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For Mentees

Who is AdvanceMent Freiburg designed for?

You are an advanced doctoral candidate or early career postdoctoral researcher at the University of Freiburg and:

  • Are currently in a phase of professional transition (end of doctorate, early postdoc phase) and would like to take a close look at your next career steps?
  • are striving for an academic career or want to learn about professional perspectives on the non-academic job market and lack role models?
  • ask yourself how you can successfully integrate your personal living situation into the realization of your professional goals?
  • would like to openly and actively engage in a one-on-one mentoring relationship as well as with your peers to learn and develop together?
  • want to expand your career-relevant competencies as well as your (academic) network?

Then apply for one of our program tracks:

  • @academia for academic career paths
  • @newpathways for industry and society career paths


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 a person with professional experience about your own potentials 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


What are the participation requirements?

A prerequisite for participation is that you are a doctoral or postdoctoral researcher at the University of Freiburg during the program period. In addition, you should be able to participate in the accompanying program (introduction, interim review, final review) and the workshops of your program track.

As a mentee, you also commit to participating in the evaluation for the further development of the program and to write a short final report.

Punktesystem EN


Do I receive a mentoring certificate?

Upon successful participation in the mentoring program, a certificate is issued to each mentee. The mentoring certificate specifies the content and objectives of the mentoring program as well as the events attended. Workshops of the FRS qualification programs that were additionally attended during the term of the mentoring program can be included on the certificate after consultation with the program management. To receive a certificate, mentees need at least 9 out of a total of 12 points; at least two of the 9 points must come from one area.

Completion of a mentoring agreement between mentor and mentee


Participation in the supporting program (Kick-off event, Intro workshop, mid-term evaluation, concluding evaluation, and celebretory closing ceremony)


Completion of at least 4 one-on-one mentoring meetings, including preperation and reflection

4 Points

Regular participation in peer group meetings (at least 5) and the creation of short protocols

5 Points

Participation in three qualification workshops

3 Points

Participation in the program evaluation and writing a short final report.


In the event of illness or a scheduling conflict, workshops from the FRS qualification program for doctoral candidates and the GDaPE qualifiation program for postdocs 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 program line explicitly addresses postdocs who are still in the process of orienting themselves for their academic career. This does not include you if you:

  • plan to apply for professorships in the next few years or are eligible for appointment.
  • have already completed several postdoc projects or are well advanced with your habilitation.
  • Have a Group Leader or similar position

In this case, you will 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 program management.


What financial costs are there?

Mentoring is a voluntary activity! The benefits of a successful mentoring relationship cannot therefore be described in monetary terms. Nevertheless, high costs are incurred for the administration and implementation of the mentoring program. These are borne by the University of Freiburg in order to support its researchers in their career development.


How much time will I need to invest?

An intensive examination of your own professional goals as well as the planning and also the implementation of career-relevant steps naturally takes time. In order to gain real added value from the program, 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.

For the mentoring program, you should plan time for:

  • Meeting with your mentor and with your peer group,
  • The preperation for and reflection on these meetings,
  • as well as implementing the next steps discussed in mentoring.

We recommend that mentoring partners meet four to six times during the program period. The peer groups should meet, depending on need, every four to six weeks.

For the supporting program, the workshops and the counseling, there are specific times and dates that are planned: see the schedule for the current program.


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 program is German. To participate successfully in the program, you must therefore have a good enough command of German to actively participate in the networking events and workshops.

Depending on the composition of the group, selected workshops or networking events may also be held in English. Therefore, it would be helpful if you are comfortable speaking both languages. Each group negotiates the working language in the peer group for itself. When matching the mentoring partnerships, the language preference of the mentees can be taken into account.


How does the mentor search and matching work?

In general, the mentees are very much involved in the search and selection of potential mentors. AdvanceMent Freiburg does not work with an existing pool of mentors, because each mentee should find the right person for his or her current questions and career goals. The program management supports the research and can also make suggestions for mentors in individual cases. In addition, the program management makes initial contact with potential mentors in order to clarify participation in the program 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 program 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 (and for @newpathways in the career planning workshops), we work out your priorities together so that you can give a shortlist of at least three potential mentors at the end. The program 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.

Matching EN


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, all mentees are invited to an introductory workshop. In the course of the workshop, expectations are defined as concretely as possible and reviewed to determine whether they are realistic. Priorities for a mentor shortlist are worked out. In addition, it is clarified how the mentees can succeed in contributing to the design of the communication situation in such a way that cooperation is as clear and goal-oriented as possible.


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 program for women in medicine (Postdoc phase) [info in German only]

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

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


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. Jessica Günzle,