First call for proposals 2009/2010 academic year

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First call for proposals 2009/2010 academic year

THE EEA FINANCIAL MECHANISM PROGRAMME
SCHOLARSHIP FUND

FIRST CALL FOR PROPOSALS 2009/2010 ACADEMIC YEAR, SPRING SEMESTER

1st september 2009

The European Integration and International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science is the Intermediary of Project BG0057 “Development of Reliable Mobility Schemes Using EEA FM Grants”. The overall objective of the project is to promote education and research and to contribute to human resource development in Bulgaria.

Under this project a Scholarship Fund is established. Its purpose is to strengthen the cooperation between Bulgaria and the EEA EFTA states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein in the field of higher education and research by providing mobility scholarships to students, teachers, and administrative staff representatives from Bulgarian higher education institutions, and researchers from Bulgarian scientific organizations to undertake studies, deliver lectures, exchange best practices, carry out research in the EEA EFTA states.

The activities of the Scholarship Fund are open to all academic fields.

UNDER THE FUND THE FOLLOWING MEASURES ARE TO BE IMPLEMENTED:

Measure a): Student mobility for the purposes of Bacherlor’s, Master’s and doctoral studies. Under this measure students can undertake a study period at higher education/research institution in one of the EEA EFTA countries.

Measure b): Mobility of teachers and administrative staff representatives from higher education institutions, as well as of researchers from scientific organizations, for the purposes of delivering lectures, exchanging best practices, conducting research and participating in conferences and seminars in one of the EEE EFTA countries.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Measure a): Students from Bulgarian accredited state and private higher education institutions, as well as from Bulgarian scientific organisations, with program accreditation for the educational and scientific degree “Doctor”. Host institutions in the EEA EFTA countries should be officially recognized/accredited higher education/research institutions.
Measure b): Teachers, administrative staff representatives and researchers from accredited state and private higher education institutions and scientific organizations in Bulgaria. Host institutions in the EEA EFTA countries should be officially recognized/accredited higher education/research institutions.

SCHOLARSHIP AMOUNT PER MEASURE

Measure a): The scholarship amount consists of a lump sum of 1400 € for the first month and of 800 € per following month.
Measure b): The scholarship amount consists of a lump sum of 1700 € for the first week and of 400 € per following week. Where applicable, participation fees of up to 600 € could be included in the scholarship amount, on the basis of real costs.
Under these measures the subsistence, travel and insurance costs have to be covered from the lump sums.

DURATION OF THE SCHOLARSHIP

Measure a) Minimum duration is 3 months (semester stay rule); maximum duration is 12 months (1 academic year)
Measure b) Minimum duration is 1 week; maximum duration is 4 weeks

HOST INSTITUTION FINDING

Following EEA EFTA institutions and organizations would support the Scholarship Fund activities implementation:

Iceland: For cooperation with Icelandic institutions, the Office of International Education has been appointed to act as contact point. The Office of International Education will assist, inform and guide interested parties about possibilities for mobility under the Scholarship Fund. For information, please visit:
The Office of International Education: http://www.ask.hi.is/page/forsidaenglish

Liechtenstein: The main institutions for education and research in Liechtenstein are:

For a more general overview concerning education, please visit:
http://www.liechtenstein.li/en/eliechtenstein_main_sites/portal_fuerstentum_liechtenstein/flbuw-bildung_wissenschaft/fl-buw-ueberblick.htm

Norway: For cooperation with Norwegian institutions and organisations, the main contact point in the areas of education and training is the Norwegian Centre for Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU). SIU is the National Agency for the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), the Erasmus Mundus Programme, the e-learning Programme. For research, the Research Council of Norway is the main point of contact. Interested parties may turn to these two institutions for guidance and assistance in starting up and/or carrying out activities within the framework of the Scholarship Fund, including finding relevant cooperation partners and hosting conferences and seminars.

For further information, please visit:

For more general information on finding partners in Norway, please visit:
http://odin.dep.no/europaportalen/english/eea/comp/bn.html

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT CALL
Under the Scholarship Fund there is one open call per academic year. The present call is open for 2 months. The size of the present call is 287 400 € with indicative allocations per measure as follows: measure a) 224 400 €; measure b) 63 000 €.

The study/research activities under this call will start in the spring semester of the 2009/2010 academic year. As the deadline for most of the Norwegian higher education institutions for this semester is 15th of October, students wishing to apply for Bachelor’s or Master’s studies in Norway can also apply for the 2010/2011 academic year under the Second Open call to be published on 01.02.2010. However, since the mobility in the Scholarship Fund will take place within agreements, there is a certain flexibility concerning deadlines. To this end, both students and Bulgarian institutions are advised to contact prospective EEA EFTA institutions as soon as possible.

REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS
Measure a)

  • The student should be Bulgarian citizen, citizen of another EU member state, or EEA EFTA state
  • The student has to be oficially registered for regular studies at an accredited Bulgarian higher education institution (For doctoral students - accredited Bulgarian higher education institution or scientific organization, with program accreditation for the educational and scientific degree “Doctor”);
  • The student does not have any academic debts at his/her home higher education institution at the moment of application;
  • At the moment of application the student is not the first (for Bachelor’s degree) or last semester student;
  • There is a bilateral agreement signed between the student’s home higher education institution and the host higher education institution in EEA EFTA country in which it is agreed about the students’ acceptance. For students studying for Bachelor’s and Master’s degee the agreement shall also guarantee transfer and recognition of ECTS credits. Institutions with valid bilateral agreements under the Lifelong Learning Program: Higher Education (Erasmus) could organize the mobility of the Scholarship Fund under these agreements.

Measure b)

  • The applicant should be Bulgarian citizen, citizen of another EU member state, or EEA EFTA state
  • The applicant has to be a teacher, an administrative staff representative from accredited higher education institution or researcher from scientific organization in Bulgaria;
  • The applicant has received an official invitation from the host institution in Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Prior participation in this call all applicants must study the key documents for participation in the activities of the EEA Financial mechanism available on www.eeagrants.org.

DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE HOME INSTITUTION
Measure a)

  • Application form (template)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • A copy of the identity document
  • Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
  • Academic transcript for the previous academic year (for doctoral students –a copy of the Order for doctoral studies)
  • A copy of a foreign language certificate (English for Iceland and Norway and German for Lechtenstein)
  • Recommendation from the student’s home institution
  • Confirmation in English from the host institution for student’s acceptance in the study programme. (This confirmation should carry the name and the surname of the student, the name of the higher education institution, faculty and study programme where he/she is going to study, study period). In case the confirmation has not been received by the deadline for submission to the home institution, it can be sent after the deadline to the Intermediary but not later than 30.11.2009. In this case the student has to submit a declaration that he/she has applied for studies at EEA/EFTA higher education institution and add all documents proving it.
  • Declaration from the applicant that no LLP/Erasmus grant is used for the purposes of the present mobility
  • Actual photo (3/4 cm)

Measure b)

  • Application form (template)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • A copy of the identity document
  • Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
  • A copy of the labour contract
  • Recommendation letter from the applicant’s work place
  • List of research and publications (where applicable)
  • Invitation in English from the mobility organizer or host institution in the EEA EFTA country (The Invitation should carry the name and the surname of the applicant, the name of the host institution and the period of stay)
  • Declaration from the applicant that no LLP/Erasmus grant or other EU program funding is used for the purposes of the present mobility
  • A copy of a foreign language certificate (English for Iceland and Norway and German for Lechtenstein)
  • Actual photo (3/4 cm)

SELECTION PROCEDURE
The selection procedure is organized by the Intermediary in cooperation with Bulgarian higher education institutions/scientific organizations. It is based on a 2-stage model.
The first stage is carried out by the Bulgarian higher education institutions/scientific organizations (home institution). Applicants submit their applications to their home institution which will arrange for their assessment, which includes administrative compliance assessment, eligibility assessment and quality assessment. The home institution selects their students/doctoral students/teachers/administrative staff representatives/researchers using the selection criteria given below. The higher education/scientific organization also organizes the exchange of their students and/or doctoral students. To this end, the home institution of an applicant and the host institution in an EEA EFTA country must have signed an agreement.

The second stage is carried out by the Intermediary. The applications are to be submitted to the Intermediary by the higher education institutions/scientific organizations by the deadline given below. The Intermediary arranges for their further assessment (document check and interview) by a Selection Committee, which includes administrative compliance assessment, eligibility assessment and quality assessment. The latter shall be based on the selection criteria specified below. The Selection Committee makes proposals for selected candidates before the Minister of Education, Youth and Science who approves the candidates and their grants.

SELECTION CRITERIA
Measure a):

  1. Motivation (motivation letter, interview)
  2. Academic merits (GPA no less than very good (4.50), awards)
  3. Relevance of the PhD thesis topic and results obtained so far (for doctoral students)
  4. Level of foreign language knowledge (certificate, interview)

Measure b):

  1. Motivation (motivation letter, interview)
  2. Qualifications
  3. Professional experience
  4. Teaching experience (recommendations, awards) (where applicable)
  5. Research activities and results obtained (list of research and publications, recommendations) (where applicable)
  6. Relevance of the research topics and scientific contribution to the European Research Area
  7. Level of foreign language knowledge (certificate, interview)

DEADLINES

01.11.2009 Submission of applications to the home institution
20.11.2009 Submission to the Intermediary of the applications of the candidates selected by the home institutions
01.02.2010 Second Call for proposals for the academic year 2010/2011

Национална информационна кампания „Живот без насилие за всяко дете“
Национална платформа „Наука-бизнес“