unique unit and a leading centre for theoretical and applied demographic studies in Bulgaria. The relevance of the Centre’s research is easily understood when looking at the demographic development of Bulgarian society – its rapid ageing is one of the main issues studied by the Centre. The Centre coordinates a computerized database on the population ageing of Bulgarian society which it uses in its own research projects and is accessible to other users. The demand for its expertise and the policy relevance of a majority of its projects make the Centre an important unit of the BAS. The Centre has been productive, in terms of publication output, number of research projects and participation in educational activities. A high proportion of policyoriented projects characterises the Centre‘s research programme. There are signs that this is occurring to the detriment of theoretically oriented work. The Centre operates within a network of cooperative links with other BAS units, universities and other partners and is also linked to partners abroad, though there is much room for improvement in terms of international contacts and cooperation. The data provided on the structure and development of the Centre‘s scientific staff signalize unfavourable tendencies: failure to attract and stabilize young researchers, the resulting ageing of the Centre as well as the shrinking of its habilitated staff by departure of the retiring colleagues. The Centre has not been successful enough in attracting to its ranks the fresh PhDs whom it has helped to educate. The future of the Centre as an independent unit may well depend on the success in reversing this tendency: the age-profile must be rejuvenated, younger scientists must be attracted and their situation must be stabilized. Because of the scientific and policy relevance of the Centre’s research programme and its clearly defined field of research which does not overlap with that of other BAS units, a case can be made for the upgrading of the Centre to the Institute level and an increase of its staff: this would enhance the Centre’s capacity to cope with the so far insufficiently covered issues of population research should be considered.

169

The Centre’s focus on applied (and even commissioned) research has led to an insufficient presence of theoretically more ambitious projects in its research portfolio. Also, the Centre is not sufficiently visible in international research programmes. The overall score on quality and productivity is „B“: „some of the Centre’s work is internationally visible“, though most of it is directed towards domestic audiences. The Centre’s scientific and policy relevance for Bulgaria is beyond doubt. It is a unique research unit for population research. This warrants an overall score of „A“ („highly relevant“). In terms of prospects, the unfavourable age imbalance and the failure to attract and stabilize younger researchers pose serious risks to the institute’s sustainability as an independent unit. The weak integration into European research networks also gives cause for concern. Overall, prospects under current conditions can be considered only „moderate“ („B“). However, this panel argues that an upgrading of the Centre to Institute-level may be considered upon renewed evaluation of its four/five-year plan.

Evaluation Report
Strategy In May 2009, the Centre’s Scientific Council adopted new priority lines of CPS research for the period up to 2013:  study of changes in demographic behaviour in the context of the economic and demographic crisis: factors, consequences, impact mechanisms;  study the development of the family institution in the country: marriage destabilisation, new forms of cohabitation, partner relationships, reproductive and parental behaviour;  examine overcoming of the consequences of the ageing population, compensating for the part of the demographic burden through putting to use third age people potential;  uncover contemporary dimensions of national identity, ethnic and religious diversity and integration processes;  study the historical and demographic development of the Bulgarian lands, Bulgarian diaspora and migration policies of Bulgaria. This very ambitious work programme would be of great usefulness but requires more resources (both in terms of staff and funding) than are currently available. The Centre’s aim is to achieve the status of “National Institute of Population Studies”, functioning as national coordinator of socio-demographic research; this may be an ambition at odds with its role inside BAS. The Centre provided a very lucid and self-critical analysis of challenges to an implementation plan (referring, as requested, very concretely to the availability or accessibility of key infrastructures and key personnel).

a) Quality and Productivity
170

Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) The Centre conducts competent and valuable research on Bulgaria’s population - its development, structure and transformation. Its focus is in particular on research with policy relevance. The Centre publishes the findings – though the panel heard reports that some work commissioned by government agencies is specifically barred from publication in regular scientific media. A good percentage of the as yet comparatively few papers published abroad are published in journals included in relevant citation databases (two with impact factor). A sign of the growing recognition of the Centre is its participation in a prestigious FP project on population ageing (as an associate member, joining the project ERA-AGE in 2008 [FP6] and, since 2009, as a full consortium member of the project ERA-AGE2 [FP7]). Overall, the Centre’s research focuses on Bulgarian issues. Some important topics of population research – such as migration, population projections, depopulation have not been appropriately represented in the Centre’s research programme; this is mainly due to the insufficient staff capacity of this small unit, and perhaps due to the responsiveness to themes identified as requiring immediate attention by other agencies (government?). Also the proportion of theoretically more ambitious research projects in the field of population studies within the Centre’s programme needs to be increased, if only in order to remain cutting-edge in the domestic context and therefore an attractive partner for international cooperation. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The Centre has been a productive institution in several respects: the publication output within the period under evaluation includes 87 papers in scientific journals, of which about 12 are in foreign and international journals (mostly in English, some in French, Russian and Greek), and 82 papers published in congress and symposia proceedings, of which about 12% abroad. The list is completed by 21 books and book chapters, of which 5 published abroad (four in English, one in Greek). A further 16 items are listed as having been accepted for publication. The bulk of the Centre’s publications deals with contemporary, recent and future issues of population development in Bulgaria, much fewer publications with methodological and theoretical problems of demographic analyses; only a few titles were devoted to themes of historical demography and to more theoretical subjects. The Centre reports ca. 300 citations of the Centre’s publications; the validity of these statistics is somewhat dubious.

171

The Centre has been involved a remarkable number of research projects: altogether 41 projects were listed by the Centre for the five-year period under review. They all deal with the demographic situation and development in Bulgaria – some are more descriptive, others more analytical or prognostic. The projects were funded mainly by budget subsidies from the BAS, though some funds were also acquired from the National Science Fund, ministries, organizations and private institutions, and international organizations. Some additional support may also come with interacademic cooperation and the BAS cooperation with foreign scientific organizations. Most of this research is difficult to classify as either fundamental or applied – a distinction which, in the case of the population studies, has always been of limited value anyway. None of the projects transgressed the disciplinary boundary of population research, but many had implications for the neighbouring scientific disciplines as well as for the demographic, social, health and regional policies. Overall, there seems to be little or no research that deals with issues that are not directly concerned with Bulgaria. The Centre publishes the nationally relevant journal „Nasselenie“ (Population) and coordinates a computerized database on ageing of the Bulgarian population. The Centre has participated as associate member in the European FP ERA-AGE (and ERA-AGE 2) project, and has contributed, over the years, expertise to some EU projects whose partners were other BAS units, as well as to several projects carried out by foreign research institutions. The extensive pedagogical activities of the Centre’s staff is expressed in nearly 3.800 hours of lecturing, seminars and practicals in the institutions of higher learning. It has not become quite clear whether such activities were mainly individual arrangements of the Centre’s staff or if they were based on agreements between the Centre and the universities. Anyhow, the Centre has signed Framework Agreements for scientific collaboration with four Bulgarian universities which involve joint scientific events and applications (nationally and internationally), participation in the preparation of specialists (supervision of doctoral students and graduates, lectures and seminars, reviews of dissertations, theses, projects, monographs, articles submitted, etc.), conducting research schools and seminars for young scientists etc. This wide involvement – which under different arrangements also includes other institutions of higher learning - suggests that the Centre’s researchers are important actors in the process of educating new specialists in population studies. Postgraduate students trained by the Centre have been invited to become part of its research units. The Centre’s focus on applied (and even commissioned) research has led to an insufficient presence of theoretically more ambitious projects in its research portfolio. The Centre is not sufficiently visible in international research

172

programmes, partly for the same reason, i.e. its exclusive focus on issues Bulgarian. The overall score on quality and productivity (understood as reflecting its presence in international research) is „B“: „some of the Centre’s work is internationally visible“, though most of it is directed towards domestic audiences.

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Centre’s scientific as well as policy relevance is beyond all doubt. It is a unique research unit within the country for theoretical and applied population research and the only institution in Bulgaria which prepares doctoral students with such a strong focus on demography. The demand for its policy-relevant expertise, stimulated by the demographic development of Bulgarian society – rapid ageing - , makes the Centre‘s expertise an important asset. The number and diversity of policy-relevant projects, many carried out upon request from different authorities, testify to this demand as well to the Centre’s ability to meet it. The Centre cooperates with several other BAS research units (agreements exist with the Institutes of Economics, Sociology, Psychology), supplying them with demographic expertise. It cooperates with several Bulgarian universities in research (common research projects, joint scientific events) as well as in teaching. Agreements for scientific as well as pedagogical collaboration exist with four universities. In at least in one case – ageing – the Centre’s expertise is now part also of a FP project (ERA-AGE) which was chosen for presentation during the site visit. Agreement-based cooperation has been established with the National Centre for Health Information, further links exist with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP; especially its Demographic Policy and Equal Opportunities Department), the National Social Security Institute, and the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Demographic Problems at the Council of Ministers. For example, there is regular participation of the Centre‘s research staff in working groups at the MLSP elaborating strategies, concepts, national programmes on demographic development, gender equality, inclusion of Roma, etc. Despite the immense relevance of the core research topic for Bulgarian citizens, the Centre lists only very few of its titles as being directed to a general public. The Centre’s scientific and policy relevance for Bulgaria is beyond doubt. It is a unique research unit for population research, offering timely and urgently needed science advice and expertise to government and other institutions. This warrants an overall score of „A“ („highly relevant“).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
The Centre‘s work is of obvious scientific and policy relevance for Bulgaria. It is a unique research unit especially for applied population research; it has developed a very ambitious work programme, overall of great usefulness and requiring more resources (both in terms of staff and funding) than currently available. The Centre’s

173

aim is to achieve the status of “National Institute of Population Studies”, functioning as national coordinator of socio-demographic research. The Centre provided a very lucid and self-critical analysis of challenges to an implementation plan (referring, as requested, very concretely to the availability or accessibility of key infrastructures and infrastructures and key personnel). It becomes evident from a close examination of the status-quo, that under current conditions the unfavourable age imbalance and the failure to attract and stabilize younger researchers pose severe risks in terms of the institute’s sustainability as an independent unit: only five degrees were awarded in the five-year period under review. Two thirds of the research fellows and research associates are older than 50 years, only three are under the age of 31. The, so far, weak integration into European research networks gives also cause for concern, even though the publication record has an average visibility outside the country. Overall, under current conditions, prospects can be considered „moderate“ („B“). However, this panel believes that, in line with the Centre’s strategic objectives, a possible upgrade to Institute-level could be considered. Such an upgrade should strengthen work on the theoretical foundations of the applied and commissioned work, and not only increase available consultancy capacity. Mergers with other units are currently not recommended, as they might lead at best to some administrative savings, whereas under current circumstances no intellectual leadership can be expected elsewhere. A review of progress under the four/five-year plan would be the first step in this direction.

Overall Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths:  unique position of the Centre within Bulgaria for scientific demographic research;  scientific competence expressed inter alia by the publications and participation in FP project;  demand for the Centre’s expertise and its ability to provide competent scientific analyses of important policy related issues;  good network with other BAS research units, universities and state institutions;  concrete and ambitious plans for the future (incl. good ideas on implementation).

174

Weaknesses:  size of the Centre (number of scientific staff) only slightly above the threshold for critical mass, which makes the Centre vulnerable to any further unexpected changes in its staff (sudden departure of scientists, indisposition of some of the senior staff, an interpersonal conflict);  unfavourable age distribution and failure to attract and stabilize young researchers;  protracted uncertainty about leadership (interim since early 2008) which must be resolved as soon as possible;  prevalence of the Centre’s policy-oriented activities distract from paying attention to themes that go beyond the immediate issues of the Bulgarian stage (even though some of the Centre’s publications did cover this wider horizon);  some important topics of population research – such as migration, population projections, depopulation, have not been appropriately represented in the Centre’s research programme (mainly due to the insufficient capacity of this small unit);  the Centre is still insufficiently visible in the international research arena (though the situation seems to be slowly improving).

Recommendations
This Panel found that the Centre’s very successful focusing on applied (and even commissioned) research has led to an insufficient presence of theoretically more ambitious projects in its research portfolio. Also, the Centre is not sufficiently visible in international research. The overall score on quality and productivity is „B“: „some of the Centre’s work is internationally visible“, though most of it is directed towards domestic audiences. The Centre’s scientific and policy relevance for Bulgaria is beyond doubt. It is a unique research unit for population research. This warrants an overall score of „A“ („highly relevant“). In terms of prospects, the unfavourable age imbalance and the difficulties to attract and stabilize younger researchers poses risks in terms of the institute’s sustainability as an independent unit. The weak integration into European research networks gives also cause for concern. Overall, prospects can be considered „moderate“ („B“). Even though this panel recommends that a possible upgrade to Institute-level be considered, the following recommendations deal with the issues based on the status quo.  the protracted provisional state of the Centre’s leadership must be terminated; the selection of the Centre’s new Director should be completed as soon as possible;  steps must be taken to rejuvenate the staff of the Centre and to stabilise the situation of younger scientists. Eventually, the number of research staff should be increased so as to match demand for the Centre’s

175

expertise and research secure adequate coverage of currently underrepresented research topics;  the Centre – while pursuing the successful strategy of positioning itself centrally as provider of demographic expertise for Bulgaria – should include more complex and theoretically more ambitious research projects in the field of population studies into its research portfolio;  fields such as migration studies, population projections and scenarios, depopulation should be given a more important role in the Centre’s research programme;  special attention should be paid to the Centre‘s publication policy: all papers considered for publication in „Nasselenie“ should be submitted to peer reviews by external specialists; more of the Centre‘s best output should be published in world languages (preferably in English); English language abstracts and summaries should be made available in all Bulgarian language publications. An English language issue of „Nasselenie“ journal should be regularly published once every two years and foreign scientists should be invited to sit in the Editorial Board (at least of this issue). Support should be provided for submitting a larger proportion of the Centre’s best papers for publication in refereed international social science journals;  the participation of the Centre in European and other international research projects should be extended;  a good grasp of world languages, preferably of English, should become a qualification criterion for the Centre’s staff, including heads of the departments and the doctoral students, and it should be required from the Institute’s new members;  programmes offering short as well as long-term stays of the junior as well as senior researchers and doctoral students in foreign universities and research institutes should be monitored by the Institute and exploited as much as possible as part of the training offered;  the Centre should reconsider to what extent some of the goals mentioned in its plan for the future (answers to the question: where would the Centre like to be in five years) are compatible with the general orientation of the BAS. These include the intention „to become the centre for applied population studies“, to „acquire the status of National Institute of Population Studies“.

176

807 Centre for Science Studies and History of Science

Introduction
Established in 1968, “at the eve of emerging Science-Technique-Society field”, transformed in 1972 into an autonomous research unit, the Center for Science Studies and History of Science is, according to the self evaluation report, the only scientific unit of the Bulgarian Academy of Science in the field of science and technology studies which survived the restructuring of the national landscape after 1990. Actually, it continues a great tradition, celebrated by the important international conference “40 years of Science Studies in Bulgaria”. Its mission is to produce and to disseminate comprehensive knowledge on the state of the art, history, tendencies and perspectives of the Bulgarian science in the context of European and world-wide science developments. CSSHS is a small unit (20.5 fte permanent researchers, out of a total of 26.5 employees at the end of 2008). The age and qualification structure has many of the same drawbacks as are apparent in several other BAS institutes, with the same slight tendency to increase the average age. The Panel noted with satisfaction that the number of researchers on permanent contracts increased during the period under review (three new staff, all with PhD obtained at the Centre) and that PhD students have begun to join the research staff of the Centre. The scientific staff is currently organized in three sections: 1. Science and innovation policy; 2. Scientific potential and scientometrics; 3. History (and philosophy) of science. Each of the sections has one PhD student formally associated with its research activity. The scientific objectives of the two first sections are obviously complementary: quantitative measures aiming at the evaluation of the research performance and the impact of national R&D efforts are necessary for studying, theoretically and empirically, the evolution of science and innovation systems. The Bulgarian case presents specific challenges due to its context of transition and accession to the EU. The third unit (with seven researchers plus one PhD student) is devoted to “History (and Philosophy) of Science” and therefore has its own research methods and subjects. This section has its place at the Centre, but the small number of staff only allows for a rather dispersed production ranging from the emerging scientific institutions and communications in the 17th century in Europe to the history of Bulgarian science and technology during the 20th century and since. A fourth section is the specialized library which covers the three research fields, and is as such unique in Bulgaria (2.500 books, 1.300 issues of scientific journals); it also offers access to several on line resources through the academic network. Research is carried out in projects either from a little team of researchers of the Centre, created ad hoc for the purposes of a given project, or requested by external agencies (other BAS institutes, universities, government bodies, non-governmental organizations). 177

The Centre provides important expert reports to BAS and other agencies, with applied and commissioned research constituting the bulk of work, ever since its restructuring in 1995 (figures quoted ranger from 70 to 90%). Fundamental research is carried out also in the field of History of Science. The Centre edits the series publication Science Studies and Science Policy. It does not publish any journal. The national journal Strategies of Educational and Science Policy published by the Ministry of Education and Science, the main journal of BAS and Science, published by the Union of Scientists of Bulgaria, play an analogous role.

Evaluation Summary
CSSHS is an active research unit; much of the research work is organized collectively through its three sections. Each section organises a weekly seminar and assesses and monitors the various projects of its members. International bilateral or multilateral cooperation is facilitated by, but not limited to, the bilateral collaboration agreements between academies (mainly Russia, Romania, but also Ukraine, UK and other countries). On the basis of personal relationships, researchers of the Centre are involved in a number of international projects, conferences, program committees, expert councils, associations and networks where their expertise is acknowledged. The SER lists a respectable number of visits abroad, financed either through bilateral agreements or by invitations of the host organisation. Besides educating PhD students, the teaching activity of CSSHS researchers includes lecturing at higher education institutions and organizing, alone or jointly with other institutions, Summer Schools for young researchers. Courses are given in a few universities and in the State Institute of Library Studies and Information Technologies. Lectures in this institute are especially innovative and correspond to a real need of society. The number of hours of specialized courses has tripled from 2004 to 2008, but it seems to be still reasonably limited and well-focused (700 hours per annum), so as not to pose a threat to research activity proper. CSSHS researchers are active in generating funding and in placing their research also in international publications (curiously, the documentation on publications needed to be requested separately, though it was overall satisfying). The Centre’s leadership estimates the average scientific productivity at about 2.5 scientific publications per researcher per annum. The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: the centre does “work that is internationally visible.” Domestically, CSSHS plays a more important role, though as a centre it must be careful to defend its unique position against competitors; researchers from the centre are present in many other relevant contexts, too: in terms of relevance its current overall score is “B” (“moderately relevant”). Provided

178

that the centre manages to consolidate and strengthen its unique niche position, its prospects are “high“ (“A”).

Evaluation Report a) Quality and Productivity
Quality (international recognition and innovative potential) This small centre - small at least in the context of the BAS system - enjoys a high professional standing and recognition in the country and abroad. Priorities are: research on the national innovation system; analyses and recommendations about S&T and innovation policies; research on S&T infrastructures and human resources. In terms of ex-post analyses, the focus is on the evaluation of research performance and the impact of national R&D efforts. It is planned also to set up special group for bibliometric analyses in the Centre as service unit to the BAS Board. But even now this panel could ascertain competent use of the relevant tools of scientometrics and bibliometrics. Good examples which confirm the quality and recognition of CSSHS are a project carried out with the Central Library at Sofia University, funded by different Ministries and European programs, and the development of comparative studies, theoretical elaborations on the knowledge system. The success of the annual CSSHS Summer School for young researchers (100 participants in 2007 for a summer school jointly organized with two Bulgarian universities) is also an acknowledgement of the professional recognition of the Centre, and should be repeated regularly. At European level, CSSHS researchers have different bilateral or multilateral cooperations and participate in several international studies. Some researchers are recurrently invited abroad. CSSHS researchers have been involved in the activities of a number of international program committees, expert councils, associations and networks (e.g.: NATO advisory committee on Science Policy and Organization; National Contact Point for FP6 - Science and Society Program); the Black See Cooperation; Scientific and Technical Research Committee of EU (CREST), COST A22, the International Committee of the History of Technology (ICOTECH), Network “Evaluation in Research" sponsored by DG Research, etc. The creation of a doctoral education program, part of the EU sponsored project "Developing generic research skills towards dynamic carrier development adequate to the quickly changing labour market" and the correlative creation of new and original PhD courses are also a mark of the innovative potential of the Centre. 179

Besides the recognized quality of this education program and of its own PhD program, the courses offered to the State Institute of Library Studies and Information Technologies are very innovative. All publications in Bulgaria are in Bulgarian; this is partly justified by the mission of the Centre inside the country. In order to encourage researchers to publish abroad, personal evaluation and promotion may be linked to higher scores for publications in foreign language. The insertion of the centre in international teams and networks is real, but can be expanded and, notably, should shift from individual contacts to institutional involvement. Similarly, the expert activity of researchers of the Centre in international institutions must be applauded. Productivity (scientific output and international standing) The SER presents a high number of projects, reports and publications. Among the 69 projects listed for the period under review, six received additional funds from the Bulgarian NSF, five through agreements of bilateral cooperation and 26, where the principal investigator was exterior to CSSHS (Ministry, University, other BAS Institute, NGO) were funded by Bulgarian administrations, the EU, and other sources. The SER lacked a proper bibliographic section, but subsequently submitted material allows the following conclusions: during the period under evaluation, researchers of the Centre appear to have published twelve scientific books or monographs, 86 papers in science journals (16 abroad, 70 in Bulgaria and in Bulgarian), 22 articles in collective books (of which 10 abroad, 12 in Bulgaria and in Bulgarian); they have presented 18 papers in conference abroad and 95 in national or international conferences organized in Bulgaria. The management of CSSHS estimates the average scientific productivity as around 2.5 scientific publications per researcher yearly. Most of the projects producing the top ten achievements listed were co-funded in such a way that BAS core funding was supplemented by third party sources, partly from abroad. Overall, however, external funding is barely beyond 10% of the total budget; no significant income from international projects was listed. Besides applied and some theoretical research, the scope of activities of CSSHS currently includes running one PhD program. During the period under evaluation, eight dissertations were completed and successfully defended. Three of the recently graduated PhDs are now permanently appointed at CSSHS and three others are appointed at universities; this is a good transition for entry into academic employment. In addition to its own PhD program, CSSHS has been participating since 2008 in a multilateral BAS project involving no other institutes from the social sciences but some other units in science fields, and focusing on “Developing generic research skills towards dynamic carrier development adequate to the quickly changing labour market”. Since September 2008, this additional program is proposed to PhD students in different research fields in natural, technical and social sciences. It is funded by the European Social Fund under the Operational Program Human resources development. 180

The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: the centre does “work that is internationally visible.”

b) Relevance (socio-economic impact)
The Centre provides expert reports to government, as well as to some extent to BAS and other agencies, with applied and commissioned research constituting the bulk of work, ever since its restructuring in 1995 (figures quoted ranger from 70 to 90%), alongside some fundamental research in comparative and historical analyses. The SER locates the activities of the three sections in the three research policies approved by the General Assembly of BAS (science in service to Bulgarian society; integration of research potential in the European Research Area; national identity) and in five of the ten BAS research programs. Research at CSSHS is relevant to the aims of one national research program (“Bulgarian Society - Part of Europe”), thus eligible to funding by the Bulgarian National Science Fund of the Ministry of Education and Science. The research of CSSHS also attracted funding from two specific European research programs during the period 2004-2008. The research objectives of the Centre are relevant for a society that aims to develop into a knowledge-based society. Concerning water supply problems and regarding the development of alternative energy sources and of the nuclear energy sector, the Centre gave its own analysis of the contribution of BAS scientists and of the scientific policy (research and innovation). The Centre has made important contributions at national level such as “Annual Report on the Bulgarian National Innovation Policy” submitted to the Ministry of Economy and Energy, but also engaged with the process of regional diversification, by producing studies on regional innovation system (case studies). Cross-sectorial work has also been included in its work, though it is evident that expertise from other institutes is needed here (e.g.: conception for sustainable development of Bulgarian society for the Ministry of Environment and Water) To the extent that the performance of research in the private sector is reflected at all in the work of the Centre, the relevant data must be derived from public sources; the Centre specifically states that no direct collaborations exist with industry. The Centre currently aims to emphasise its role as a service unit for the rationalization of decision-making processes on research and innovation in BAS and in the country at large. In the recent past (2000), it produced a ten-years analysis of the performance of the Academy. In the reporting period it has continued to work towards an elaboration of methodologies on the evaluation in academic science (individual; institutional; specific disciplines etc.) and challenges arising from the growing integration of

181

Bulgaria into the EU (benchmarking, open method of coordination, innovation scoreboard etc.). It has made contributions to expert analyses of new legislation and strategic documents under preparation to allow the academic community to better articulate its positions. Research in the field of history of science results in many artefacts with national importance, broadly used in the media, the organization of museums and exhibitions, celebrations of anniversaries etc. in which the Academy was involved. CSSHS’s collaboration is often sought by universities and other centres or organizations. Domestically, CSSHS plays an important role in terms of policy advice at different levels, through teaching and via some outreach (history of science), though as a centre it must be careful to defend its unique position against competitors; researchers from the centre are present in many other relevant contexts, too, also at international level: in terms of relevance its current overall score is “B” (“moderately relevant”).

c) Prospects (vitality and feasibility, management & leadership; future potential and ability of the Institute to tackle new scientific challenges)
Overall, the position of the Centre can only be strengthened in the future. Developments are such that its expertise will be more and more in demand, even though it must guard itself against losing the cutting edge to competitors. There seems to be a revival of a conscious science and innovation policy in the country, and new opportunities emerge with Bulgaria’s the accession to the EU. Its strategic statements speak of more emphasis being placed on the study of the instruments of R&D policy and governance of research: one focus is expected to be benchmarking of policies and S&T systems and the establishment of a special research group on “Benchmarking academic research and policy” is under way. The Centre sees areas for expansion in the evaluation of policies and programs (in particular national ones), through impact studies (of the EU FP, Structural funds etc., hence in all likelihood linked to external funding) and by expanding more proactively into foresight activities, both at the service of BAS and for the MES; here, a number of methodological issues must be developed further. The Centre envisages strengthening STS studies and history of science by introducing (more?) courses in leading HE institutions, thereby also creating a pool of possible future young collaborators. It plans to establish an Interdisciplinary School for doctoral studies (presumably through cooperation with other BAS institutes and other research organizations), based on the experience of the ongoing Program which started in 2008. Its vision to extend the role of the Centre in the region of Western Balkans is very promising. The Centre faces difficulties in attracting young researchers, though lately there has been some improvement in securing positions for young researchers after they completed their PhD. It tries to recruit new research group leaders through the 182

involvement of its junior staff in project management and international cooperation. The policy of the Ministry regarding the funding of visits abroad for young researchers should help. However, in order to achieve a smooth generational transition, it remains necessary to open new research positions. Persisting low wages in the sector count among the most important inhibiting factors regarding the motivation of researchers. The Centre is also aware that its current resources and infrastructure is not amenable to support sudden expansion: the library needs urgent updating. However, given the framework conditions and a realistic leadership, this panel believes there are reasons for optimism: provided that the centre manages to consolidate and strengthen its unique niche position, its prospects are “high“ (“A”).

Overall strengths and weaknesses
Strengths  a dynamic centre in the field of science studies with important research achievements;  strong position for providing authoritative advice to the government (ministries), regional authorities, BAS and other stakeholders in the national R&D system, which should all generate additional income;  multidimensional relations with the university system and other research infrastructures in Bulgaria (teaching; joint projects; joint conferences or summer schools; joint publications, joint PhD supervision);  the insertion of the Centre in the international scientific community is limited;  evidence for a real scientific life in the Centre (few purely individual projects, good efforts to associate PhD students with projects);  flexible, creative and inclusive management and leadership. Weaknesses  focus on applied research in its domain runs the risk of losing touch with methodologically cutting-edge research;  better and wider dissemination of results needed (and underlying methodology in defining, monitoring and measuring the impact of Bulgarian R&D policies);  insufficient infrastructure (library; computing), certainly for any more ambitious plans going beyond the status quo).

Recommendations
The overall score for quality and productivity is “B”: the centre does “work that is internationally visible.” Domestically, CSSHS plays a more important role, though as a centre it must be careful to defend its unique position against competitors;

183

researchers from the centre are present in many other relevant contexts, too: in terms of relevance its current overall score is “B” (“moderately relevant”). Provided that the centre manages to consolidate and strengthen its unique niche position, its prospects are “high“ (“A”). It seems as if the focus of the Centre is going to be in applied STS research; one might consider a realignment of the History of Science section with the Institute of History (under need for restructuring and modernization). By contrast it would seem appropriate to integrate more closely relevant sections or individuals from the Institute of Philosophy into the work of the Centre. The following recommendations, however, refer to a simple improvement of the status quo in terms of the current structure of the Centre.  the centre must seek more publications in English (or any other suitable foreign language); ultimately, a better recognition internationally will also strengthen its position domestically;  the field of STS studies is interdisciplinary by definition; closer cooperation with other BAS institutes should be increased;  the development of joint PhD programs with important universities should be continued, especially where PhDs could be closely incorporated into CSSHS research;  the number of graduates receiving their degree from the Centre must be increased;  the function as service unit to BAS (and other stakeholders) must be strengthened and may become ultimately the mainstay of the Centre’s activities.

184

European Science Foundation – November 2009 | 11

67080 Strasbourg cedex | France Tel: +33 (0)3 88 76 71 00 | Fax: +33 (0)3 88 37 05 32 www.esf.org

November 2009

1 quai Lezay-Marnésia | BP 90015

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.