mentoring³—Promoting women in academia

Wortwolke zum Thema Mentoring
© Research Academy Ruhr; Icons:

mentoring³ is a mentoring program designed for the academic career development for female doctoral and postdoctoral researchers of all subject fields within University Alliance Ruhr. The mentoring groups will be arranged according to respective subjects and target groups so that the we can take into account the subject-specific conditions of the humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering sciences.

What does mentoring³ offer?

The key focus will be on the exchange with the mentors who advise participants in personal discussion on career planning and impart their knowledge about structures and rules in the academic world. The mentoring is supplemented by a seminar program and networking events.

Download Flyer mentoring³ (in German, 808 KB)

Who can participate?

In annual cycles, a program line for alternately doctoral or postdoctoral researchers of UA Ruhr universities starts each October. Each program line runs for two years.

The official language is German. The one-to-one mentoring sessions can be held in English if required.


Next program start: The next program line for female doctoral researchers will start in October 2020. Registration will be open from 1 June until 15 July 2020.

Event tip for current and former mentees: "Gekommen, um zu bleiben: Karrierewege in die Wissenschaft", an event in the series mentoring³ all-in on 28 April 2020 (17.30–20.00 h). Sign up now!


Dates and Program


The next program line for female doctoral researchers will start in October 2020. Registration will be open from 1 June until 15 July 2020. Further information on registration will be available in good time.

The next program line for female postdoctoral researchers of all subject groups will start in fall 2021 (application deadline is 15 July 2021).


Mentoring³ consists of the modules:

  • Mentoring
  • Tutorials/seminars
  • Networking
  • Supporting program

Depending on the subject group, the seminar program and networking events take place at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University or the University of Duisburg-Essen.


The mentoring³ program offers one-to-one mentoring. This is the classic form of mentoring focusing on the personal relationship between mentee and mentor. The mentors support the mentee in her career planning and the development of her potentials and competences. They provide the mentees with important knowledge about structures and processes in academic life and promote the expansion of their contact network.


The seminar program is geared towards interdisciplinary competences that are related to the respective subject culture as well as to interdisciplinary competences in academe, for example:

  • Potential assessment and career planning
  • Leadership requirements
  • Acquisition of third-party and international research funding
  • Application and appointment training
  • Team and conflict management


Network and Kaminabend (evening by the fireplace) with experts on relevant topics of scientific careers.

Supporting program

The mentoring³ program is framed by a introductory workshop to get prepared, an interim assessment and a concluding workshop.

Application as mentee and participation requirements

Participation requirements

If you are interested in participating in mentoring³, you should:

  • pursue an academic career
  • be prepared to play an active role in a mentoring relationship
  • be prepared to participate in the seminar programme, the networking events and the evaluation

A fee is charged, which includes participation in the supporting and seminar program.

  • Scholarship holders, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers with half-time positions: 120,- €
  • doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers with a full position: 200,- €

Application and selection procedure

The admission to the program is based on a two-step procedure including a written application and a selection interview, in which your motivation to participate, your goals and expectations of the mentor are discussed.

Your written application is expected to include:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation to participate
  • For female doctoral students: a short description of the current status of your dissertation (1-2 pages)
  • For female postdoctoral researchers: a brief description of your habilitation or current research project (1-2 pages) and list of publications
  • The completed application form
  • A passport photograph (as a separate jpg-file or in your CV)
  • Current CV

Registration for doctoral researchers will be open from 1 June until 15 July 2020. The application form will be available here in a timely manner.

Information for mentors

Would you like to support our program as a mentor?

What you should provide

Mentors who would like to support a mentee in her academic career should have the following background:

  • a successful career in academia
  • be interested in promoting young talent
  • be prepared to share and pass on their own experience and knowledge of the academic system.

Mentoring in praxis

We present you the personal profile of a potential mentee. After a personal meeting, you can decided whether you would like to guide this early researcher as a mentor. In at least three to four meetings over a period of two years, you would pass on your experience to the doctoral researcher. We will prepare the mentee for the self-reliant design of the mentoring process. She is expected to take the initiative for the preparation of the meetings in terms of content and scheduling.

  • You agree on goals and expectations together with the mentee.
  • In the mentoring agreement you make a clear declaration about the frequency, duration, location, form and confidentiality of the mentoring partnership.
  • You advise and support the mentee in her academic career planning and career development.
  • You provide constructive feedback on the competencies and potential of the mentee.
  • You impart knowledge about decision-making structures, formal and informal processes in the academic system.
  • You impart know-how and practical knowledge of the scientific community.
  • You support the mentee in establishing her own scientific and informal network.

Your potential benefit:

  • Reflection on your own career
  • Further development of your own leadership skills and consulting expertise
  • Further development of your own knowledge management skills
  • Expansion of the own interdisciplinary network by getting to know other mentors

If you are interested, please contact your respective coordination office.

Objectives of mentoring³

mentoring³ enables doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to outline their professional profiles as scientists by connecting them with professors, senior researchers, and executives from non-university research institutions. The participation in such a program including its associated events should motivate to deal with the demands and challenges of a scientific career. Mentoring³ also offers opportunities of exchange and the acquisition of key competences relevant to the academic world.

mentoring³ pursues various objectives for its mentees, taking into account the respective subject-specific cultures and associated career paths:

  • Transfer of know-how about structures, processes, and rules in the academic system.
  • Acquisition of key skills and leadership strategies in the academic and non-academic system.
  • Expanding knowledge of higher education policy and third-party research funding.
  • Strengthening motivation for an academic career and supporting the related career planning.
  • Establishing a network of female researchers and connecting mentees with the scientific community.

For mentors, participation in mentoring³ means:

  • Reflection of your own career path
  • New stimuli, perspectives, and feedback regarding the implementation of own managerial responsibilities
  • Expansion of consulting competence
  • Enjoying the individual promotion of young talent as well as transfer of knowledge and personal experience.
  • Expansion of personal network
What mentoring can achieve

The term mentoring has been used in Germany since the late 1990s in the context of promoting young talents in politics, public administration, academia, and business likewise. Universities have used it as a tool for human resources development and guiding the academic careers of young high potentials, the so-called "mentees".

Mentoring strengthens early career researchers’ capabilities and skills and promotes the active planning of academic careers. Mentoring focuses on the informal transfer of experience and knowledge and the individual promotion by experienced professors and mentors. We understand it as an add-on to the scientific and subject-specific support already existing. In this way, we can make knowledge resources available and systematically usable that would have been hardly accessible through formal training and education methods.

A basic component of this strategy is the development of a temporary support process of approx. two years, in which both subject-specific and interdisciplinary knowledge and key skills are triggered and generated. The special incentive of this personnel development tool is without a doubt the unique relationship between mentor and mentee. This close connection is shaped through consensual design principals and the involvement of professional training measures. Both sides of the partnerschip benefit from a mutual exchange and change of perspectives. They learn from each other reciprocally and can use their newly acquired knowledge in the respective tasks. On top, the universities themselves benefit from the resulting synergetic effects.

Various events and a professional training program on key career topics frame our mentoring program. Additional networking meetings provide an opportunity to exchange experiences, share knowledge, and strengthen new contacts.


mentoring³ is coordinated across the UA Ruhr universities. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the person responsible for your subject group:


Humanities and Social Sciences:

University of Duisburg-Essen
Graduate Center Plus
Theresa Witt
Fon +49 (0) 201 183-3054

Engineering Sciences:

TU Dortmund University
Stabsstelle Chancengleichheit, Familie und Vielfalt
Anke Kujawski
Fon +49 (0)231 755-6058

Natural Sciences:

Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Dezernat für Organisations- und Personalentwicklung
Anja Tillmann
+49 (0) 234 32-28830