Our Interns

Tsvetelina Stefanova

Tsvetelina Stefanova has been an intern at GATE since July 2022. She works in the field of disinformation detection. Her tasks are related to the processing of text data sets and their preparation for training machine learning models, as well as the annotation of linguistic data. The team she is involved in has created a tool to detect false information and disinformation and recognize automatically generated text. Sets of social media posts annotated with lie, sentiment, and truth or falsity tags were published. A scientific report was also written and presented at the 10th Language & Technologies Conference in April 2023 in Poznan, Poland.
Tsvetelina wants to develop in the field of artificial intelligence and more specifically – computational linguistics. In addition to being directly related to this field, the internship contributes to improving her organizational and teamwork skills.
“Unlike most internship programs, GATE’s programme combines scientific and practical orientation. Shows interns the process of creating innovations from idea through research to implementation and publication. It expands the knowledge of the university education, provides flexible working hours, tailored to the study process, and creates personnel capable of dealing with any challenges at  work.

Veneta Kireva


Veneta Kireva’s internship program starts in July 2022 and lasts for a full year. She works on two projects of the disinformation detection and research group. Performs ‘challenging’ but also ‘rewarding’ tasks in social media disinformation detection – pre-processing large datasets, detecting disinformation markers and developing a tool to analyze social media posts. The team is making significant progress in creating datasets in Bulgarian and developing a reliable tool for detecting disinformation in social media. An article describing the results of their work was also published.

“The internship allowed me to work on real research tasks, which was invaluable in developing my skills and knowledge in disinformation detection and data engineering. What makes this program unique is the chance to get hands-on with authentic research projects. At GATE, trainees are given the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to real-world problems and receive guidance from experts in the field.”

Alexander Stoychev


Alexander Stoychev has been an intern at GATE since the beginning of April 2023. He works on the project to create a test-center for big data and artificial intelligence of the NATO network DIANA (Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic) at the Institute. Performs administrative tasks and conducts research on the project.

Alexander studies political science with a specialization in national security. He plans to develop in the field of security and the GATE project is an excellent opportunity for him to take the first steps in this field.
“At GATE I have the opportunity to practice what I want to be my specialization in the future and to work in a pleasant and good environment for development. I enjoy the internship, I learn new things every day about how the security sector works and the team at GATE is positive and friendly.”

Michaela Zherkova

In the period March-April 2023, Michaela Zherkova was an intern at GATE and worked on the project “Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory for Digital Media – BROD”
She performed tasks for synthesis of information and development of structuring skills. She compiled a list of mentions of BROD in digital media.
Michaela has focused on professional development in the field of journalism. “The internship at GATE helped me develop skills to discover publications in the electronic media, to search for information about the results of held events and conferences. It gave me the opportunity to draw conclusions about the completeness and impact of a news story on society.”She chose the internship at GATE because she sees in it a unique opportunity to upgrade her theoretical knowledge of journalism. She was attracted by the possibility of communication in an international environment and the exchange of ideas beyond the borders of the region and the country.
“I was proud to be mentored by Bulgarian scientists who apply in their work models based on scientific arguments and high expertise”, says Michaela.

Ina Asenova


Ina Asenova was an intern in the applied research group “Future Cities”, where she worked on a project related to analyzing data on heat islands around the world.
Her tasks were collecting research, filtering by parameters and visualizing and analyzing the collected data. She contributed to a scientific article with the results of the research, which will be published in a scientific journal.

She believes that GATE’s internship program is different from others in its field because it offers “innovation, freedom of project choice, meaningful projects with real impact on society.” Ina defines the internship as “an extremely positive environment where experts and trainees work together to achieve important results, exchanging experience and knowledge, and where you feel always welcome – there is never a dull moment, because everything is dynamic and interesting, you learn something new every day.”

Nevena Grigorova


Dynamics, interesting practical tasks, constant communication and … inspiration. This is the summer 2023 GATE internship for Nevena Grigorova.
She worked on the “Traces 2” project, the goal of which is to create solutions for the automatic recognition of disinformation and textual deepfakes in Bulgarian social media.

During the internship, she collected true, false and disinformation messages for annotation by journalists, about disasters and accidents from Facebook groups, as well as propaganda claims from politicians, influencers and parties. Her results are gathering larger data sets, testing and improving existing models, and a Python script for renarrative recognition.
She gained an insight into the collection of databases, their processing and working with artificial intelligence. She will use the knowledge in her realization in the field of computer linguistics and machine learning.

Stefan Minkov


Stefan Minkov dreams of a career as a data scientist. He was an intern at the GATE research group on disinformation. There, Stefan created a resource-constrained claim recognition model that works reasonably well and started the development of a new dataset that could be used in propaganda recognition.

He believes that the GATE internship program is different from others in his field because it offers freedom of action, friendly and goal-oriented colleagues and many opportunities.

He defines his impressions of the internship at the Institute as “a galaxy of knowledge, wisely applied in the service of society.”

Alexander Komarov


Alexander Komarov is keen on creating models for artificial intelligence and finding their application in the market. The internship at GATE gave him the opportunity to touch the scientific process and laid the foundation for his future career development.

During his internship, Alexander worked on improving the models of the Traces project and adding new functionalities to them. He tested a web tool, analyzed model errors, collected new data using Bard, and processed various datasets.

He describes his internship as a “one-of-a-kind experience” and is eager to see the projects he has worked on come to fruition.

Antonio Donkov


“The internship at GATE is an experience that, in addition to giving you a lot professionally, enriches your personality, as everything happens with ease combined with intriguing and interesting material.” This is how Antonio Donkov defines the three months spent at GATE.

He worked on the project “City digital twin” and performed a task related to optimisation in the formula for calculating the walkability index. He also programmed a graphical interface/environment in which different scenarios can be tested in a parameterized manner and visualised results, from which the most optimal ones can be screened.

He is convinced that setting a clear goal and having a challenge is what makes GATE more attractive compared to other internship programmes.

Vasil Dakov


During his internship at GATE, Vasil Dakov developed a system for automatically detecting the locations of tree crowns in Sofia within the framework of the “City digital twin” project. The task required knowledge of Computer Vision, Machine Learning and Remote Sensing. He did also experiments with image segmentation and whole vegetation isolation in satellite images.

“This internship was different from the traditional software engineering internship, where the answers are often binary about what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Vasil connects his future with computer science, where computer vision attracts him the most. Apart from the experience he has gained in this field, the GATE internship has also helped him develop self-organisation and critical thinking skills. Highly appreciates the fact that he has worked on “meaningful projects”.