ProAcademia is Mentoring Hessen’s mentoring programme designed for early postdocs and advanced doctoral students at universities and universities of applied sciences in Hessen. It is tailored for women who see their career paths in science or non-university research and would like to prepare for the future. The programme combines mentoring, career-specific intensive training and strategic networking.

ProAcademia starts in June every two years and lasts for 18 months. There are 33 places available.

Here you can find the current flyer for interested postdocs and advanced doctoral students.

International applicants

The ProAcademia programme includes a mixture of German and English workshops focusing on science-related topics. The selection interview can be conducted in English and you can work with an English-speaking mentor as well.

Please note that the general Mentoring Hessen programme itself (e.g. the general training and networking) is not in English, but that multi-lingual networking is welcome.

Is ProAcademia the right programme for me?

The ProAcademia mentoring programme is aimed at early postdocs (up to two years after the completion of their doctorate) and advanced doctoral students of all disciplines at universities in Hessen, for example scientific employees or lecturers, whose goal is a career in science, research or development.

  • Do you see your professional future in science and would you like to strategically plan the next steps of your career?
  • Are you interested in deepening your science-specific competencies and in networking within and connecting more deeply to the scientific community?
  • Are you ready to enter into an engaged, individual mentoring relationship with a professor and to work intensively on your career strategy?
  • Are you motivated to continue your education in the area of key qualifications for a scientific career and to engage in a focused exchange of experiences?
  • Would you like to actively network with other female scientists at universities in Hessen and expand your interdisciplinary network?
  • Are you prepared to take part in the training and support programmes as well as the evaluation?

Then apply for ProAcademia!

If you are aiming for a professorship and have already taken decisive qualification steps in this direction, our mentoring programme ProProfessur (German version only) could be the right one for you.

If you have not decided whether you want to stay in academia or not, find out more about our mentoring programme, ProCareer.Doc (German version only).


The mentoring consists of:

  • One-on-one mentoring with a mentor (A professor or other well-connected researcher, such as a private lecturer, junior professor or junior research group leader from a university, university of applied sciences or other research institution)
  • Collegial consultation within the mentee group

Training and networking

ProAcademia includes six intensive training courses tailored to the mentoring programme to qualify for academic work, four of which must be attended. Mentoring Hessen also offers a voluntary comprehensive training and networking programme with opportunities for strategic networking in both science and business.

Supporting programme

The mentoring is accompanied by a supporting programme that includes:

  • A kick-off event, as well as an introduction to mentoring and collegial consulting for mentees
  • A mid-term reflection with interim results and exchange within the mentee group
  • A closing ceremony

Intensive training

Selected intensive training courses with a focus on academic careers are included in the ProAcademia programme. Some of these will be held in German, others in English, and will cover topics such as:

  • Planning a scientific career
  • Networking and visibility for female scientists
  • Strategic publication and third-party funding planning
  • Management and supervision responsibility
  • Work-life balance and managing dual careers

Strategic networking

  • Themed networking events on academic careers
  • Networking opportunities with mentees and mentors from the Mentoring Hessen network


The postdocs and advanced doctoral students are advised, accompanied and supported by professors from universities, universities of applied sciences, and non-university research institutions as well as by junior professors and private lecturers in individual mentoring. Mentors are recruited in two ways:

1. The mentees suggest two to three preferred mentors according to their personal needs. Based on the suggestions of the applicants, their specific mentor of choice is then asked to take on the role. Before applying, please look into potential mentors and consider the following factors:

  • The mentor should not come from your own university/university of of applied sciences
  • It is best that the mentor specialise in a subject related to yours but that they not come from your own specific field
  • Ideally, the mentor should not yet be part of your own network

2. There is also a growing pool of potential mentors that we are continuously expanding. Well-connected, research-oriented scientists from universities, universities of applied sciences, and non-university research institutions nationwide are also involved with ProAcademia as mentors. More information can be found here.

The mentors receive a written handout and the opportunity to reflect on their role in a moderated exchange. In addition, we offer a one-day training course for mentors on the topic of “Leadership skills in science”. Both events are offered together for the mentors of ProProfessur and ProAcademia.

Successful participation

You will receive a mentoring certificate upon your successful participation. Prerequisites for this are:

  • Willingness to actively develop a mentoring relationship and regular participation in the mentoring meetings
  • Target agreement between mentor and mentee
  • Commitment and regular participation in the support, training, and networking programmes, as well as in the final evaluation

Mentors receive certificates as well.


A one-time fee of 220 EUR is charged for participation as a mentee.

This contribution only covers a small part of the costs incurred for the organisation of the mentoring programme and the associated offers and events. The remaining costs are covered by the contributions from your university to Mentoring Hessen.

If there are verifiable reasons you are unable to pay this fee, please contact us.


  • Tailor-made career planning and individual career advancement
  • Informal transfer of knowledge and experience
  • Deepening of science-specific skills
  • Stronger positioning within the scientific community

Selection process

Potential mentees are selected using the online application form and the application documents. We then invite them to a digital selection interview. On this basis, a decision about admission to the programme is made.

Application and information

You may apply every two years from October 1st to December 1st.

We recommend that applicants attend one of the digital information events that take place during the application period.

Applications should include:

  • Short letter of motivation
  • Scientific CV/résumé
  • List of publications
  • Third-party funds raised
  • Doctoral certificate (for postdocs)
  • Submission of a proposal for two preferred mentors (not professors from your own university), or alternatively, a profile and description of a potential mentor

If you would like to be informed as soon as applications for the programme open again (likely October 2025), please fill out the following contact form:

    Recognised as professional development

    All universities in Hessen have recognised Mentoring Hessen as internal professional development (Weiterbildung) and have thus implemented it within university structures. Employees who work at these universities therefore have the opportunity to appeal to their superiors on this basis if they need time off to participate in the mentoring framework programme, including the obligatory intensive training and networking events.


    Your ProAcademia contact at the Mentoring Hessen office is Dr Christiane Rühle. The best way to send questions is by e-mail, to: