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A successful career in a research field is more than just delivering optimal results at work. Visibility and networking is paramount when pursuing a career in science. Formal and informal rules in academia have to be taken into account. All this can be tackled with the help of an experienced person, the mentor. She empowers the less experienced person, the mentee, to move forward with confidence along her career path by providing her with support, encouragement, insight, advice, and (often crucial) information for making informed decisions.

As a young scientist, several questions can come up, for example:

“How can I take the next career steps after successfully completing my thesis?”

"What are my career possibilities after the postdoc phase?"

“How can I combine a family with a career in academia in natural sciences?”

“How do I improve my personal standing in competitive situations?”


Mentoring can be of significant importance when trying to answer these questions. It is an established process-oriented method of supporting and advising someone with less experience to help them develop their career. The mentor gives advice and shares her experience with the mentee. Career options or current professional challenges can be discussed and next career steps can be planned with the helpful insight of a mentor. When developing future leaders in science mentoring is one of the key factors. It enables the mentees to develop personally and professionally. It eases career decisions and reflection on individual career strategies. Mentoring provides knowledge about scientific management functions and about structures, processes and informal rules in science in general.

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