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CoMento: Coaching & Mentoring for Women in Academia

CoMento is a programme concerned with career development for women in academia and links the two instruments of coaching and mentoring for an individual and custom-fit support for young researchers.

CoMento offers the opportunity to participate at coaching and/or mentoring, seminars und collegial consultation as well as network meetings (Café CoMento). The participants will be inspired to plan their future career, to become aware of their own resources and competences, and to network. The programme is addressed to female PhD students from their second year on, PostDocs, and Habilitandinnen. Since 2020, CoMento is offered in English.

Due to the fact that CoMento is financed through third-party funding and that this funding is coming to an end, the programme cannot be continued after 2024 for the moment.

Programme sequence

Following a kick-off workshop and an introduction, the participants can choose between the programme tracks coaching or mentoring. A switch between coaching and mentoring during the programme period is possible.

All participants are invited to seminars, collegial exchanges, network meetings and to joint reflection and closing workshops.

Participation Requirements and ApplicationHide

Who can participate in the programme?

The female applicant …

  •  is a PhD student (at least in her 2nd year), PostDoc or Habilitandin at the University of Bayreuth
  •  is interested to engage actively with her professional carreer
  •  participates regularly in meetings and events
  •  takes an active role and shows openness
  •  tries to implement feedback constructively
  •  shows a willingness for cooperation and self-presentation

How do I apply?

The acceptance within the programme consists of a two-step application procedure. The application documents in form of a letter of motivation (max. 1 DIN A4 page) and a CV in German oder English can be sent as one PDF to the coordinator for Coaching & Mentoring, Dr Elena Köstner. Please use for your application the language guide for the University of Bayreuth. The second step consists of a personal interview. The number of places available is limited.

What costs occur?

The attendence at the programme is free of charge.


What is coaching?

Coaching is a professional and process oriented form of advice. It offers space for self-reflection and reflection for topics and questions connected to the professional role and the professional identity. Basis is a voluntarily requested and viable consulting relationship. During the programme, personal, social, methodological and strategical competences concerning the professional carreer will be developed.

How does Coaching in CoMento take place?

Coaching as a main element of the programme focuses on questions and strategies concerning the carreer planning for a leadership position in academia (junior professorship, habilitation, professorship) or outside academia. The goal is to develop professional orientation and carreer strategies. The participants have the chance to analyse current challenges in their personal profession and to become aware of their personal abilities and resources. They can then specifically use them in their professional carreer and to plan further carreer steps. This happens in cooperation with an external professional coach.

Who are our coaches?

Please find the coaches we cooperate with here.


What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a mutual exchange of information and experiences between the mentor and the mentee. For a defined period of time, the mentor is the companion of the mentee. She*he will share her*his experiences and support the mentee due to her professional career. The mentee will be able to gain access to networks of scientific communities through the support of the mentor, and will learn about the rules of the game. The mentee will also be supported by the mentor to develop her professional identity and to broaden her network.

How does Mentoring in CoMento take place?

Mentoring as a main element of the programme helps the participants to gain insights into the aspired work field, to become more familiar with the work culture and to establish networks. Besides that, the participants reflect together with the mentor about the challenges of their professional role and develop competences for the strategic development of their career.

How can mentoring be understood within the university context?

Mentoring in an university context is meant as an addition to the common scientific support, not as a replacement. Therefore, it is free of hierarchical structures. Mentors can find information on how to structure the mentoring relationship here.

Forum Mentoring e.V.

CoMento is a member of the association Forum Mentoring e.V., in which more than 120 mentoring programmes in academia are organised, and supports its quality standards for mentoring.

Information for mentorsHide

Which tasks do mentor and mentee have?

The mentor

  • supports in an advisory capacity and helps to develop strategies for reaching the aspired goals,
  • gives critical and constructicve feedback,
  • helps the mentee to recognise and develop her own competences and abilities,
  • inspires efforts for professional and personal development,
  • introduces the mentee into relevant networks and transmits important contacts.

The mentee   

  • has a clear goal for her academic carreer,
  • uses the critic and suggenstions given by the mentor and implements them constructively,
  • keeps contact to the mentor and informs about the level of development,
  • is open towards the mentor, whereby she can learn from difficult situations or mistakes,
  • works with the mentor in a relationship without competiton and hierarchy.
Your Contact PersonHide

Dr Elena Köstner
Gender Equality Service Centre
​Coordination Coaching & Mentoring
Telefone: +49 (0)921 / 55-2192
Email: elena.koestner@uni-bayreuth.de or coaching-mentoring@uni-bayreuth.de                                                      

Postal Adress
Universität Bayreuth
Stabsabteilung Chancengleichheit (für die Geschlechter)
Universitätsstraße 30
95447 Bayreuth

Webmaster: Miriam Bauch

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