KU Mentoring Program for Female Junior Researchers

zwei Frauen arbeiten an einem Laptop und lächeln in die Kamera

Through the support in the program, I was able to expand my network with a trusted person who also advises me beyond professional aspects. Thanks to the courses, I have been able to deal with my goals, needs and competencies in a concrete way under guidance and am now able to classify myself much better professionally,…

Through the support in the program, I was able to expand my network with a trusted person who also advises me beyond professional aspects. Thanks to the courses, I have been able to deal with my goals, needs and competencies in a concrete way under guidance and am now able to classify myself much better professionally, but also personally. The exchange in the group gave me exciting insights into the disciplines of the other mentees, and we were able to share and reflect on personal experiences in a protected setting. I can only encourage everyone to participate in this valuable program!

- Magdalena Lauermann(Research Associate, Professorship of Applied Physical Geography)
Structure of the KU Mentoring Program

The KU Mentoring Program enables female junior researchers to improve their career opportunities by expanding personal networks and by providing suggestions for conscious career planning. The program consists of three modules: exchange with a scientifically experienced person (mentoring), participation in a specially designed qualification program (training), and active networking among the participants.

The mentoring program is part of the KU's personnel development concept as an instrument for career and junior staff development and is intended to give the promotion of female junior researchers at the KU a stronger profile and a clearer structure. The aim is to sustainably increase the proportion of women in science. To further emphasize its importance, KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien has assumed patronage of the KU Mentoring Program.

The program is aimed at female junior researchers at KU who are in the doctoral or post-doctoral phase.

The program in detail

At the beginning of the program, mentees establish contact with a mentor at another university or non-university research institution under the supervision of the program coordinator. The number, form, location and content of regular meetings between mentee and mentor are defined individually by both and recorded in a mentoring agreement. The aim is for the mentee to gain insights into scientific structures and specialist cultures and to expand his or her own network. The mentoring relationship also offers the opportunity to recognize and expand one's own competencies and to discuss the challenges of a scientific career in a confidential context.

The mentoring is complemented by a total of four workshops on central career topics. The program is oriented towards interdisciplinary competencies and includes topics such as: Science communication, career planning, leadership, third-party funding acquisition, application training. Participation in the workshops is mandatory.

Active networking among the mentees is another component of the program. Networking meetings and lunchtalks offer the opportunity to exchange experiences and intensify new contacts. In addition to integration into the scientific community through contact with the mentor, mentoring programs also enable participants to network more closely within their own university.

A kick-off workshop, a mid-term reflection workshop, and a closing event complete the KU Mentoring Program.

Program Schedule

Target group and participation requirements

Both female doctoral students and female scientists after their doctorate can apply for the 12-month program. A total of up to 12 female junior researchers can participate in the program per round.

Prerequisites for successful completion of the program are regular participation in the framework and qualification program, willingness to network with other female scientists, and taking an active role in the mentoring process.

The events in the KU Mentoring Program are generally held in German, with the exception of the mentoring relationship, of course, in which communication can also take place in English or another language if required.


Admission to the program is a two-step selection process based on a written application and a personal interview.

Components of the written application are:

  • cover letter (incl. motivation for participation and aspired goals), max. 1 to 2 pages
  • application form (available only in German)
  • curriculum vitae in tabular form (with main research areas and list of publications)
  • proof of admission to doctoral studies at KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
  • if applicable, confirmation from the faculty that the requirements for admission to the habilitation procedure have been met

Application deadline for the next cohort is May 31, 2024. Please send your application documents in digital form by mail to mentoring(at)ku.de. An overview of the application procedure as a PDF document can additionally be found here.

Information for mentors

Not only mentees benefit from the mentoring relationship, mentors also derive personal and professional benefits from their involvement. For example, they expand their consulting and gender competence by assuming additional responsibility as a leader through their involvement. In addition, they gain insights into the living and working environments of young scientists as well as into specific fields of research.

Those wishing to become mentors should be able to demonstrate a successful career in science, have an interest in promoting young researchers, and be willing to share their own experience and personal knowledge of the science system.

The mentoring relationship within the KU Mentoring Program takes place over a period of one year. The mentee is responsible for the design of the mentoring process, i.e. she takes the initiative for preparing the content of the meetings and finding the dates. A mentoring agreement between mentee and mentor at the beginning of the mentoring regulates formal questions regarding frequency, duration, and form of the meetings and addresses initial questions and problems to be addressed.


KU Mentoring program for female junior researchers
Claudia Wittmann
Claudia Wittmann M.A.
KU Mentoring Program, Coordinator

The mentoring program at KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is a member of Forum Mentoring e. V. and supports its quality standards in mentoring. It is financed by funds from the Professorinnenprogramm III of the federal and state governments.