To enable young university graduates and PhDs from countries with limited research facilities to acquire professional skills needed for promotion of polymer science in their home countries.
The eighth run of the Course for the academic year 2003-2004 is going to start in October 2003 at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, in Prague. The Institute with its staff of 240 including 130 scientists and with experience of 35 years in educating young scientists from emerging countries offers up-to-date facilities for postgraduate training in polymer science. The number of participants in each of the six runs held so far varied between 5 and 13, depending on the funds available. The Course lasts 10 months and comprises about 50 hours of lectures in modern polymer science, experimental work on research projects under the supervision of senior scientists of the Institute and participation in all educational activities within the Institute. The results of the research are published in international technical journals. The cumulative results of the six runs of the Course were at the end of 2001: 46 participants, 24 papers in international journals published, 10 papers in press and 35 communications at international meetings. A certificate of graduation is issued to the participants. Follow-up shows that graduation from the Course has been very helpful to professional promotion of the graduates in their home countries. Co-operation with a number of them continues through joint projects with their home laboratories. The Courses are sponsored, mostly without financial assistance, by UNESCO.
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