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 16th and 17th runs of the Course will be held in the academic years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, in Prague. The Courses are sponsored by UNESCO with financial assistance of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The Institute with more than 100 scientists and with an experience of more than 50 years in postgraduate education offers up-to-date facilities for postgraduate training in polymer science. The number of participants in each of the 15 runs so far completed 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 2011: 120 graduates, 173 papers published in international journals and more than 300 communications at international meetings. For the list of papers see
The papers co-authored by the Course graduates have been cited more than 2600 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 20 countries graduated from the Course: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vietnam 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
The Course was awarded by the IUPAC-Samsung Education Prize for 2005 ( see Chem Int).
May 2013 – The 17th run of the Course has been in progress since October 2012 and will be concluded by the final seminar in July 2013 within the scope of the workshop Career in Polymers V organized by the Institute. 12 students from the following countries have been attending: Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam. In March 2013, 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 18th run of the Course are in final stages. Out of the large number of applicants, 13 have been nominated. Their nationalities are: Croatia, Mongolia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam. The Course is going to start in October 2013 and will be concluded in July 2014.
Cumulative results of the 17 runs held so far are: 138 graduates; 20 nationalities; publications in international journals 285, communications at international meetings 329, citations more than 4500 (all as of January 2013).
An experience of 17 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 two papers in an impacted journal, two conference communications and about 35 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 seven years, twenty 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.