First National History Competition

Modernisation, Innovation, Changes: Bulgaria in Europe

The Bulgarian history competition on the subject of “Modernisation, Innovation, Changes: Bulgaria in Europe” was announced in May 1999.

The competition has been organised by the Values foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation founded in February 1998 by Mrs Antonina Stoyanova. It aims at supporting the development of Bulgarian science, education and art as part of the common European culture. The National historical competition takes place with the support of the Koerber Foundation and the co-operation of the Ministry of Education and Science, the General Archive Department, the Centre for Institutional Research, the Open Education Centre and the National Polytechnic Museum.

The competition is open to students of all kind of schools between 14 and 19 years of age. Both individual and group research papers can be submitted and the number of participants in the latter is not restricted.

The deadline for submitting the research papers is January 20th, 2000. The post mark on materials sent by post should not be later than that date.

The research papers are then evaluated by a committee of experts including university lecturers, teachers and museum workers. The evaluation is made in two stages. Only 25 research papers will reach the second stage and will be publicly defended in front of a committee. There will be one first prize, two second ones, three third ones and nine bonus awards. The public defence of the research papers that reach the national level is in April. In order to get a more precise evaluation an evaluation form is prepared in which the main criteria are:

Each research paper is evaluated by two members of the jury independently of one another. The nominated 25 research papers are reviewed by all jury members.

The winners’ prizes will be given by the Vice-President of the Republic of Bulgaria on May 24th, 2000. On this day Bulgaria celebrates the Day of Slavonic Writing and Culture.

The materials concerning the announcement of the competition include: a leaflet, a poster and a magazine containing information about the conditions of participation, methodological requirements for the research papers, evaluation criteria, deadlines, examples of important innovations, instruction for work with museums and archives.

A short film (10 min) and a video (1 min) as well as a radio announcement on the electronic media brought additional popularity to the competition.


First Stage

October 1998
Working seminar – the organisational structure of the competition is agreed on, aims are pointed out, criteria are clarified, members of the organisational, scientific council and jury are appointed, and possible subjects for the competition are discussed.

November 1998
Meeting of the organisational committee where the organisational structure of the competition is agreed on, the timetable and budget for the competition are approved.

December 1998
Preparation and presentation of the first four topics of the competition are consulted with and later discussed with teachers and students.

January February 1999
A two-side agreement is signed with partners: the Ministry of Education and Science, the General Archive Department, the Centre for Institutional Research, and the Open Education Centre.

Second Stage

March – May 1999
Producing information materials: leaflet, poster, magazine, film, video, radio etc.

May – June 1999
Sending the information materials around the schools, together with a request form for receipt of the magazine and a request form for participation in an information seminar.

October – November 1999
10 seminars are organised for teachers and students demonstrating interest in the announced competition. They are given by three lecturers – a museum worker, an archives employee and an expert explaining the methodological requirements for the research papers and the evaluation criteria.

The towns where the seminars take place are chosen according to the request forms for participation i.e. in regions where the biggest interest is demonstrated.

Requirements for the Research Papers

The object of research can be any innovation that has changed the way of life and the view of life of our predecessors. The topic has to be clearly and precisely formulated. The research paper should not repeat things that are already written or well known. It should not be just an accumulation of separate facts but also their comparison and analysis. The collected data is not simply used during the research; it is attached at the end as an indispensable part of it.

Each research paper should contain: plan, introduction, main body, conclusion and appendix. Conscientious research requires precise quoting of the sources used. A full list of the used literature and sources is necessary, made according to the bibliographical requirements.

The research paper should be written in a clear and understandable language. Blunt copying of another text is not permitted.

It is allowed to use help from other people. If a consultant is used it is obligatory to state what form did his or her help take in the application form for participation.

The recommended length of the research is between 15 and 30 standard typewritten pages (for individual papers) and between 20 and 50 pages for group papers.

The carefully selected and well arranged appendices contribute to the final evaluation mark.

Each research paper that is submitted arrives with an application form for participation in the competition which contains information about the author, the mentor, and the topic.

The office of the competition is responsible for printing and sending the information materials, organising and co-ordinating the competition activities and providing information.