Mentoring Programme for Postdoctoral Researchers
What is mentoring?
Mentoring means that an experienced person shares their knowledge with a young colleague and accompanies him or her in their personal and professional development. The focus is on informally passing on knowledge gained from experience and giving confidential, individual advice.
Aim and structure of the mentoring programme
The aim of the 12-month mentoring programme is to provide early-career researchers at Heidelberg University with the best possible support in reaching their personal career goals.
In the confidential relationship with your mentor the programme offers
- individual counselling, tailored to your needs and questions
- feedback on your individual strengths and weaknesses in a sheltered environment
- implicit knowledge from experienced persons, e.g. on the internal “rules of the game” in the academic system.
A matching process will assist you in finding a mentor. Furthermore, we give tips on holding conversations, setting the topic, as well as keeping in contact. The senior professors of the university are particularly involved in the programme and are partly available as mentors. Mentors may work either at Heidelberg University or at research facilities outside Heidelberg.
The mentoring relationship is supplemented by briefings on networking and gaining qualifications:
- Informal networking events (e.g. topic lunches or fireside evenings) open up new access to relevant networks and foster collegiate exchanges on topics related to your career (e.g. obtaining a professorship, acquiring third-party funding, publishing, or building-up and leading a working group).
- Two full-day workshops offer tailor-made qualification opportunities, e.g. on the thematic fields “Handling professorial appointments and practising negotiations”, “Networking strategies”, “Power and micropolitics in academia” and “Work-life balance”. Attending at least one of the two workshops is obligatory.
The exact themes reflect the wishes of the participants and are agreed in a kick-off event. You can find the detailed programme with schedules under “Downloads”.
The programme is designed for advanced postdocs, habilitation candidates, young research-group leaders, junior professors and tenure-track professors at Heidelberg University who are aiming for a career in academia. They should be willing to take part in the event programme and to actively maintain their mentoring relationship for at least one year.
The programme is also intended to promote groups hitherto under-represented in leading academic positions. Hence a warm invitation to apply goes to women, persons with family duties, first-time academics, and those with a migration history, a disability or chronic disease.
Application and selection
Those wishing to apply must fill out an application form and attach a tabular curriculum vitae. Acceptance takes place in a two-step procedure based on your written application and an interview. The university leadership will decide on your final acceptance for the programme. Please send your application by email to the email address indicated here.
The application deadline for the October programme was 15 July 2021. The next application deadline will be published here in due time
Dr Max Vetter, who is responsible for the programme, is likewise available to answer any more far-reaching questions and to meet for a personal talk.
Become a mentor
If you yourself are interested in playing an active role in promoting young academics as a mentor and would like to create new networks with highly qualified early-career researchers, we would be glad to hear from you.
As a mentor you are cordially invited to attend the kick-off event and the ceremonial conclusion. Likewise you are welcome to attend other networking events but this is not expected. You will receive tips on how to fulfil your role as mentor and will be individually supported, as desired, by those responsible for the programme.
We will be glad to advise you on all questions.