Academic career development for female researchers

mentoring³ is a mentoring program designed for the academic career development for female early career researchers of all subject fields within University Alliance Ruhr. The program consists of a line for doctoral researchers and a line for postdoctoral researchers.

What does mentoring³ offer?

The program's key focus will be on the dialogue with your mentor. Over a period of two years you will benefit from a personal exchange with an experienced professor or researcher. In trusting conversations you will receive advice on career planning and expand your understanding of structures and rules in the academic world.

A varied event program accompanies the mentoring relationship over the entire period. In interdisciplinary workshops, you will prepare yourself for leadership tasks in university and non-university research, clarify beneficial career strategies and strengthen your personal key competencies. Network meetings offer you the opportunity to exchange experiences with peers and to expand your academic network.

The mentoring groups will be arranged according to respective subjects groups so that we can take into account the subject-specific conditions of the humanities and social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering sciences.

Who can participate?

In annual cycles, a program line for alternately female doctoral or female postdoctoral researchers of the UA Ruhr universities starts each October. Each program line runs for two years.

The official language is German. The one-to-one mentoring sessions can be held in English if required.

© Research Academy Ruhr &

Kalender IconNext program start:
The next program line for female doctoral researchers will start in fall 2024 (application period: 1 June–30 June 2024). You can find the relevant application forms at "Application as mentee and participation requirements".
The next program line for female postdoctoral researchers is expected to start in fall 2025, details to follow in due time.

mentoring³ consists of the modules:

  • One-to-one mentoring

Mentoring is a temporary relationship between an experienced mentor and a young high potential. The mentoring³ program offers one-to-one mentoring. This is the classic form of mentoring focusing on the personal relationship between mentee and mentor. The mentors support the mentee in her career planning and the development of her potentials and competences. They provide the mentees with important knowledge about structures and processes in academic life and promote the expansion of their contact network.

  • Workshops

The mentoring is accompanied by events and workshops on career-relevant topics. The workshop program is geared towards interdisciplinary competences that are related to the respective subject culture as well as to interdisciplinary competences in academia, for example: potential assessment and career planning, leadership requirements, acquisition of third-party and international research funding, application and appointment training, team and conflict management.

  • Networking

Additional network meetings provide the opportunity to exchange experiences, discuss and intensify new contacts. Including network evenings (Kaminabende) with experts on relevant topics of the scientific career.

  • Supporting program

The mentoring³ program is framed by a introductory workshop to get prepared, an interim assessment and a concluding workshop.

Depending on the subject group, the workshop program and networking events take place at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University or the University of Duisburg-Essen.

mentoring³ pursues various objectives for its mentees, taking into account the respective subject-specific cultures and associated career paths:

  • Transfer of know-how about structures, processes, and rules in the academic system.
  • Acquisition of key skills and leadership strategies in the academic and non-academic system.
  • Expanding knowledge of higher education policy and third-party research funding.
  • Strengthening motivation for an academic career and supporting the related career planning.
  • Establishing a network of female researchers and connecting mentees with the scientific community.

Participation requirements

mentoring³ is aimed at female doctoral and postdoctoral researchers of Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University and the University of Duisburg-Essen. Each program line runs for two years.

If you are interested in participating in mentoring³, you should:

  • pursue an academic career,
  • be prepared to play an active role in a mentoring relationship and
  • be prepared to participate in the seminar programme, the networking events and the evaluation.

A fee is charged, which includes participation in the supporting and seminar program:

  • Scholarship holders, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers with half-time positions: 200,- €
  • doctoral researchers and postdoctoral researchers with a position of more than 50% up to a full position (100%): 300,- €

The invoice for the cost contribution will be issued in the first quarter of the following year after the kick-off event.
We will be happy to advise you on the possibilities of institutional cost coverage.

Application and selection procedure

The admission to the program is based on a two-step procedure including a written application and a selection interview, in which your motivation to participate, your goals and expectations of the mentor are discussed.

Your written application includes:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation to participate
  • Current CV
  • For doctoral researchers: a short description of the current status of your dissertation (1–2 pages)
  • For postdoctoral researchers: a brief description of your habilitation or current research project (1–2 pages) and list of publications
  • The completed application form
  • A passport photograph (as a separate jpg-file or in your CV)

Application forms for the next program lines for female doctoral researchers fall 2024 (application period 1 June 2024-30 June 2024)

Application form for female doctoral researchers in the humanities and social sciences

Application form for female doctoral researchers in the engineering sciences

Application form for female doctoral researchers in the natural sciences

Would you like to support our program as a mentor? Please get in touch with us!

What you should provide

Mentors who would like to support a mentee in her academic career should have the following background:

  • a successful career in academia
  • be interested in promoting young talent
  • be prepared to share and pass on their own experience and knowledge of the academic system.

mentoring³ in praxis

We will present you the profile of a potential mentee. After a personal meeting, you can decide whether you would like to guide this early career researcher as a mentor. In at least three to four meetings over a period of two years, you would pass on your experience to the doctoral researcher. We will prepare the mentee for the self-reliant design of the mentoring process. She is expected to take the initiative for the preparation of the meetings in terms of content and scheduling.

  • You agree on goals and expectations together with the mentee.
  • In the mentoring agreement you make a clear declaration about the frequency, duration, location, form and confidentiality of the mentoring partnership.
  • You advise and support the mentee in her academic career planning and career development.
  • You provide constructive feedback on the competencies and potential of the mentee.
  • You impart knowledge about decision-making structures, formal and informal processes in the academic system.
  • You impart know-how and practical knowledge of the scientific community.
  • You support the mentee in establishing her own scientific and informal network.

Your potential benefit:

  • Reflection on your own career
  • New stimuli, perspectives, and feedback regarding the implementation of own managerial responsibilities
  • Enjoying the individual promotion of young talent as well as transfer of knowledge and personal experience
  • Expansion of the own interdisciplinary network by getting to know other mentor

30 January 2024 | Event "One female scientist - two perspectives": Prof. Dr. Susanne Menzel-Riedl (President of Osnabrück University and former mentor of the mentoring³ program) was a guest at an online exchange with the three current doctoral student lines. You can find the report on the event here (PDF, in German language).

18 October 2024 | New mentoring³ program line has started

Here’s what our mentees and mentors think about mentoring³:


mentoring³ is coordinated across the UA Ruhr universities. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the person responsible for your subject group:

Natural Sciences

Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Dezernat für Organisations- und Personalentwicklung
Julia Leising
+49 (0) 234 32-28799


TU Dortmund
Stabsstelle Chancengleichheit, Familie und Vielfalt
Anke Kujawski
Fon +49 (0)231 755-6058

Humanities and Social Sciences

Universität Duisburg-Essen
Graduate Center Plus
Theresa Witt
Fon +49 (0) 201 183-4012