Image of Researchers in Bulgaria – between Enthusiasm and Reality

Elissaveta Gourova, Albena Antonova

Abstract

The paper presents the results of a survey on “Public Recognition of Bulgarian Researchers’ carried out within the FP7 project REGGAE. The objective of the survey was to collect a reliable primary data about the public image and the perception of the researchers’ profession, how to raise the public awareness and the attractiveness of the profession.

The paper presents briefly the survey methodology and the results obtained from 207 respondents of 4 Bulgarian cities, comprising researchers, students, journalists and others. More than 57% of the respondents admire the researchers’ profession, and consider researchers as talented, very intelligent and interesting people, devoted to their passion in research. However, researchers are not well recognized in society – for this all respondents are unanimous. The serious problems are due to the lack of support by the government. Besides, the lack of top research infrastructure and good financial stimulus prevent young people to enter this career path. It seems that the lack of a long-term policy and vision for the development of this profession in Bulgaria, and the EU initiatives for researchers, will further contribute to the brain-drain of researchers to other sectors of economy and abroad.