What is Mentoring?

In Greek mythology, during the absence of Odysseus, Mentor accompanies Odysseus’ son Telemachos in the role of father’s friend, teacher, and nurturer, introducing him to the business dealings of the King.

Mentoring has been successfully institutionalized in universities as a process-oriented tool in personnel development for the needs-based professionalization of female scientists in research and management for many years.

The core of systematic mentoring comprises the partnership-like accompaniment of a young female scientist – the mentee – by an experienced person of leadership – the mentor – on an individually defined section of her career path over a limited period of time depending on the aims.

As to content, the focus lies on the motivation behind ambitious female scientists to remain in the field of research and science, the strategic planning and realization of steps up the career ladder, as well as the development towards becoming a person of leadership. Furthermore, the Programme aims at building up career-specific networks and offers opportunities to stabilize and extend one’s skills and competencies.

The Programme was developed in accordance with the standards of quality set for mentoring programmes available at member universities of the German Federal umbrella organization "Forum Mentoring e.V."


Development and Financial Support

The Mentoring Programme was initiated as the first programme of its kind in medicine nationwide by the Equal Opportunities Office of the UMG headed by Dr Christine Amend Wegmann as early as the end of 2002.

In May 2010, the Programme was successfully integrated into the UMG Personnel Development and Personnel Management Division with a new concept and new funding. From May 2010 until the end of March 2015, the Programme was co-financed with funding from the Female Professorship Programme financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture (MWK).

During this period of time, a total of 68 mentees in four separate two-year-long classes (one starting every year) participated in the Mentoring Programme.

In the spring of 2014, the UMG Board of Directors decided to continue with the Mentoring Programme permanently from 1 April 2015. The UMG has become the sole financing body in its continuation of the Programme.