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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 trustful 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

Do I receive a mentoring certificate?

After 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 IGA or postdoc 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 of the program lines @academia and @newpathways need to attend at least 5 out of 7 workshops. The mentees of the program line @flexability must attend all 4 workshops offered, although individual workshops may be catched up in the following year with 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 program is also mandatory for the issuance of the certificate.

In the event of illness or a scheduling conflict, workshops from the qualification programs 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 program 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 program management.

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 program. These are mainly borne by the Albert Ludwig University 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 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.

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 program with introductory workshop, mid-term review and final workshop is mandatory and must be attended.

We recommend that mentoring tandems exchange ideas between four to six times during the program. 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 program lines @academia and @newpathways 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.

The program 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 do 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 him or her for current issues and career goals. This requires current market research and precise knowledge of one's own or desired work environment. The program management supports the research and can also make suggestions for mentors in individual cases. In addition, the program management makes the 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, we will work out your priorities together, so that at the end you can indicate a shortlist of at least three potential mentors. 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 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 program 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 contributing to the design of the communication situation 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. Jessica Günzle,

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]