CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDY SOFIA

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PhD Student Database

Integrated Database of Doctoral Students in Bulgaria and Academic Newsgroup

http://www.phdgate.net/

Grounds for the ProjectIn Bulgaria there is no centralized register containing information on the number of doctoral students in the country, their higher education institution or scientific institute, academic field, dissertation topic, etc. The communication, exchange of information and integration among young researchers in Bulgaria is of low intensity, and the intellectual cooperation between  doctoral students in Bulgaria and the large number of students and PhD candidates studying abroad is poor and is a result not of a deliberate academic policy, but of random private contacts. 

Project`s Idea
The main idea of the project is that modern communication channels, new information technologies and the entire youthful Internet culture are the instruments by which the deficiency outlined above can be overcome.

The organizations behind the project are developing an integrated database for doctoral students and a virtual newsgroup to provide them with virtual access to specialized information, as well as create newsgroups and flexible mailing lists for Bulgarian PhD students both in the country and abroad. 

This is a form of "soft" academic policy for creating information prerequisites for activating the capacity, meeting the needs and activating contacts of doctoral students and doctoral student groups in Bulgaria and abroad. Thus it will become possible for the country and its academic community to keep in touch with the huge intellectual capital flowing out from Bulgaria. This provides a good basis for information-grounded research and personnel strategy. Last but not least, this helps for the consolidation of the young Association of Doctoral Students in Bulgaria.

Project Implementation and Sustainability
First period (Sept 2003 - Sept 2004)

  • Technical development of the database and its web-application;
  • Accumulation of critical mass of registered PhDs, gaining national recognition through institutional cooperation.
  • Daily database supply and update;

Second period (Sept 2004 – Sept 2005)

  • Promotion and popularization among Bulgarian PhD students in foreign institutions;
  • Sustainable database expansion among unregistered and recently enrolled PhD students together with community building;
  • Daily database supply and update with useful information;
  • Technical optimization.

Current period (Sept 2005 – Sept 2006)

  • identification and usage of adequate information channels for distribution of the PhDGate information package – university administration, websites, community sites, Bulgarian cultural and educational institutions abroad, distribution of flyers and posters, etc;
  • periodical information campaigns using all distribution channels mentioned above;
  • registration and activation of new members, their introduction to the PhDGate services;
  • administration and moderation of the existing PhD Forum;
  • institutional collaboration in the organization and promotion of different PhD events;
  • daily news and informational supply.

At the moment there are nearly 1800 registered users from the whole range of academic fields. Most of them are affiliated with Bulgarian universities and institutions, while 10% are Bulgarian PhDs from foreign institutions.

PartnersMain partners in the realization of the project are:

Support for the realization of the ProjectIn June 2003 the project was supported with a one-year grant from the Open Society Foundation - Sofia. Besides the organizations initiating it, the project relies on  institutional support from the Ministry of Education and Science of the  Republic of Bulgaria, from higher schools and all non-profit organizations engaged in the promotion of  academic knowledge and cooperation in the country. 

In September 2004 the project was supported with another one-year grant from the Open Society Institute - Sofia.

Since November 2005 the project has been supported by the institutional finance of CAS. This strategic and growing engagement with the community building activities of the PhDs internet portal rests on deliberate and long-term investment in the growth of the Centre symbolic capital.
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