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Mentoring Program for Female Doctorate Students

The University of Stuttgart’s FeelScience mentoring program started in 2015 with the aim of supporting and guiding exceptional women in science and research on their career paths. FeelScience offers success-oriented women the chance of preparing their own career entry and success in an optimal manner.

To this end, female doctorate students are placed with mentors experienced in science, business, or the public sector. In ErfolgsTeams (Success Teams), the doctorate students support each other through peer mentoring to achieve their individual goals.

The program is complemented by high quality workshops, such as voice coaching, assessment center training, business etiquette, conducting salary negotiations, and many more. There is also the MentoringLounge, which stages networking events with varying thematic inputs.

We would like to point out that our Mentoring Programs are German-language programs: all further education events and program modules are conducted in German.

FeelScience Building Blocks


One-to-one mentoring is based on a personal relationship between two people – the so-called tandem. The less experienced person, the mentee, is assisted and backed up in her individual personal and professional development by her mentor.

The key to this goal-oriented support is exchanging experiences as well as mediating contacts and opportunities for accessing professional structures and networks.

An ErfolgsTeam (Success Team) is a group of four to six individuals who meet on a regular basis to support each other in realizing their individual professional goals. Meetings of these interdisciplinary work groups follow a clearly structured sequence in a fixed time frame.

Especially doctoral studies is a time of working alone during which female doctoral students faces big challenges. In the ErfolgsTeam, the mentees learn not to isolate themselves with their problems and worries. Here, they find a safe space in which to experience encouragement and support.

The ErfolgsTeams of FeelScience mentees are formed once a year at a kick-off event. Over the course of a year, the teams meet every two to four weeks and work autonomously. After six months, all ErfolgsTeams meet with externally moderated supervision to take stock of their individual progress as well as their teamwork.

In this way, as a FeelScience mentee, you benefit not only from working systematically but especially through the exchanges with other women, who find themselves in a comparable situation and have similar experiences. Participants find that the structured and supportive work engenders significant efficiency gains.

In seminars and workshops on skill building and career building you as a FeelScience mentee obtain career-relevant continuing education that is entirely oriented to your needs.

Every semester, the University of Stuttgart FeelScience program offers a varied continuing education program, including, among others, the following offerings:

  • Location and goal definition
  • Project management (e.g. of dissertations)
  • Time- and self-management
  • Communications skills
  • Rhetoric and public speaking
  • Body language and performance
  • Presentation techniques
  • Business etiquette
  • and more.

Current programm dates

Social networks are an important element in successful career planning. FeelScience provides many opportunities for establishing and nurturing relevant contacts.

The program’s networking offerings include:

As a special offering of the University of Stuttgart’s mentoring program, participants have access to individual coaching opportunities that are results- and solution-oriented. As a counseling process geared to addressing individual needs, coaching serves to enhance and maintain productivity as well as subjective wellbeing.

Your coach

In one-to-one coaching, Dr. Sabine Horst provides personalized process support to program participants that is resource- and solution-oriented. It will help you tackle your diverse, complex professional challenges reinforced with clear goals, expanded opportunities and from new perspectives. In line with a systematic understanding, she offers different methods, approaches, and reflection on different levels in a conversational setting. Success is ensured through task and goal explorations that are carried out jointly with Dr. Horst at the very beginning.

Key topics include:

  • Life Balance, self-management
  • Professional/personal orientation and development, career planning
  • Preparing for/support in starting a new function/position
  • Managing employees
  • Preparing for decisions; conflict resolution
  • Women in leading and management roles (and getting there)
  • Coaching colleagues
  • Intercultural coaching

More information on your coach can be found in Dr. Horst’s coach profile [de].

Costs & Procedures

Mentees in the University of Stuttgart mentoring program are eligible for special perks and reduced prices. The coaching will be customized to fit your individual financial and time requirements. This lets you for only a single session, for example, if needed to prepare for a special deadline.

To arrange for coaching, please contact the Mentoring Coordination Office. Since we only offer coaching exclusively to active mentees in the University of Stuttgart mentoring program, the special concessions can only be guaranteed if the referral comes through the mentoring program for women in science and research.

Participating as Mentee


FeelScience is directed to female doctorate students performing well in their discipline and who, being highly motivated, wish to get a head-start on their career. A precondition for participating, is an institutional connection to the University of Stuttgart.

You gain the following as a FeelScience mentee:

  • Pinned-down career goals
  • Developed career strategies
  • Continual improvement of career perspectives
  • Relevant contacts, access to networks and “insider” information
  • Knowledge of institutional structures, industry insights, and fields of activity
  • Personal growth
  • Build up key competencies
  • Add to life experience through a challenging role
  • “The details of my dream job came into focus, and now I know exactly what I’m after!”
  • “The mentoring forced me to make decisions.”
  • “My mentor always took the time, and she often had a different perspective on things than I did.”
  • “The mentoring program is not publicized enough at the university – it would be nice if more women could benefit from this terrific offering.”
  • “Participating in the mentoring program enriched my doctorate studies and career planning greatly.”
  • “I’m very much aware of the reinforcement I get from the mentor having my back.”
  • “What impressed especially was the very good search for and choice of my mentor.”
  • “I got many useful suggestions from my mentor, also deep insights into her life and work.”
  • “My mentoring relationship was of great help to me in getting my doctorate.”
  • For me, the mentoring relationship was the most important module in this program. It helped me a great deal.”
  • “The E-Team proved to be a real support for me!”
  • Active, empowered co-creation of the mentoring relationship
  • Fleshing out of career goals
  • Consistent pursuit of scientific qualifications and worked-out career perspectives

How long the participation in our FeelScience program lasts will be determined individually and depends on the point at which the formal mentoring agreement between mentee and mentor is concluded. Goal setting, type, and duration of the mentorship will be agreed on individually between mentor and mentee for a maximum of two years. Mentor and mentee jointly establish the contentual and formal design of the mentoring cooperation in the mentoring agreement. The Mentoring Coordination Office can be brought in to consult on the development, implementation, and reflection of the cooperation strategy.

The mentorships will be supported by need-based continued education modules. In addition, all program participants will be invited regularly to networking get-togethers for exchanging information and experiences. Moreover, the mentees are offered participation opportunities that parallel the program, such as peer mentoring teams or one-to-one coaching.

To become a mentee, send or bring the following documentation to the  Mentoring-Coordination Office

  • A letter outlining your motivation,
  • Your detailed CV
  • Completed profile sheet

The deadline for acceptance into the mentoring program is May 15th  annually.

The application materials you submit will help us prepare an in-person admittance interview that you will be invited to by the Mentoring Coordination Office. We will use the occasion to jointly work out your specific profiles and expectations for the mentorship. If the discussion proceeds positively, it will end with your acceptance into the mentoring program.

Based on all the data gathered, we will match up mentor and mentee pairs. We send anonymized profiles (no names) to potential mentors. If the potential mentor responds affirmatively, we will identify the her or him to the respective mentee by name. If the mentee also agrees to the match, the Coordination Bureau sets up the contact. Subsequent tandem meetings are organized in a mutually agreeable manner between mentee and mentor.

Since summer 2016, mentees have been asked to pay a 75-euro annual participation fee for FeelScience. No additional fees are incurred for taking part in continuing education offerings. The fees are used, among others to cover the catering expenses for the mentoring events.

Participating as a Mentor


The pool of potential FeelScience mentors is made up of personages in responsible, leading positions in university and non-university research institutes, businesses, politics, culture, or administration who are fundamentally motivated to share their professional experiences.

As a FeelScience mentor, you

  • Get new stimuli and contacts for your work
  • Reinforce your own counseling and mediation skills
  • Network with leaders from university and non-university professional fields
  • Get the chances to reflect on your own career path
  • Gain insights into current research and science
  • Broaden your life experience through a challenging role
  • “I really enjoy the offered exchange and qualification events!”
  • “My mentee introduced me to a highly innovative research area and it gave me many ideas for my own work.”
  • “I regard the program as very valuable and rewarding.”
  • “I critically examined my own career-related decisions because of the mentorship, and I am even more sure now that I chose the right way for me.”
  • Active, empowered co-creation of the mentoring relationship
  • Guiding and supporting the mentee with career planning and pursuing her career goals
  • Sharing experiences and mediating contacts to scientific and professional networks

Goal setting, type, and duration of the mentorship will be agreed on individually between mentor and mentee for a maximum of two years. Mentor and mentee jointly establish the contentual and formal design of the mentoring cooperation in the mentoring agreement. The Mentoring Coordination Office can be brought in to consult on the development, implementation, and reflection of the cooperation strategy.  As thanks for their volunteer engagement, mentors in the FeelScience mentoring program are invited every year to executive-level continuing education and networking events that are exclusively organized for current mentors.

We choose mentors individually and our choices are guided by the specific, career-related needs of mentees accepted into the program.

Persons, firms, and organizations basically interested in taking on a mentorship are asked to complete the contact form and send it to the Mentoring Coordination Office .

We will give anonymized (no name) profiles (see an example here) to potential mentors or also agencies of individual cooperation organizations. If the contacted person responds affirmatively and returns a completed   profile sheet (indicating professional experience, areas of activity, and ideas for the mentorship), we will inform the mentee concerned about her possible mentor (names names).

If the mentee also agrees to the match, the Coordination Bureau sets up the contact. Tandem meetings are subsequently organized in a mutually agreeable manner between mentee and mentor.

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Regina Rapp

Head of Mentoring Programs


Mentoring Coodination Office

Azenbergstr. 12, 70174 Stuttgart