Project Details Postgraduate Course in Polymer Science

Project No.:
2015-046-1-400
Start Date:
01 December 2015
End Date:
01 May 2017
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 2013-046-1-400)

Description

The 20th and 21st runs of the Course will be held in the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17 at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague. The Courses are organized under the auspices of 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 Course lasts 10 months and comprises experimental work on research projects under the supervision of senior scientists of the Institute, about 50 hours of lectures in modern polymer science, and participation in all educational activities within the Institute. 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. The number of participants in each of the 19 runs completed so far was usually between 5 and 13, depending on the funds available. In total, 156 participants took part in the Course and they were from the following 22 countries: Algeria, Brazil, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Hungary, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Nepal, 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 results of the research are published in international technical journals and presented at meetings: by January 2015, 360 papers had been published in international journals that had been cited more than 7100 times (for list of papers see: https://www.imc.cas.cz/unescoiupac/papersUI.html). 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

Progress

March 2016 – Project announcement published in Chem. Int. March 2016, p. 20; https://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ci-2016-0211

May 2017 – In the year 2016, seven months (January – July) of the 20th run of the Course and three months (October – December) of the 21st run were completed. 10 participants from the following countries completed the 20th run (October 2015 – July 2016): Cameroon, China, Nepal, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and Uruguay. All of the Course participants presented the results of their respective research projects at the international workshop “Career in Polymers VIII” organized by the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry AS CR in Prague from 15th to 16th July 2016. Two of the Course graduates have started Ph.D. studies at the universities in the Czech Republic. The financial support by the Polymer Division of IUPAC was used to partially fund the accommodation expenses.

In October 2016, the 21st run of the Course has begun. Out of the large number of applicants, 12 have been admitted from the following countries: Brazil, Egypt, India, Nepal, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. In March 2017, a mid-term seminar was held, during which the students reported on preliminary results of their respective research projects. The final reports will be given at the international workshop “Career in Polymers IX”, which will be organized by the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry AS CR in Prague from 28th to 29th June 2017. The Course will conclude at the end of July 2017.

The 22nd run of the Course is being prepared: the research project topics were announced, applications were collected and assessed. The new run of the Course will commence in October 2017.

Cumulative results of the 20 runs completed so far are: 166 graduates; 23 nationalities; more than 500 publications in international journals, with more than 10000 citations and many communications at international meetings (all as of January 2017). A report about the purpose, achievements and organization of the Course was published by A. Šturcová and P. Kratochvíl in Macromolecular Symposia in the volume focused on polymer education (Macromol. Symp. 2015, 355, 20–25; doi.org/10.1002/masy.201500016)

Detailed information on the Course can be found at this address: https://www.imc.cas.cz/cz/umch/kursy_unesco_iupac.htm

An experience of 20 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 approximately three papers in an impacted journal, and about 60 citations per graduate. Of course, the distribution of scientometric data 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 34 graduates became doctoral students at Czech universities, 11 of those have completed their Ph.D. studies.
5. Graduation of the Course often enhanced professional promotion in the home countries of the graduates.

Project completed

Page last updated 19 May 2016