Project Details Postgraduate Course in Polymer Science

Project No.:
2013-046-1-400
Start Date:
01 November 2013
End Date:
28 February 2015
Division Name:
Polymer Division
Division No.:
400

Objective

To enable young university graduates and PhDs from countries with limited research facilities to acquire knowledge of recent advances in polymer science and professional skills needed for promotion of polymer science in their home countries.

> link to info on previous courses (project 2011-052-1-400)

Description

The 18th and 19th runs of the Course will be held in the academic years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 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 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 17 runs completed so far 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 January 2013: 138 graduates, 285 papers published in international journals and more than 329 communications at international meetings. For list of papers see https://www.imc.cas.cz/unescoiupac/papersUI.html

The papers co-authored by the Course graduates have been cited more than 4500 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, Iran, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. 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 IUPAC Polymer Division. Reports on the Courses have been annually presented and favorably accepted at the meetings of the Polymer Division Committee of IUPAC (cf. Division Committee Minutes). For detailed information on the Course see https://www.imc.cas.cz/en/umch/kursy_unesco_iupac.htm

The Course was awarded the IUPAC-Samsung Education Prize for 2005; see https://iupac.org/publications/ci/2005/2706/iw1_samsung.html.

Progress

Jan 2014 – Project announcement published in Chem. Int. Jan-Feb 2014, p. 17; DOI: 10.1515/ci.2014.36.1.17c.

Feb 2015 update – In the year 2014, seven months (January-July) of the 18th run of the Course and three months (October-December) of the 19th run were completed. 12 students from the following countries completed the 18th run (October 2013-July 2014): Croatia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam. All of the Course participants have presented the results of their respective research projects at the international workshop “Career in Polymers VI”held in Prague, 18-19 July 2014. In addition, 11 contributions were presented at other scientific meetings, one article was published in scientific journal and more articles are being prepared. Two of the Course graduates have resumed Ph.D. studies at the universities in the Czech Republic. The financial support by the Polymer Division of IUPAC was used to fund one part of the accommodation expenses.

In October 2014, the 19th run of the Course has begun. Out of the large number of applicants, 6 have been accepted from the following countries: Croatia, Nepal, and Ukraine. In March 2015, a mid-term seminar will be held at which the students will report on preliminary results of their research projects. The final reports will be given at the international workshop “Career in Polymers VII” held in Prague from 3rd to 4th July 2015. The Course will conclude at the end of July 2015.

The 20th run of the Course is being prepared: the research project topics were announced, applications were collected and are currently being assessed. The new run of the Course will commence in October 2015.

Cumulative results of the 18 runs completed so far are: 150 graduates; 21 nationalities; 360 publications in international journals, with more than 7100 citations and many communications at international meetings (all as of January 2015). Detailed information on the Course can be found at this address: https://www.imc.cas.cz/en/umch/kursy_unesco_iupac.htm

An experience of 18 years enables us to draw a few generalizing conclusions:

  1. The Course has, in fact, become a global activity. Students from all continents except Australia and North America have graduated.
  2. The average publication output is more than two papers in an impacted journal, and about 47 citations per graduate. Of course, the distribution of scientometric hits per individual is very non-uniform.
  3. In several cases, a productive long-term co-operation has developed between the Institute and the graduate’s mother institution.
  4. At least twenty six graduates became doctoral students at Czech universities.
  5. Graduation of the Course often enhanced professional promotion in the home countries of the graduates.
  6. The Course contributes to a positive image of IUPAC both inside and outside the professional community at virtually no cost for the Union.

Last updated 2 March 2015