The programme was officially opened on 8 December 2014 in Prague. The event's guests were Renée Schroeder, a biochemistry professor, head of the laboratory at the Max F. Perutz Center Laboratories (MFPL) of the Vienna University and the Medical University of Vienna, and Sabine Prokop, an expert in feminist media studies, freelance scientist and co-founder and chairwoman of VfW (Association of Feminist Scholars). 

These posters introduce the participants of the first round of the mentoring programme – mentees and mentors.

What does the mentor programme consist of?

A beginner scientist (mentee) teams up with a more experienced scientist (mentor) who then shares their experience with the mentee. The mentor presents their career in science and ways of research work, gives advice on starting a career in science and helps to solve the many questions that the mentee is faced with.  The mentor also introduces the mentee to other members of the scientific community, helps them with career networking, provides workplace references or discusses academic news. The content of the programme depends entirely on the mentor and mentee’s decision. This gives the mentee an opportunity to concentrate on their subject of interest.

Apart from the cooperation with the mentor, the mentees also attend courses focusing on professional and personal growth (e.g. time management, presentation and communication skills or basic project management courses).  In these meetings, the mentees also cooperate with each other, gain more contacts in their field of study and offer each other support in the beginnings of their career in science.

Mentoring offers a unique opportunity to gain information and advice that is useful for the development of career in science.

The pilot year of the programme

In the pilot year of 2015, 56 mentees (44 women and 12 men) and 21 mentors (15 women and 6 men) participated in the mentoring programme. Four female mentors and one male mentor participated remotely from abroad. There were 33 PhD students and 23 postdocs among the mentees. The mentees study and work across a range of scientific disciplines: in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and technical fields.

The first year of the programme

In the first year of 2016, 54 mentees (46 women and eight men) and 11 mentors (nine women and two men) participated in the mentoring programme. One female mentor and one male mentor worked from abroad. There were 42 PhD students and 12 postdocs among the mentees. One participant was both mentee and mentor. The mentees study and work in social sciences and humanities but also in natural sciences and technical fields.

Call for papers and Workshop Invitation for Mentoring programs: A tool to develop gender equality, diversity, internationalism and interdisciplinarity in research and academia.