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Mentoring at the Viadrina


The 12-month Viadrina Mentoring offers female, trans*, inter* and non-binary doctoral candidates structured and professional support in their professional career planning.

The program consist of four central elements. Those elements are intertwined and connected to individual objectives regarding a professional and personal development. At the beginning of the program, the participating female, trans*, inter* and (other) non-binary doctoral candidates are identifying those objectives for themselves.

The four elements of the program involve:Pikto_Kreislauf_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring
  • An individual Mentoring-relationship
  • A complementary framework program as well as a demand-oriented qualification program
  • Networking and structured peer-exchange in small groups
  • Continuous supervision and joint reflection of the own learning process with the program administration

Individual Mentoring-RelationshipPikto_Dialog_blau_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

A mentor is offering their professional experience and procedure knowledge, supervising and supporting the mentees in decisions relevant to their professional orientation.

Central elements of the Viadrina Mentoring are the regular and personal discussions with mutual exchange between the mentee and their mentor. In self-organised meetings the mentee is learning about the mentor’s professional experience and can address own ideas, visions and questions in a confiding atmosphere. This partnership is characterised by absence of hierarchy, individual organization and a safe space, therefore facilitating learning and experimenting.

A mentor is encouraging reflection about career paths, discusses decisions and strategies and motivates to develop and strengthen relevant professional skills for the future. Moreover, the mentor can for instance report about specifics in the faculty culture and can be supportive to self-representation. Namely, they support and encourage goal-oriented solution finding, however, is not responsible for the realization. More importantly: A mentor is no job agency.

Commonly persons with professional and leadership experience from universities, research centers and other relevant university-external institutions function as mentors.

The program administration implements support in entering the tandem and during the course of the mentoring-relationship. Furthermore, the program offers a preparation workshop.


Complementary framework program

The framework program serves as the formalisation and assurance of quality of the Viadrina Mentoring. It involves the opening and closing event, as well as workshops concerning preparation and reflection of the program. The participants get the possibility to get to know each other, to work together on upcoming objectives, develop new topics and to build networks.

Every program cycle precedes a preparation phase, which includes a preparation workshop (including potential analysis, competence coaching and objective finding) for the mentees.

April opening workshop
September half-time reflection
Spring 2023
closing event and handing over of the certificates/opening ceremony of the new mentoring cycle
Qualification programPikto_Workshop_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

The Viadrina Mentoring is offering the participants a demand-oriented and target group-specific qualification program. During an intensive training of one or two days, inter-disciplinary, professional and academic qualifying key competences are strengthened and developed by professional trainers. The contents of the program are strongly linked to the needs of the mentees. Female, trans*, inter* and non-binary doctoral candidates whose interest in an academic leadership position (especially in a PhD) is particularly distinctive, receive the possibility to take part in suitable elements of the Viadrina Mentoring for female, trans*, inter* and non-binary post-doctoral fellows. During the trainings, the mentees are able to direct their questions to experts and can work on their individual fields of development.

The trainings involve for example the following areas:

  • Methodological introduction into peer-work
  • Strategical network analysis – visible competences in networks
  • Communication and handling conflicts
  • Presentation techniques and self-representation
  • Career strategies and career path planning
  • Competence coaching
Networking and structured peer-exchangePikto_Gruppe_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

The inclusion in professional and personal networks is a strong promotional factor to a career. Besides the relationship to a mentor, the mentees are constructing supportive and motivational networks in structured meetings with a peer-group. During cooperative counselling processes, the participants are reflecting personal objectives, ideas and problems regarding the professional development and together, solutions are developed. An introduction into the basics of this supportive teamwork is offering the workshop about “Cooperative Counselling”.

Furthermore, the participants are invited to initiate further network activities on their own. For instance by the possibility to invite experts for exchange, thereby making topics of interest (such as professional requirements) accessible.


Counselling and SupervisionPikto_Mensch_blau_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

During the whole program the program administration is at the disposal of the mentees regarding questions and concerns by offering counsel sessions and, moreover, offering an individual learning supervision. Together, the set objectives and the individual learning processes are reflected on in personal meetings.

Child Care

All mentees and mentors can make use of a childcare offer during the whole course of the program. This is realised in cooperation with the appointee for the university’s family office.

Quality Assurance

Furthermore, a continuous evaluation during the program helps to improve its sustainability and to adapt it ideally to the needs of the mentees. Participation at the program evaluation is obligatory.