The Bulgarian National Science Fund opened a call for proposals for the National Scientific Program “Excellent Research and People for the Development of European Science” (VIHREN)

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General goal of the program

The National Scientific Program “Vihren” sets out the objectives and principles of funding, designed to support excellent Principal Investigators (PIs):

The Leading researcher Grant scheme is designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognized track record of research achievements.

The Established researcher Grant scheme is designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or program.

Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. The ”Vihren” frontier research grants operate on a 'bottom-up' basis without predetermined priorities. Applications can be made in any field of research with particular emphasis on the frontiers of science and engineering. In particular, proposals of an interdisciplinary nature, which cross the boundaries between different fields of research, pioneering proposals addressing new and emerging fields of research or proposals introducing unconventional, innovative approaches and scientific inventions are encouraged.

Researchers working or living in Bulgaria or in any other country can apply for “Vihren” grant together with a Bulgarian host organization. No age, sex, or nationality restrictions apply.


Indicative budget of the call:

The indicative budget for funding projects for the call 2019 is BGN 1 500 000, of which BGN 1 425 000 is for project support and BGN 75 000 is for evaluation of the proposals.

The program is implemented by applying two separate procedures, respectively for the two project calls for "Established researcher" and for "Leading researcher".

The budget per proposal depends on its duration and is calculated as a maximum amount of BGN 265 000 per year for "Leading researcher" grand and a maximum amount of BGN 210 000 per year for "Established researcher" grand for a maximum period of five years. The project budget will be reduced pro rata temporis for shorter project duration.

Evaluation of the proposals:

A single submission of a proposal will be followed by a two-step peer review evaluation. Grant applications will be assessed by three peer review evaluation panels: Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE), Live Sciences (LS), Social Science and Humanities (SSH). Based on the budget available for the call, to one proposal of Leading researcher and one proposal of Experienced research per panel will be offered an “Vihren grant”.

Proposals of scientists of Bulgarian nationality or scientists living in Bulgaria who have already applied for an ERC with a Bulgarian higher education institution or a scientific organization as a host organization during the last two years (the H2020 Calls ERC-2017-AdG and ERC-2018-AdG, ERC-2017-CoG or ERC-2018-CoG), which received evaluation score not lower than Category B at step 1 of the evaluation but have not received grant by EC may also be submitted to this call. If such proposal is submitted to the present call and satisfies admissibility and eligibility criteria, it is not evaluated at step 1 and is directly included in the step 2 of the evaluation.


The deadline for submission of proposals is 20.09.2019

Information, documents and guidelines for the Call:

in Bulgarian: https://www.fni.bg/?q=node/960

in English: https://www.fni.bg/?q=node/959