University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria (PU)

The University of Plovdiv “Paisii Hilendarski” is one of the leading higher-education institutions and the second biggest in Bulgaria. It has 9 faculties and provides degree-level education to students in more than 260 disciplines encompassing the humanities, social sciences, pedagogy, mathematical and natural sciences. Two further affiliated colleges and their respective teaching facilities are situated in the towns of Smolyan and Kardzhali. The University of Plovdiv 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 EU funded scientific research programs. The Faculty of Philosophy and History at University of Plovdiv organizes and conducts the educational process under accredited programs of the Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees in the professional fields of History and Archaeology, Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Sciences, Religion and Philosophy. At present, fifteen majors are taught. The Faculty has five research centres. The combination of well-developed specialties and highly qualified academic staff offers resources for the development of interdisciplinary scientific and educational projects and programmes. Among the research projects recently conducted are the EU-funded projects: SAHWA – Empowering the young generation: towards a new social contract in South and East Mediterranean countries (7th Framework Programme (FP7), 2014-2017, see: and YOUNG_ADULLLT (Horizon 2020, 2016-2019, see:  


Siyka Kovacheva

Siyka Kovacheva, PhD, is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Her research interests are in the field of youth studies, young people’s transitions to employment and parenthood, youth participation, lifelong learning, and mobility. She has experience in conducting research in cross-national perspective and has been the national coordinator of more than 12 international research projects. Siyka has published extensively on national and international issues in youth research and policy.

Darena Hristozova

Darena Hristozova is a PhD Student in Sociology at Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. She is a Bachelor in Sociology of Law, Economics and Innovation and has a Master degree in Human Resources. Her research interests are in the field of youth life transitions and more specifically in youth transition from education to employment. Her publications are dedicated both to young people in Bulgaria and to young Bulgarian migrants seeking secure and satisfying employment on national and European labour market. The focus is put on the challenges and perspectives youth are facing and the impact of the contemporary social and economic insecurity. Darena has experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analyse of interviews-in-depth and big volumes of data.

Siyka Kovacheva

Plamen Nanov, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied and Institutional Sociology in Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv. His research interests are in the field of Political Sociology, Migration Studies and European Studies. He has an extensive experience in qualitative research (biographical interviews, in-depth interviews, focus groups) and policy analysis and has participated in a number of national and international research and applied projects.


Siyka Kovacheva

Teodora Bedrozova holds a PhD in psychology from the University of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. She has experience as a trainer and supervisor in the field of social services, psychotherapeutic practice with children and adults and is currently a psychologist in Sevlievo Municipality, responsible for social services for children and families. Her research interests are in the field of social exclusion and socio-psychological development and support for children and young people from vulnerable groups.


Contribution to the Project

The Department of Applied Sociology will coordinate the project in Bulgaria. The team will take part in all work tasks and will be responsible in particular for the work packages on qualitative research with young people and participatory innovation forums.