HHU StartSelmaMeyerMentoringThe Emergence of SelmaMeyerMentoring at Heinrich Heine University

The Emergence of SelmaMeyerMentoring at Heinrich Heine University

Female researchers are capable of displaying excellent qualifications and are highly ambitious career-wise. Nevertheless, the management elite in research still too often remains a ‘closed shop’ as far as admitting women is concerned.

This is the starting point of the SelmaMeyerMentoring programme, the patron of which is the undefinedPresident of Heinrich Heine University.

Since the beginning of the programme in 2006, a large number of female researchers have completed the various programmes of SelmaMeyerMentoring to be prepared through mentoring for management responsibilities.

The programme is primarily borne by the voluntary commitment of the mentors, who are professors at the HHU or other universities or players from the fields of culture, politics and business, so that mentees can gain an insight into areas in which they see their future careers. Mentees nominate mentors, who are then contacted by the project management team and supervised throughout the mentoring process.

The programme is structured in three stages and is targeted at female doctoral researchers, female postdocs and female researchers at an advanced stage in obtaining their post-doctoral lecturer qualification (Habilitation) or female researchers who already hold this qualification. The programme offers three action lines: SelmaMeyerWISS, SelmaMeyerMED und SelmaMeyerPROF.

Since 2006, the programme has supported female early career researchers in the planning and development of their careers at the university and outside. SelmaMeyerMentoring initiative started in 2006 with only 12 mentees - doctorate reserchers from all faculties of HHU. In the meantime, over 320 female scientists have successfully completed the mentoring programme and are today still in the network.

As careers in Medicine differ greatly from those in other scientific disciplines, special mentoring groups were developed for female researchers in medicine, which take into consideration their special requirements. With SelmaMeyerMED, a joint project of the Equal Opportunities Officer and the undefinedFaculty of Medicine was launched in the winter semester 2009/2010 specially for female medical doctorate researchers and female natural scientists in medicine in order to do justice to the special demands in the field of medicine. The initiative was supported above all by the Medical Director of the undefinedUniversity Hospital (UKD). In 2012, the Faculty of Medicine took on the programme and was responsible for its further consolidation.

SelmaMeyerWISS-GRAD and SelmaMeyerMED-GRAD are
mentoring programmes are also available in English and are open for international female doctoral researchers, working mainly in the Research Training Groups (GRKs), financed by the German Research Society (DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). SelmaMeyerMED-GRAD+ line for female researchers who have completed their doctoral studies and are involved in externally funded DFG projects (Collaborative Research Centres (SFBs, Sonderforschungsbereiche).

SelmaMeyerPROF is a mentoring programme, which prepares female researchers for managerial responsibilities at professor level. It started for the first time in December 2011. In the framework of cooperation undefinedCentral Equal Opportunities Officers at HHU and undefinedBergisch university of Wuppertal (BUW) enable female scientists to take part of this SelmaMeyerMentoring programme.


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