Mentoring Program for Female Doctoral 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 doctoral students are placed with experienced mentors from the scientific, industrial or the public sector. The doctorate students support each other in ErfolgsTeams (Success Teams) through peer mentoring to achieve their individual goals.

The program is complemented by high-quality workshops, such as voice training, assessment center training, business etiquette, conducting salary negotiations, and 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 the exchange of as well as the mediation of 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. The meetings of these interdisciplinary work groups follow a clearly structured sequence within a fixed time frame.

Especially the doctoral phase is a time of isolated work during which female doctoral students face big challenges. In the ErfolgsTeam, the mentees learn not to isolate themselves with their problems and worries. Finding a sheltered space in which to experience encouragement and support.

The ErfolgsTeams of FeelScience mentees are formed at the once a year Kick-Off event. Over the course of a year, the teams meet every two to four weeks and work autonomously. After six months, all the ErfolgsTeams meet with externally moderated supervision to take stock of both their individual progress and 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. The structured and supportive work considerably increases the efficiency of the participants.

As a FeelScience mentee, you will be provided with career-relevant further education oriented to your needs through seminars and workshops on skill building and career developmet.

Each semester, the FeelScience Program of the University of Stuttgart offers a varied further education program, including, among others, the following offers:

  • Location and goal definition
  • Project management (e.g. of dissertations)
  • Time- and self-management
  • Communication skills
  • Rhetoric and Speach Training
  • Body language and performance
  • Presentation techniques
  • Business etiquette
  • and much more.

Current programm dates

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

The program’s networking offerings include:

As a special offer 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 program participants with an individual resource- and solution-oriented process support that enables them to approach their manifold, complex professional challenges 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.

Dr. Horst's topics include:

  • Life Balance, self-management
  • Professional/personal orientation and development, career planning
  • Preparing for/support in starting a new function/position
  • Employee Management
  • Preparing for decisions; conflict management
  • Women in leadership and management roles (and the path towards that aim)
  • Collegial Coaching
  • Intercultural Coaching

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

Costs & Procedure

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, allowing also for arrangements of single sessions, for example in the case of needing to prepare for a special appointment.

If you would like to be coached, please contact the Mentoring Coordination Office. Since we only offer coaching exclusively to active mentees of the mentoring Program of the University of Stuttgart, the special terms can only be guaranteed if the mediation takes place via the Mentoring Programs for Female Students and Researchers.

Participating as Mentee


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

As a FeelScience mentee, you gain:

  • Specification of career goals
  • Development of career strategies
  • Continuous improvement of career prospects
  • Relevant contacts, access to networks and “insider” information
  • Knowledge about institutional structures, industry insights, and fields of activity
  • Personal development
  • Development of key competencies
  • Expanding life experience through a challenging role
  • “The details of my dream job became clear to me, 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 great offer.”
  • “Participating in the mentoring program enriched my doctorate studies and career planning greatly. Thank you for the support!"
  • “I’m very much aware of the reinforcement I get from my mentor having my back.”
  • “What particularly impressed me was the very good and individual search and selection of my mentor.”
  • “I got many useful suggestions from my mentor and gained deep insights into her life and work.”
  • “My mentoring relationship was of great help to me during my PhD.”
  • For me, the mentoring relationship was the most important module in this program. It helped me a lot.”
  • “The E-Team proved to be a real support for me!”
  • Active, responsible participation of the mentoring relationship
  • Specification of career goals
  • Consistent pursuit of scientific qualifications and worked-out career perspectives

The timeframe of participation in our FeelScience program is set individually and depends on the point of time 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. The mentoring agreement defines the content and form of the mentoring cooperation betweeen mentee and mentor. 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 demand-based modules for further education. In addition, all program participants will be invited regularly to networking get-togethers for exchanging information and experiences. Moreover, the mentees are offered further programm opportunities, such as peer mentoring teams or individual coaching.

To become a mentee, apply at the Mentoring-Coordination Office by sending the following documents:

The deadline for the application for admission to the mentoring program is May 15th annually.

The application form 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.

On the basis of the collected data, the "matching" of the mentoring pairs is carried out. We send anonymized profiles (no names) of mentees to potential mentors. If the potential mentor responds affirmatively, the respective mentee will be informed by us about their possible mentor. If the mentee also agrees to the match, the Coordination Office sets up the contact. Subsequent tandem meetings are organized in a mutual agreement 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 courses. The cost contributions 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 personalities in responsible, leading positions at university and non-university research institutes, companies, 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 own work
  • Reinforce your own counseling and mediation skills
  • Network with leaders from university and non-university professional fields
  • Get the chance to reflect on your own career path
  • Gain insights into current research and science
  • Can broad your life experience through a challenging role
  • “I really like 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 profitable.”
  • “I critically examined my own career-relevant decisions through the mentorship, and I am even more convinced 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. The mentoring agreement defines the content and form of the mentoring cooperation between the mentee and the mentor. The Mentoring Coordination Office can be involved on the development, implementation, and reflection of the cooperation strategy in an advisory capacity. In grattitude for volunteering, the mentors of the FeelScience mentoring program are invited every year to executive-level further education and networking events that are exclusively organized for current mentors.

The selection of mentors is individual and based on the specific career-related needs of the mentees accepted into the program.

Individuals, companies, and organizations fundamentally interested in taking on a mentorship are asked to complete the contact form and send it to the Mentoring Coordination Office.

Anonymized profiles of mentees (see an example here) are sent to potential mentors or to agencies of individual cooperation organizations. If the requested person responds affirmatively and returns a completed  profile sheet (indicating their professional experience, areas of activity, and ideas for the mentorship), we will inform the mentee concerned about her possible mentor (with name).

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

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Regina Rapp

Coordinator Mentoring Programs


Mentoring Coordination Office

Azenbergstr. 12, 70174 Stuttgart