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Mentoring for female PhD students


Group mentoring for female PhD students/pre-docs at TU Wien

Target groups

Habilitands/Post-Doc / PhD students/pre-docs / scientific staff / artistic-scientific staff /

Implementing organization

Vienna University of Technology - Gender Competence Department /


HR development, E068, personalentwicklung@tuwien.ac.at


Cycles in 2014-2016, 2010-2012, 2008-2010, 2005-2007 at the Vienna University of Technology

Relation to gender equality targets

Mentoring for female doctoral students helps to further equality of opportunities for women at TU Wien.

Extract from the Plan for the Advancement of Women at TU Wien:

Chapter IV: Career planning, training and further education

Section 35: Mentoring and coaching

(1) TU Wien shall support programmes for Human Resources development. In co-operation with the department competent for personnel development, the TU Wien shall also draw up measures for the development of female staff, in particular women’s mentoring and coaching programmes and career-planning seminars, as well as gender training for all TU Wien staff members.

Extract from the Equal Opportunities Plan at TU Wien: 2 Measures, 2.2 Measures Pertaining to the Dimensions

2.2.1 Dimension: Gender

TU Wien commits itself to the career advancement of women and to creating positive and career-advancing conditions for women. Accordingly, TU Wien views it as a joint task of all members of the university to achieve the objective that all women and men at TU Wien have opportunities for development commensurate with their qualifications and that any existing hurdles for women shall be removed or counterbalanced.

The objective(s) of the tool

Supporting mentees in the pursuit of their professional goals; allowing mentees to reflect upon the status quo of their work situation; encouraging mentees to dare to think outside the box; providing access to formal and informal academic networks; continuous embedment of mentoring for female academics at TU Wien; granting mentors in-depth understanding of their mentee’s actual career options; de-individualizing the experiences of female scholars; encouraging reflection on gender-specific support structures; promoting inter/transdisciplinary cooperation; developing recognition criteria for mentoring activities.

Description of the tool

Group mentoring: one mentor for 3-4 mentees, mentoring relationships continue for 18 months; sharing of ideas and information amongst mentors and mentees; training program for mentees; and needs-based coaching and supervision for mentees and mentors.


  • Mentoring for doctoral students occurs in small groups of 3-4 mentees and one mentor.
  • These small-group meetings form the mentoring program’s center. Each group organizes them autonomously. Each meeting is documented in brief notes, forwarded also to the project organizer.
  • During the semester, the groups meet every 4-6 weeks.
  • Potential topics for these meetings include: scientific work, publications, career planning, working atmosphere, (self-)exploitation, employment law, reconciling family and work, time management, teaching, networks, adopting strategic approaches, knowledge transfer, sharing experiences, etc….
  • Mentees attend one introductory and one interim meeting.
  • Mentors attend a launch meeting and a final meeting together with the mentees.
  • Mentees individually choose their training seminars from the courses offered by genderfair and TU Wien’s HR Development.


Special Thanks

University of Vienna – mentoring program for female junior researchers


Further information