To enable young university graduates and PhDs from countries with limited research facilities to acquire knowledge on recent advances in polymer science and professional skills needed for promotion of polymer science in their home countries.
The 15th run of the Course will be held in the academic year 2010-2011 at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, in Prague. The Courses are co-sponsored by UNESCO and IUPAC with financial assistance of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The Institute with more than 100 scientists and with experience of more than 40 years in postgraduate education offers up-to-date facilities for postgraduate training in polymer science. The number of participants in each of the earlier 14 runs was usually 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 and presented at meetings. The cumulative results of the runs of the Course held hitherto are as of 1 January 2010: 116 graduates, 152 papers published in international journals and 201 communications at international meetings. For list of communications see www.imc.cas.cz/unesco/papersUI.html
The papers co-authored by the Course graduates have been cited more than 2000 times. At the end of each run, a public seminar is organized, where all participants report on their results. A certificate of graduation, with UNESCO and IUPAC logos, is issued to the graduates. Students from the following 17 countries graduated from the Course: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, India, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. 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 represent a major educational activity within the Polymer Division.
For detailed information on the Course see www.imc.cas.cz/en/imc/unesco.html
The Course was awarded the IUPAC-Samsung Education Prize for 2005 (see
May 2011 update – The 15th run of the Course has been in progress since October 2010 and will be concluded by the final seminar in July 2011 within the scope of the workshop Career in Polymers III organized by the Institute. Five students from the following countries have been attending: Kazakhstan, Serbia, Vietnam and Poland. In March, the mid-term seminar was held at which the students reported on the results of their research projects. More than a half of the projects is likely to result in publications in international journals or communications at meetings.
The preparations for the 16th run of the Course are in final stages. Out of the large number of applicants, 10 have been nominated. Their nationalities are: India, China, Uruguay, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine. The Course is going to start in October 2011 and will be concluded in July 2012.
Cumulative results of the 15 runs held so far are: 120 graduates; 20 nationalities; publications in international journals 173, communications at international meetings 306, citations 2614 (all as of December 2010).
Detailed information on the Course can be found at the address:
An experience of 15 years enables us to draw a few generalizing conclusions:
- The Course has, in fact, become a global activity. Students from all continents except Australia and North America have graduated.
- The average publication output is more than one paper in an impacted journal, two conference communications and about 22 citations per graduate. Of course, the distribution of scientometric hits per individual is very non-uniform.
- In several cases, a productive long-term co-operation has developed between the Institute and the graduateâ€™s mother institution.
- In the last five years, twelve graduates became doctoral students at Czech universities.
- Graduation of the Course often enhanced professional promotion in the home countries of the graduates.
- The Course contributes to a positive image of IUPAC both inside and outside the professional community at virtually no cost for the Union.
Sept 2011 – project report published in Chem. Int. Sep-Oct 2011, p. 23
page last updated 30 Sep 2011