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Mentoring in the ProFiL Programme

In the ProFiL Programme, mentoring is used as a new method of leadership development in higher education. Mentoring focuses on the informal transfer of experience and knowledge and the individual support of the participants by experienced professors or executives from other organisations.

These informal advisory and knowledge resources have not been systematically utilised in German universities and are scarcely accessible through formal education methods. They are, however, made accessible for women researchers via mentoring within the ProFiL Programme.

Types of Mentoring

The ProFiL Programme offers two types of mentoring to respond to the diverse interests and needs of the mentees:

  • one-to-one mentoring: a mentoring tandem made up of one mentee and one mentor
  • group mentoring: a mentoring team consisting of several mentees and one or two mentors

In both cases, personal relationships are built with university professors as well as executives of non-university research institutes or, in special cases, executives of companies and relevant organisations.

The mentors counsel the mentees on career planning and provide them with constructive feedback about their academic profile, accomplishments and skills. They share important information on fulfilling leadership requirements and on structures and processes in research and academia, explain unwritten rules and facilitate access to networks. Mentoring for international participants will be conducted in English.

The Matching Process

Crucial for the matching of tandems and teams is the compatibility between the mentee's development, learning goals and personality with the mentor's capacities and personality or that of their peers.

In a workshop and in individual consultations with the mentees, the desired mentoring form is determined. For the selection of mentors, profiles are developed or the mentees name persons of their choice. In the case of group mentoring, peer teams are built in the course of a matching meeting. The head of the ProFiL Programme and the coordinator of the English programme line arrange the contact.

Preparation and Process Monitoring

For first orientation, a mentoring guide and a mentoring agreement sample are made available. A more detailed introduction to mentoring and a continuous process monitoring is offered for mentees in workshops and one-to-one consultations. For the entire duration of the programme, the head of the ProFiL Programme and the coordinator of the English programme line are continuously available as contact persons.

For the purpose of a more in-depth preparation and process consulting, the mentors can choose between personal and phone conversations with the head of the programme and the coordinator, adapted to their time restraints.