Plovdiv University is one of the leading higher-education institutions in the Republic of Bulgaria. It is the largest University in Southern Bulgaria and the second biggest in Bulgaria. Plovdiv University was initially founded in 1961 as a Higher Institute of Pedagogy for Natural Sciences and Mathematics. It was declared a University in 1972.

The University confer each form of educational degree i.e. specialist, bachelor, master and doctor. More than 10 000 full-time students and approximately 4 000 part-time students are trained in more than 140 bachelor and 150 master courses including natural, humanitarian, social, engineering and economic sciences, combined within nine faculties and two branches.

The University actively maintains international contacts with almost all European countries, the United States as well as countries in Asia and Africa. It takes part individually or jointly with other European universities in those programs of the European Union, United States and Switzerland, which fund scientific research. The academic community continues to develop strong research synergies with higher education institutions in Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

Annually Plovdiv University manages over 220 contracts financed by the following sources:

  • International programmes
  • Contracts concluded with the National Research Fund
  • The Scientific Research Fund at Plovdiv University
  • Commercial contracts.

For the purposes of the project the University will provide: free access to the whole scientific and technical complex as well as the informational resources, of the members participating in the implementation and development of the project; participation of staff researchers in the project activities; a complete administrative, legal and financial accounting services; establishment of a favourable environment for the sustainable development of the project.

The leading core of the project team consists of researchers from the ‘Science, Technology, Innovation’ research centre at Faculty of Phylosophy and History at Plovdiv University.

The Research Centre ‘Science, Technology, Innovation’ (STI) was founded in 2004 at the Department of ‘Applied and Institutional Sociology’ at the Faculty of Philosophy and History of Plovdiv University ‘Paisii Hilendarski’. It has the following objectives:

  • To raise the level of training in the module ‘Social Studies of Science, Technology and Economy’ in the bachelor’s programme in sociology and the master’s programme ‘Management of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship’.
  • To integrate students in the research work of lecturers;
  • To support the training of PhD students specializing in priority areas for the centre;
  • To work on basic and applied research in the fields of the social studies of science and technology, the sociology of innovation and the economics of technological change;
  • To assist the researchers of natural-sciences and engineering at the University and other universities in the region on issues of science policy, the relationship between science-industry and science-society; the protection of intellectual property among others.

The centre has the necessary infrastructure and know-how to carry out research projects – from developing a methodology for research in data analysis to the presentation of final results. Employees of the centre are able to conduct different types of qualitative and quantitative research of any kind (media analysis, focus groups, analysis of cases, in-depth interviews, representative sample surveys, regional studies), as well as to advise researchers and business representatives.

The team of the Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence at Plovdiv University consists of qualified and experienced academics as well as young researchers and PhD students. The key staff members are presented below:

I got my  PhD in sociology of science at BAS Institute of Sociology in 1988. I turn

ed to innovations and entrepreneurship after specializing in 1990-1991 at University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Between 1993 and 1998 I st

udied Bulgarian optical research lab, and carried interviews in major European la

boratories in the field. I realized the complexity of the relationships between individual scientists and engineers pursuing their vision, institutional frameworks and organizational environment, funding mechanisms, public and corporate business policies, and sectoral patterns that made the innovation so daunting (Tchalakov 1997, 1998, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011). My interest in Outer Space emerged in studying post-communist entrepreneurship (Tchalakov 2003, 2011, Nikula and Tchalakov 2013), which I compared with New Space entrepreneurs in a paper presented at IAS-STS Conference in Graz, Austria (Tchalakov 207, 2015). As Fulbright Fellow, in later 2016 and early 2017 I carried in-depth interviews with US space entrepreneurs and built a collection of relevant books, papers a

nd other documents, which I continue to enrich.

Between 2011 and 2015 I lead a team who won a project at Bulgarian government for establishing Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at my home University of Plovdiv, and for almost five years I worked as its part-time director. These years ware invaluable experience for me, since they deepened my understanding about university-industry relationships, between academic and industrial entrepreneurs, corporations and public officers. I also established fruitful collaboration with TTO directors in Europe such ad Chirstoph Adametz at Technical University in Graz, Austria, Kees Eeinkel at University of Twente, the Netherlands and othe

rs. Collaborating with them helped in my work at university and regional government level in developing policies in the field of high-technologies, designing financial frames and encouraging academic and industrial entrepreneurs to collaborate and launch mutual projects.

During the pe

riod 2012/2013 preparing my book in Innovation and Entrepreneurship in

Socialist and Post-Socialist Societies co-authored with Jouko Nikula from Finland, I prepared and later published my first article on New Space Entrepreneurship (Tchalakov 2015).

Prof. Ivo Hristov, PhD is Full Professor in Sociology of Law at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He has held research and teaching fellowships at the International Law Institute (Washington D.C), Moscow School of Political Researches (Moscow-Stockholm-Strasbourg), University Carlo Bo (Urbino), Center for Advanced Studies (Sofia), Neuwaldegg Institute (Vienna), American Research Institute in Turkey (Istanbul), Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt/Main), Fernand Braudel Center (Binghamton – New York State University), Samara State University (Samara).

His research interests are in the field of Sociology of Law, Geopolitics, Historical Sociology and Modernization theories.

He has experience in many european and national research projects. Hristov is a member of the 44th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria (2017-present).


Recent publications:

  1. In front of the ashes of the unsettled Bulgarian society (monography), Publisher: Zahari Stoyanov, 2017
  2. The East-West Dialogue: Multiple Readings. Blagoevgrad: Publishing House of the South-West University. „About the Character of the Crisis „, pp. 168 -174, 2015.
  3. After Minsk – 2: the goals and bets of  Operation Ukraine, International Relations magazine, year XLIV, issue. 2, pp. 43-52, 2015
  4. The New Turkish Foreign Policy and Challenges to the Security of Bulgaria, Journal Geopolitics, Issue 1, pp. 28-37, 2014
  5. Law in the Periphery (Epitome), Balkan KongresiBildirileri/ International Balkan Congress Proceedings Editorial Board: Fatih IYIYOL – Oguz URAS Publisher: SULEYMAN SAH UNIVERSITY / ISTANBUL.  pp. 418 – 425, 2012

Prof. Irena Ilieva PhD is Director of the Institute for the State and the Law – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She is Doctor of International public law and International Relations (2001), associate professor of International Law and International Relations (2007), full professor (2012) at the Institute for the State and the Law at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Since 2002 she is professor at the Law Faculty of the Plovdiv University “Paisiy Hilendarski” – lecturer on International public law, Human Rights and European Union Law, part-time lecturer at the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ochridski”.

Irena Ilieva is a guest-professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Salzburg (Austria), the University of Navarra (Spain) and the University of Bologna (Italy) within the Erasmus and Erasmus Plus program. Lecturer at the Law faculty of the University Paris 2 Pantheon Assas in 2017.

Alternate member of FRA Management Board (2007 – 2010)

Member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe since 2018.

Individual member of the International Law Association (London).

Vice-president of the Bulgarian Association of International Law,

Member of the Bulgarian Association of Comparative Law,

Full member of the FRA Management Board since July 2020

The field of expertise: the international protection of persons, belonging to minorities on the Balkans; to their legal regulation in the European union member states and Bulgaria; women’s rights in International law and EU Law; equality of opportunities and non-discrimination in EU law, religious rights and freedoms, Antisemitism and Islamophobia, human rights and the fight against terrorism, human rights of migrants, problems of migration and asylum in international public law and on the European union common system of asylum and the so called Dublin legislation.

Higher experience in project management.

Member of Editorial boards of the reviews “Papers of BAS. Humanities and Social Sciences”, “Legal Theory” and “International Policy”.

Author and co-author of 9 books, 17 monographies, more than 43 articles in Bulgarian, English, French, German, Rumanian and Russian languages.

Siyka Kovacheva, PhD, is Associate Professor in sociology and social policy at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She has held research and teaching fellowships at the University of Notre Dame, IN, USA, University of Liverpool, UK, University of Wageningen, the Netherlands, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, University of London, UK and the University of Granada, Spain. She has acted as a policy expert/evaluator for the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs and Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission and the Directorate of Youth and Sports of the Council of Europe and has been a member of the Pool of European youth researchers of the EU/CoE Youth Partnership. Kovacheva is a member of the International Sociological Association (RC34), European Sociological Association (RN30) and the Bulgarian Sociological Association. She has acted as a member of the Editorial Board of the journals Community, Work and Family (Routledge), YOUNG (SAGE) and Journal of Youth Studies (Taylor and Francis).

Her research interests are in the field of European social policy, social protection for young people, their transitions to employment and parenthood, lifelong learning, migration and civic participation. She has been the national coordinator of more than 20 research projects in a cross-national perspective, funded by the Research Framework Programmes of the European Commission, the Open Society Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and other international organisations. Kovacheva has deep knowledge of European social and educational policies, skills in designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative research and teaching interdisciplinary courses to an international student body.

Department of History and Archaeology

Faculty of  Philosophy and History, Plovdiv University, Plovdiv. BULGARIA.

Vice-Dean (2013-2017) for research and international cooperation, member of Academic Council of Plovdiv University (2009-2017), and the University Research Fund Board.


Graduated in 1986 at Sofia University “St.Kliment Ohridski” with main subject Contemporary History, combined with Philosophy and English Studies.

Conducted PhD studies in the period 1987-1992 at the Institute of Latin America at Russian Academy of Ciences in Moscow.

With PhD degree in Latin American Studies in the following years main focus was on the comparative analysis of democratic transitions in Latin America and Eastern Europe with vast field research experience and numerous publications in the country and abroad.

Visiting lecturer in Mexico for two periods (University of Guadalajara, 1990-1991 and University of Colima, 2006-2007). Research specializations at universities of Graz (Austria), Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), Naples and Sassari (Italy), Rejkjavik (Iceland).

Extensive collaboration with Central European University and Open Society Institute (Budapest), Director of LGI/OSF summer schools in Plovdiv and Pamporovo (Bulgaria) [Local Government Initiative/Open Society Fund].

Active in ERASMUS+ and CEEPUS mobilities exchanges with lecturing at partner universities with ratio 3-4 times each year throughout all Europe.

Academic adviser and coordinator of European Documentation Centre at Plovdiv University (member of the EU- DG Communication network, Europe Direct Centres).

Member of the academic commission towards Eastern Neighborhood Initiative of the EU (EaP) and independent project evaluator towards EACEA, REA (Brussels) and HRDC, FNI (Bulgaria).

Member in a number of LLL/ERASMUS+ Network projects, such as: GRUNTVIG, CCN, PERL, LISBOAN, VIADUCT, Jean Monnet Global Seminars, etc..

Holder of Jean Monnet lecturing projects for teaching EU issies (2001-2011).

Tihomir Mitev graduated in Sociology at Plovdiv University ‘Paisii Hilendarski’ in 2002. He completed his PhD thesis in Institute of Sociology at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 2008. He is presently working as Associate professor at the Plovdiv University and at the Science, Technology, Innovation research center.

Tihomir Mitev teaches BA and MA courses for students in social sciences and engineering in Faculty of Philosophy and History, Faculty of Pedagogy, and Physico-Technological Faculty at Plovdiv University. He works in the fields of Sociology of science and education, particularly in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (the Actor-Netwok Theory and Large Technical Systems approaches). He has experience and skills in designing and implementing courses in BA, MA and PhD programs and in supervision of PhD students. 

Tihomir Mitev’s main research interests deal with the principles and modes of ‘co-existence’ of engineers, natural environment and technical devices in energy infrastrictures. He has experience in implementation of research projects, supported by the European Science Foundation, EC Framework programs, and Erasmus+ program.  


Tihomir Mitev published both theoretical and empirical studies. Some of the important publications are listed bellow:   

Energy dependence behind the Iron Curtain: The Bulgarian experience. In: Energy Policy, ISSN: 0301-4215, Volume 126, March 2019, Pages 47-56 (co-authored with Ivan Tchalakov)

Nodes in the Network. The modernization of Bulgaria as an infrastructure construction. Studio 18 Publishing House, Plovdiv, 2017. ISBN 978-619-7249-20-0

Living with a Dam: A Case of Care Practices in Large Technical Systems. In: International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation (IJANTTI), Volume 7, Issue 2, April-June 2015, Published by IGI Global Publishing, Hershey, USA. (19-29 pages), ISSN: 1942-535X

Bulgarian Power Relations: The Making of a Balkan Power Hub. In: The Making of Europe’s Critical Infrastructure (eds. A. Kayser, E. Van Der Vlueten, P. Hogselius, A. Homels). Palgrave Mcmillan, 2013, 123-148 p. ISBN 978-1-137-35873-8 (co-authored with Ivan Tchalakov and Ivaylo Hristov)

The Academic Spin-Offs as an Engine of Economic Transition in Eastern Europe. A Path Dependent Approach. In: Minerva, 2010, Volume 48, Number 2, 189-217 pages (co-authored with Ivan Tchalakov and Venelin Petrov) .ISSN: 0026-4695 (Print) 1573-1871 (Online)

Plamen Nanov holds a Bachelor Degree in Sociology from the University of Plovdiv “Paisii Hilendarski ” since 2009, and three years later a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations. From 2014 to 2017 he was a full-time PhD student at the Department of Applied and Institutional Sociology. In 2018 he defended his PhD thesis „Republic of Turkey between East and West“ and since then he has been a full-time assistant in the department. He conducts lectures and seminars on Historical Sociology of Modern Institutions, Sociology of Politics, Sociology of Law and Social Transformations. He has many participations in various European projects. His research interests are mainly related to Political Sociology, Migrant Studies, Turkish Studies and the EU.

He speaks English.

Recent publications:

  • Nanov, P. 2021. Future plans of Bulgarian migrants in UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.  In: On the way. Emigration in the life experience of contemporary Bulgarians, ed. by Kovacheva, S. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, (in print);
  • Nanov, P., Hristozova, D. 2021. EU mobility regulation policies and national restrictions in four host countries (UK, Germany, Spain and Italy). In: On the way. Emigration in the life experience of contemporary Bulgarians, ed. by Kovacheva, S. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, (in print);
  • Kovacheva, S., Nanov, P. 2021. Citizenship, Identity and Political Participation of Bulgarian Migrants in EU Countries. In: On the way. Emigration in the life experience of contemporary Bulgarians, ed. by Kovacheva, S. Sofia: Kliment Ohridski University Press, (in print);
  • Nanov, P. 2020. The First Stage of the Ottoman Modernization Viewed through the Prism of Walt Rostow’s Model. Balkanistic Forum, Vol. 29, Issue. 3, pp. 172-196, DOI: 10.37708/bf.swu.v29i3.9
  • Kovacheva, S., Nanov, P., Kabaivanov, S. 2017. „Recruitment of Youth Political Elites during Transformations in Central and Eastern Europe and the Arab-Mediterranean Countries: A Comparative Approach”. In: Kovacheva, S. Young People and Social Change in South and East Mediterranean Countries. Plovdiv: University Press “Paisii Hilendarski”

Dimitar ANGELOV holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” /2008/ and a Master’s Degree in European Union Law from Université de Lorraine (Nancy, France) /2014/. At present, he is a PhD Student and Teaching Assistant at the Faculty of Law of Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”.

His research focuses on the concept of “national constitutional identity” and the definition of the relationship between EU and national constitutional law.

He is fluent in French and English.

Recent publications:

  1. Angelov, D. Free Movement of Same-Sex Couples in the European Union and the Protection of National (Constitutional) Identities of the Member States. – In: Papers of the 8th National Conference of Doctoral Students. Sofia, Institute for the State and the Law, 2018, pp. 350 – 362.
  2. Angelov, D. Legal Means for the Protection of National Identity in Primary EU Law. – In: Paunov, H. (Ed.). Collection of Studies from “The Law – Tradition and Perspectives” – Jubilee Conference on the occasion of the 25th year since the establishment of the Faculty of Law of Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. Sofia, Ciela, 2018, pp. 906 – 923.
  3. Angelov. D. Linguistic Diversity and National Identity in EU Law. – In: Bulgaria and the European Union Ten Years Later – What We Achieved (or Not)?. Sofia, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and Friedrich Naumann Foundation, 2017, 228-239.

Bilyana Mileva has Master’s in “Media Communication – Journalism, Advertising, PR and Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. Bilyana started working in the NGO sector in the beginning of 2013 as volunteer supporting the coordination of the European week of physical activity and sport – MOVE Week in Bulgaria, the flagship event of the NowWeMOVE campaign, managed by ISCA. In the following years, she has gradually taken more and more responsibilities and had the opportunity to gain experience according to her education. Currently Bilyana Mileva is a PhD student in Plovdiv University and working on her thesis “Civil organisations in the late capitalist society. Theoretical and practical approaches on researching their role and functions for social change”. Bilyana was Project Manager in BG Be Active until June 2020, when she decided to start her PhD. In that moment, she was responsible for overseeing all projects of the organisation. She was a National Coordinator for MOVE Week – 2014, and NowWeMOVE campaign, including MOVE Week and all other events part of it – 2015, 2018, and 2019. In 2017 Bilyana was appointed for Report Card Leader for the development of the first Bulgarian report on Active Heathy Kids part of the AHK Global Alliance –


Bilyana Mileva has been in charge of different Erasmus+ projects since 2014 and managed projects funded by foundations and sponsors on national level. For the last 7 years she managed or coordinated over 20 projects as part of BG Be Active Association, including European Voluntary Service projects, and Erasmus+ Sport projects (European School Sport Day, Active School Communities, ActiveVoice, MOVEment Spaces, etc). The development and implementation of those projects in Bulgaria has been focusing on HEPA (Health Enhancing Physical Activity) and following the principals of GAPPA, WHO (Global Action Plan on Physical Activity) which presents the cross-sectorial approach to health and wellbeing.