Bulgarian Scientists Rally against Corrupt Funding Practices

Society | December 5, 2012, Wednesday // 12:08| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgarian Researchers Rally against Corrupt Funding Practices: Bulgarian Scientists Rally against Corrupt Funding Practices Bulgaria's Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov, says allegations about syphoning of the Scientific Research Fund, are a media campaign targeting specific individuals. Photo by BGNES

People have the right to stage protest rallies, but all accusations must be proven in a Court of Law, according to Bulgaria's Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov.

Hundreds of Bulgarian scientists and researchers are staging a protest rally Wednesday in front of the Education Ministry in outrage of what they say are Ignatov's attempts to cover-up the scandal at the country's Scientific Research Fund.

They further demand the annulment of the results of the 2012 bid for financing of scientific projects.

Speaking for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, the Minister reiterated his firm belief that the bid and the ranking have not been flawed. He stressed the final results of the latest probe at the Fund are expected around December 20th.

Ignatov explained the scandal was a media campaign targeting specific individuals.

On accusations the winners are projects authored by people and companies close to the Chairman of the Fund's Scientific Council, Rangel Gyurov, and to New Bulgarian University, NBU, (of which Ignatov was president, before becoming minister), he stressed that 95 projects from all scientific areas have won financing, making it impossible for all of them to be Gyurov's "friends."

Ignatov added that NBU is one of the top universities in the country and it was normal for it to bid and win.

He promised the reviews of the projects would be available after December 10, but not online, just from the Fund's archives.

Earlier, researchers voiced outrage from the winning bids being announced without the number of points each has received and because the reviews would not be made public until January 20, 2013, when the candidates will be allowed only to see their own, but not those of others.

Despite Ignatov's denials, the outraged scientists continue to insist that rampant corruption is draining the very scarce financing for research in the country.

In addition to those in Bulgaria, Bulgarian scientists holding prestigious jobs abroad such as at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton among others, also launched a petition against the State's long-running neglect of science and education.

Meanwhile, BNR reported that the Minister has invited two of the organizers of the rally in his office to discuss the issues.

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Society » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Bulgarian, scientists, research ministry, grant competition, Emil Horozov, misuse, Rangel Gyurov, NBU, reviews, bidders, projects, Sergey Ignatov, Education Minister, trading influence, conflict of interests, fund, Scientific Research Fund, scandal, embezzlement
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria