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For Mentees



What are the benefits for mentees at AdvanceMent Freiburg?

AdvanceMent Freiburg offers you a variety of opportunities for career development:

  • Career orientation through the exchange of experiences with the peer group and the mentor by obtaining valuable insider knowledge and identifying your own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Personal and honest exchange with an experienced professional about your own potential and goals
  • Support in the development of clear career goals as well as in the planning and implementation of next steps
  • Knowledge of formal and informal structures, processes and rules in science and business
  • Insights into the path to a professorship or a new professional field
  • Widening your professional horizons
  • Further development of your own career-relevant competencies and qualifications
  • Expansion of an interdisciplinary network, for example through the peer group
  • Access to and expansion of the subject- or profession-specific network via your mentor

Do I receive a mentoring certificate?

After successful participation in the mentoring programme, a certificate is issued to each mentee. The mentoring certificate specifies the content and objectives of the mentoring programme as well as the events attended. Workshops of the IGA or postdoc qualification programmes that were additionally attended during the term of the mentoring programme can be included on the certificate after consultation with the programme management. To receive a certificate, mentees of the programme lines @academia and @newpathways need to attend at least 5 out of 7 workshops. The mentees of the programme line @flexAbility must attend all 4 workshops offered, although individual workshops may be made up in the following year with proper justification. In addition, at least 4 meetings with the mentor must take place, and the peer groups must have 5 meetings. The final evaluation for quality assurance and further development of the programme is also mandatory for the issuance of the certificate.

In the event of illness or a scheduling conflict, workshops from the qualification programmes of the GDaPE (postdocs) and of the FRS (doctoral candidates) can also be attended by arrangement and credited towards the mentoring certificate.

What is an „early postdoc“?

You are generally considered an early postdoc during the first one to three years after your doctorate. With regard to the participation requirements, however, we deliberately do not specify a time period when the early postdoc phase ends, as it is possible to still be in this phase three years after receiving your doctorate (due to parental leave etc.). However, the @academia programme line explicitly addresses postdocs who are still in the process of orienting themselves for their academic career.

In other cases, you can benefit from the courses tailored to postdocs (e.g. on appointment procedures) as well as coaching services. If you would like advice on how to find a mentor who can support you in preparing for an appointment, please contact the programme management.

What is an „advanced doctoral candidate“?

An advanced doctoral candidate is usually someone who is in the final third of their doctoral project. This may mean that a significant amount of research and writing has already been done. However, it is important to note that the exact definition of what is considered "advanced" may vary by department. If you have any questions about this, please contact the programme management, who will be happy to advise you on when might be the right time for you.

What are the costs?

Mentoring is a voluntary activity! Therefore, the benefits of a successful mentoring relationship cannot be described in monetary terms. Nevertheless, high costs are incurred for the administration and implementation of the mentoring programme. These are mainly borne by the University of Freiburg in order to support its scientists in their career development. In order to cover the costs for catering during the workshops and to be able to organize a kick-off and closing event, we charge an expense contribution of €60 per participant for the entire duration of the program. In special cases, a waiver of this contribution can be applied for informally without justification.

How much time will I need to invest?

An intensive examination of your own professional goals as well as the planning and implementation of career-relevant steps naturally takes time. In order to gain real added value from the programme, you need to bring enough time as well as the will to actively engage in the mentoring partnership and the peer group and to participate in networking events.

In the @academia and @newpathways program lines, 5 workshops of your choice must be taken; in the @flexAbility line, 4 fixed workshops must be attended. The social programme with introductory workshop, mid-term review and final workshop are mandatory and must be attended.

We recommend that mentoring tandems exchange ideas between four to six times during the programme. The peer group should meet, self-organized and as needed, every four to six weeks.

Which language skills do I need to participate in the program?

The goal of AdvanceMent Freiburg is to accompany academic and non-academic career paths in Germany. Therefore, the main language of the programme lines @academia and @newpathways is German. To participate successfully in the programme, you must therefore have a good enough command of German to actively participate in the networking events and workshops.

The programme line @flexAbility is primarily aimed at international and other English-speaking mentees. All workshops are offered in English. Each group negotiates the working language in the peer group for itself. When matching the tandems, the language preference of the mentees can be taken into account.

How does the mentor search and matching work?

AdvanceMent Freiburg does not work with an existing pool of mentors, because each mentee should find the right person for themselves for current issues and career goals. This requires current market research and precise knowledge of one's own or desired work environment. The programme management supports the research and can also make suggestions for mentors in individual cases. In addition, the programme management makes the initial contact with potential mentors in order to clarify participation in the programme in advance. If the mentees already know potential mentors from their scientific community, they can also take over the initial contact, so that the official inquiry by the programme management follows.

Ideally, you have already thought about what your career goals are and what or who you would need to support you on this path before you apply. You may also have made initial suggestions in your application about who you could imagine as a mentor. However, this is not absolutely necessary. During the introductory workshop, we will work out your priorities together, so that at the end you can indicate a shortlist of at least three potential mentors. The programme management then makes an inquiry to the potential mentors and conducts an initial interview. Afterwards, mentee and mentor clarify expectations and goals in an initial meeting and decide whether a collaboration is conceivable. If so, they conclude a mentoring agreement and things can get started.

How can I prepare for the mentoring relationship?

To prepare, please read our guidelines carefully. In addition, you can already think about your expectations of the mentoring relationship in preparation for the application. For example, think about what you expect from the mentoring process, what specific issues you would like to work on together, and what forms of exchange and support you would like from your mentor.

After the successful application, the mentees of the program lines @academia and @newpathways are invited to an introductory workshop. The mentees of the program line @flexAbility are prepared for the mentoring and matching by the programme management. During the workshop, expectations are fleshed out as best as possible and checked to see if they are realistic. Priorities for a mentor shortlist are worked out. In addition, it is clarified how the mentees can succeed in designing the communication between parties in such a way that cooperation is as clear and goal-oriented as possible.

How do I deal with problems in the mentoring partnership?

If you notice a problem in your mentoring relationship, talk to your mentor about it. Explain what you are dissatisfied with and give your mentor an idea as to what you would like to see instead. If the problem cannot be resolved within the mentoring partnership, the program management of AdvanceMent Freiburg is also available to advise you at any time.

Contact: Dr. Rebecce Bitenc,

Is there any subject specific mentoring available?

Depending on the subject field, there may already be a mentoring program of interest for you.

EIRA Mentoring – Mentoring programme for women in medicine (Postdoc phase) [info in German only]

KITE Mentoring – Mentoring programme for female doctoral candidates and postdocs in Physics, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Mathematics, Computer science, Engineering, Biology und Medicine

WVF-Mentoring – Mentoring programme for Postdocs of the Faculty of Ecomonics and Behavioural Science [info in German only]