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Bulgarian Days of Career Development and Mobility of Researchers

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BG_CareerDays (Bulgarian Days of Career Development and Mobility of Researchers)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-11-30

The ‘Bulgarian Days of Career Development and Mobility of Researchers’ (BG_CareerDays) Project is a Horizon 2020 funded project with the objectives of promoting an open labour market for young researchers aimed at facilitating mobility, supporting training, ensuring attractive careers opportunities, as well as rising the awareness in the country about EURAXESS network and its services.

The main project activity is the organization and conduction of one-day event in five Bulgarian university cities, where EURAXESS Local Contact Points are present and at the same time the main businesses with R&D are based: Sofia, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Varna and Ruse. The general focus of the event is to promote research career opportunities and provide up-to-date relevant information, related to mobility and career development to PhD and master students and thus contribute to maximizing their career prospects. In addition, post docs, experienced researchers and the general public will be targeted to widely disseminate the project goals, EURAXESS services and the newly set up EC EURAXESS Portal.

The main objectives of the ‘Bulgarian Days of Career Development and Mobility of Researchers’ (BG_CareerDays) project are:
• To define attractive event programme.
• To plan and perform a wide range of promotional activities in order to reach a large number of representatives of the identified target audiences.
• To conduct successfully the event in the five selected locations
• To maximize the expected impact by identifying suitable measures for ensuring the sustainability of the achieved results after the project end.
Within the project five one-day events were successfully held:
• 18 October 2017 – Sofia, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”
• 24 October 2017 – Plovdiv, The House of Scientists
• 26 October 2017 – Stara Zagora, Trakia University
• 30 October 2017 – Varna, Golden Tulip Hotel
• 31 October 2017 – Ruse, University of Ruse “Angel Kantchev”

The program for each event had identical structure and included two different types of activities:
(1) Five consecutive workshops (training seminars):
• CV for Success: Learn to write successful CV. Differences when applying for a job position at academia and in and outside Europe
• Leader? Who? Me? Differences between organizational and personal leadership. What a full-spectrum leadership means
• The Successful Business Today: What successful business is all about today? Important concepts of successful businesses today and 21st Century trends
• Career in 21st Century: Open people’s perspectives to the opportunities ahead of them for making an impact with their career: introduction and online experience
• Researchers’ Café: Career opportunities and barriers for the researchers today. Special focus on the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions.

(2) Information stands of:
• EURAXESS Portal: EURAXESS members will provide information about the network services and will demonstrate the new functionalities of the EURAXESS Portal
• Organizations and HR Agencies (“HR Dating”): companies representing different business sectors, educational centers, NGOs and Human Resources agencies interested in working with/hiring high qualified and motivated researchers

In addition to the above listed workshops “Investing in your professional development for career success” in Sofia and “EURAXESS Network. European Charter and Code for Researchers” in Stara Zagora were presented.

More than 600 young researchers and master students attended the events and 45 industrial organizations and HR agencies including the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria participated with their own information stands. At the project end an increase of 36 % of visits on the Bulgarian EURAXESS Portal and 82 new open job positions was registered.
The described actions and coverage matched the expected impact of the call by informing young researchers in Bulgaria about their professional realization (open job positions, funding opportunities) and giving them the opportunity for improving and building new skills for inter-sectoral mobility. The activities aimed at encouraging master students to continue on the researcher career path by attracting them and ensuring EURAXESS support for their international and inter-sectoral mobility.

Thus the project directly has contributed to supporting jobs and growth and increasing the overall number of excellent researchers. That was achieved by:
• Activating the whole EURAXESS Bulgaria network in the events
• Reaching the target groups all over the country
• Reaching the local industrial stakeholders
• Increasing the awareness among target groups about different career development opportunities
• Increasing the level of soft skills for different career choices among the target groups
• Increasing the use of EURAXESS Jobs portal and its functionalities

The project achieved its overall goal, the specified indicators were successfully met, and the events in the five Bulgarian cities were very prosperous and beneficial for the participants. Promoting European Commission initiatives in regards to the career development and mobility and those dedicated to the EURAXESS Network among the young researchers in the country leads to broadening the recent opportunities for their career development and mobility; they are given the possibility to gradually improve their skills, competencies and qualifications in order to be more successful and satisfied in their professional and personal achievements. Conducting regularly (annually or bi-annually) Career Days for researchers in Bulgaria will also contribute to a greater impact of the current and future research activities and projects on one hand, and on the other – raise the awareness about the EURAXESS Network and its services. Therefore, similar initiatives of the European Commission and/or such which are to be launched on a national level will be sought by the Project Coordinator and the local experts involved in this project.
Photo from the event in Sofia - 18 October 2017
Photo from the event in Ruse - 31 October 2017
Photo from the event in Plovdiv- 24 October 2017
Photo from the event in Sofia - 18 October 2017
Photo from the event in Varna - 30 October 2017
Photo from the event in Sofia - 18 October 2017
Photo from the event in Stara Zagora - 26 October 2017