via:mento_ocean – Mentoring Program for female researchers in Marine Science (Kiel University)

Home/via:mento_ocean – Mentoring Program for female researchers in Marine Science (Kiel University)
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Description of Issues and Targets
via:mento_ocean was developed based on via:mento (an university-wide mentoring program). The reason for that was to enable the participation of international female researchers by offering the program in English. There is also a specialization on female researchers in marine sciences that are associated members of the cluster of excellence »The Future Ocean«. The objective is the support of postdoctoral female researchers who are aiming for a professorship or a permanent senior research scientist position.


Description of Offer/ Action
To achieve the goal, the program consists of four components:

  1. Individual mentoring relationship with a professor in order to receive individual, expert advice on further career development
  2. Workshops and training on interdisciplinary career-relevant topics such as career planning, communication/self-presentation, leadership, appointment procedures
  3.  Theme events with experts and internal network meetings for interdisciplinary exchange and collegial consultation between the program participants
  4. Individual support (including finding a suitable mentor)

Implementation Approach
The program is affiliated with the Central office for Gender Equality, Diversity & Family and is supervised by a project coordinator, which is funded by the Cluster of Excellence »The Future Ocean«. There is close cooperation between the structures of the university and the Cluster of Excellence, which leads to a mutually fruitful interaction.

Formal Requirements
Funding must be provided for the project coordination, for the trainers of the workshops offered, as well as for the participants’ travel funds to enable them to the travel to their mentors.

Results and Modes of Action
via: mento_ocean has proved itself as an effective career planning tool. The interest in the program increases after each program cycle. Participants benefit by mentioning their participation in the program.

Success Criteria and Possible Obstacles
An advisory board supports our work in via:mento_ocean. The members of the board give strategic advice and feedback for the development of the program. It is important to consider the number of female postdocs. An implementation of a mentoring program for female researchers is useful if there are parallel efforts to increase the number of female scientists.

This Offer is Part of the Category
Career promotion of women
Visibility of women in science