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"careerMe": Mentoring programme starts a new round

The University of Erfurt is committed to academic staff development as one of its central fields of activity. In addition to higher education didactics, which is currently being expanded, it offers workshops and courses for the acquisition of key qualifications as well as coaching opportunities as part of its Academic Career and Qualification Programme. With "careerMe", a mentoring programme for postdocs and career track professors, another building block was added in 2022. In 2023, mentoring was expanded to include a programme line for advanced doctoral candidates. The programme will enter a new round in 2024.

"As a university, it is important to us to provide doctoral candidates, but also postdocs and tenure-track professors, with the best possible support in their career planning and, in particular, on the path to a permanent professorship," explains Franziska Frank, who coordinates the programme. "We have already been doing this for several years with coaching, lectures, workshops and counselling services. But direct dialogue with colleagues whose career path is already a little further advanced and who can share their own experiences is particularly important. And we have been promoting this with 'careerMe' since 2022."

The mentoring programme offers postdocs and career track professors the opportunity to be accompanied by experienced professors for a year as mentees. In the programme line for doctoral candidates, the mentees are accompanied for one year by postdocs and (tenure track) professors. Mentors offer idealistic support in academic career planning. The personal relationship between mentor and mentee – i.e. one-to-one mentoring – is at the centre of the programme. The tandems should meet regularly during the programme. The basis for the relationship is a mentoring agreement, which is concluded at the joint kick-off event.

On the one hand, postdoctoral researchers who have submitted at least their dissertation, who are affiliated with the University of Erfurt during the one-year programme period and who can participate in the events within the programme (in presence) can register as mentees. The programme is also open to Career Track professors at the University of Erfurt. Doctoral candidates can register as mentees in their programme line if they were accepted as a doctoral candidate at least two years ago at the time of application. In addition, participation in the programme is also conditional on remaining at the University of Erfurt for the duration of the programme and participating in the events.

Anyone who would like to take part this year – whether as a mentor or mentee – can still register until 31 August. You can find the registration form on the programme website.

Professor Sandra Neumann, who took part as a mentor, and Dr Marlen Bunzel, a mentee, provide insights into their personal experiences from the first round of the programme in 2022/23. Read the interviews here (in German only).


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