The Institute for Population and Human Studies (IPHS) is oriented towards carrying out demographic and psychological research aimed at revealing the regularities and determinants for the development and reproduction of the Bulgarian population as well as for the psychological development and realization of the individual.
The research strategy of the institute is aimed at helping the institutions to solve problems with demographic and personal development in the context of European integration and present global trends.
Priorities in the research activity of IPHS are:
- Structural changes in population due to falling birth rates, ageing, internal and external migration, destabilisation of the family institution, morbidity and other demographic challenges;
- Demographic behaviour changes: Theories, methodological research and empirical analyses in conditions of economic and demographic crisis;
- Integration processes and national identity in the context of ethnic, religious, etc. diversity, increased population mobility and globalization;
- Personal potential for development, lifelong learning and adapting and creating practical approaches for improving the quality of life.
The problematic spheres in which the research in the Demography Department develops include studies on the historical demography of Bulgarian lands, historical migration issues, interrelationship between the rural settlement system and the human potential of the Bulgarian village, demographic problems of birth rate in the ethnic group Roma, analyses of the development of the population of Bulgaria in the 20th and 21st centuries, questions on the health status and access to healthcare of the Roma in a cross-cultural aspect. In 2015, the scientists of the department participated in the preparation of changes in the demographic strategy of Bulgaria, and in 2017, a project for preparation of proposals for measures to overcome the demographic crisis was launched.
The scientific fields in which the activity of the Psychology Department develops are problems of behavior and health in adolescents in a cross-cultural aspect, the values of Bulgarians in the period of most recent history of the country, the psychological factors in the processes of lifelong learning, organizational-psychological and personality peculiarities of mental health and well-being, happiness, perfectionism, comparative intercultural analyses of attitudes towards ethnicity, the cognitive-psychological aspects of emotional development in childhood, excellence through the humanistic approach, the career development of PhD students.
Significant neuroscience studies such as the study of visual and tactile perceptions for the diagnosis of child learning abnormalities are also realized. The Department develops new accredited PhD programs such as Counseling Psychology, realizes trainings both independently and in partnership, participates in the preparation of specialists through its scientific associates and their teaching activities in higher education institutions and the training of PhD students.
Scientists from the Institute for Population and Human Studies are lecturers in 11 universities in the country and are actively involved in both training of students under Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, as well as in the training of graduates.
An essential function and priority of the unit is to accept and train PhD students in the fields of psychology, sociology, statistics and demography and historical demography.
The Standing Commission on Social and Legal Sciences, Security and Defense of NEAA has provided program accreditation to the Institute for all doctoral programs with very high grades.