Leibniz Mentoring rests on the three pillars of further training, networking and process assistance. The core component of Leibniz Mentoring is the cooperative relationship between mentor – leading in her or his field of expertise – and a mentee, an up-and-coming female scholar with a doctoral degree. This so-called tandem meets at regular intervals, the goal being to foster the mentee’s professional progress.
The acquisition of key qualifications for future leaders, in particular in academia, is promoted in an accompanying programme which comprises skills seminars for the mentees. Three essential fields of training are of particular concern here, meaning career strategies, managerial skills and research financing. The seminars, each of them one or two days long, usually take place every other month at the headquarters of the Leibniz Association in Berlin. In order to cater for the heterogeneous nature of the group in terms of prior knowledge and career strategy, the programme has a mix of mandatory and optional modules. In addition to the three mandatory modules – career planning, negotiation and EU research funding (this seminar is run in collaboration with the Europe Office of the Leibniz Association and takes place in Brussels) – participants must choose two modules from: visibility and networking, successfully attracting research funding, appointment processes, and voice and body coaching. Childcare is offered during the seminars (except in Brussels).
During the duration of the programme, both mentees and mentors receive support in the form of process assistance. This assistance constitutes a framework that combines all elements of the mentoring programme, conduces a continuing reflection on the progress achieved and thereby guarantees that acquired knowledge and skills are being transferred into the daily routine. Process assistance is split into a preparatory workshop on choosing a mentor and three seminars – at the beginning, middle and end of the mentoring year. It also includes accompanying training units for the mentors.