ADVANCE Mentoring Programme

ADVANCE is a mentoring program to support academic careers and equal opportunities at the University of Luxembourg.

Mentoring is a learning relationship, involving the sharing of skills, knowledge, and expertise between a mentor and mentee through developmental conversations, experience sharing, and role modeling. Mentoring schemes are a prominent instrument already established in the top European universities to promote women and early-career researchers.

ADVANCE has three main pillars:

  • Mentoring activities: Develop different mentoring programs to facilitate the personal and professional development of researchers.
  • Training:  Further career development and training opportunities for researchers, in particular PhD holders, Research Scientists and Assistant Professors. Training activities will be carried out in collaboration with the relevant partners at the University.
  • Networking: Foster networking across the community, bringing people together in unstructured conversations on topics that are relevant for research careers and gender equity.

ADVANCE Mentoring Programme

Mentoring Activities

Participants in the program will, through structured conversations with a mentor(s), explore their potential and get advice on their careers, be challenged to think beyond what they know, while in a protected environment.

ADVANCE will open regular calls for mentees, at defined times, and in a regular fashion. To apply, mentees will have to submit a motivation letter clarifying their career goals and what they expect from the program.  In the application, they can already name professors whom they would like to have as mentors or tell us the characteristics they would like to have in their mentor.

The first call is planned for November 2023.

Two strands for different target groups

The ADVANCE will have two strands: Faculty and Fellows. The faculty strand will be predominately for women professors and other experienced women researchers. The fellows’ strand is designed for senior doctoral candidates and postdocs or other PhD-holders considering or planning a career in academia.

The mentor-mentee relationship will be structured to facilitate constructive conversations.

An effective mentorship depends on different factors: the ability to build trust is paramount, but also the commitment of both parties and a clear goal. Mentees should embark on this journey with a clear understanding of what their needs are and what they want to ask their mentors. The associated training program will help mentees reflect on and define their goals (described later).

We expect the mentorship conversations to lead to a careful reflection and action plan. To further encourage this, mentees will be asked to write a reflection document, where they briefly share the topics discussed, what was most useful from the session, and any actions they agreed to.

A career development training program supports effective mentoring relationships.

All participants in the program will receive a brief training on Mentoring. For mentors, this training will, on one hand, inform them about the structure of the program, and their role and responsibilities, but also present/remind different coaching and communications models that can be useful. 

The third pillar is networking: bringing people together in unstructured conversations

Mentoring can happen naturally in informal settings; a strong community will naturally support each other and learn from one another, fostering growth. Our vision is to connect people who would not necessarily find each other; thus, the third pillar is networking.  Through lunches, coffees, and lectures we will link individuals with common interests and challenges, facilitate shared learning and contribute to a stronger community.

These activities will be open to all at University staff, researchers, and administration: whoever wants to join is welcome!  By bringing people together under a common topic/challenge we will learn from their different perspectives while respecting individual beliefs and cultures, encouraging a diverse and inclusive environment.