Mentoring program for doctoral researchers of all dicsiplines.

Within the ExploreScience program line, we have developed two new formats for you: Group Mentoring and Peer Mentoring. In addition, GRADUS offers participants a comprehensive qualification and framework program for training and networking beyond one's own discipline, institution, and career stage.

Peer Mentoring

The next peer mentoring will start with an Information Session on November 07, 2022 (virtually). After your participation in the information session, you can decide whether you want to join the peer-mentoring-program or not. Further dates can be found below. Important: This program will be offered in English.

This new mentoring format was implemented for the first time in fall 2021. What is special about peer mentoring? The mentees support and advise each other  - without a mentor and with the help of the method Collegial Counseling.

To take part in the ExploreScience Peer Mentoring, we ask the participants to pay a one-time participation fee of 20,00 Euro. This fee helps us to offer catering at the networking activities within our mentoring programs.

In peer mentoring, the mentoring relationship takes place without a mentor. Mentees of the same qualification level meet and exchange in small groups of 5 to 7 participants with the help of the method of collegial counseling in regular, structured, self-organized work meetings on professional, career and everyday issues. At the beginning, the participants are trained in the method by an external trainer, with refresher training after a few months.

The duration of the program is 3-5 years, depending on each peer mentoring group.

Collegial counseling is a structured method for peers to mutually advice each other. In a fixed consulting group, the peers learn and develop together. The regular counseling also helps to master the challenges that arise in everyday professional life during the doctorate.

  • Exchanging experience with peers.
  • Joint reflection, discussion, and mutual support on relevant professional, career, and everyday issues in a trusting, appreciative, and noncompetitive setting.
  • Building up a network.

Peer mentoring at GRADUS is structured in three stages:

  1. Information session: interested persons receive an overview of the consulting method Collegial Counseling, so that they can then decide whether they would like to explore this topic further and become a member of a peer mentoring group.
  2. Training on "Collegial Counseling" (full day): The participants learn how to use the method theoretically and practically by using it directly in peer mentoring group that are formed in the training. After the event, the peers are able to meet and advice independently in these groups. From this point on, each group coordinates its own meetings and defines the framework of it (type, time, dates, etc.).
  3. Refresher Training: After about half a year, all groups meet again to reflect and discuss experiences and find solutions for possible challenges in the groups.

If necessary, the individual groups can take advantage of team coaching.

1. Information Session (virtually)

November 07, 2022, 10:00 am-12:00 noon --> Register here.

2. Training „Collegial Counseling” (on site)
Where?: Internationales Begegnungszentrum of the University of Stuttgart „Eulenhof“, Robert-Leicht-Straße 161, 70569 Stuttgart

December 09, 2022, 9.00 am  - 05.00 pm

3. Refresher Training (half-day; virtually or live)

June 2023

4. Meetings of the peer groups

Regular, self-organized, up to 3-5 years depending on need

Trainer: Dr. Jana Leipold, Head of the department PE1 - Leadership, Personnel Selection and Retention at the University of Mainz and systemic coach as well as consultant for leading executives


Group Mentoring

In December 2021, a new mentoring format was launched in the ExploreScience program line: group mentoring. What is special about the new format? It enables valuable exchange and networking with an experienced mentor on the one hand and with your own peers on the other.

In the group mentoring, a small group of 6 to 8 mentees is formed on the basis of a chosen career path (science, busines or society) with focus on special topics (e.g. career strategies, reconciliation of family and career), and supervised by one mentor from this field. Mentees and mentor*in meet in regular structured working meetings and exchange views on professional, career and everyday life-related issues. The mentoring takes place only within the groupmeetings. The duration of the program is 6 months.

  • Exchanging experience with peers and a mentor from science, business or society.
  • Joint reflection, discussion, and mutual support on relevant professional, career, and everyday issues in a trusting, appreciative, and noncompetitive setting.
  • Building up and widen your network.

At the beginning, the group defines the goals, topics, process, and rules of cooperation together with the mentor and agrees on fixed dates and how to meet (virtually or in presence). The meetings take place at least once a month in a self-organized manner and are moderated by the group. The group mentoring starts with a kick-off event and ends with a closing event.

Step 1: When registering, the mentee indicates the desired career path: 1) science, 2) business, or 3) society.

Step 2: Groups are formed according to the career paths. We conduct a group interview with each group to define main topics and clarify open questions.

Step 3: Based on the main topics, GRADUS will form the final group and assign a mentor.


Call for applications is published October, 2022

Q&A Session (in English) – online  

Dec 8, 2021, 3-4pm Registration Q&A (in English)

Deadline for application expired; next call for applications will start in November 2022
Group interview – online expired
Kick-Off event – online February 2022
Regular group meetings mentees  and mentor – online or live Once a month with approx. 2h duration, independently organized and led by the group itself together with the mentor, dates have to be fixed in the beginning
Closing event – online August 2022

A general willingness to act as a mentor in the future is required. Interested persons apply with their CV, a short letter of motivation and the completed profile form. Please use the provided templates.

This image shows Ekaterina Deckers

Ekaterina Deckers


Coordinator Mentoring Programs

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