February 26, 2024

The Young Scientists Mentoring Programme

Offering early career researchers (ECR) a productive framework for embarking on a fruitful academic career is a major endeavour of the University of Klagenfurt: A wide spectrum of internal funding opportunities related to mobility is provided to financially support the embedding and networking of ECR in their scientific community, which is a key cornerstone for a successful life in academia. Among the university’s funding mechanisms, the Young Scientists Mentoring Programme stands out as an excellent initiative for carving the academic career path and shaping one’s scientific profile in the early stages.

Every year, the Young Scientists Mentoring Programme offers high-performing and advanced doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers of the University of Klagenfurt the opportunity to enter into a one-year mentoring partnership with an internationally renowned scholar from a foreign university or research institution. Within the mentoring partnership, ECR receive feedback on and support with their research projects as well as guidance in determining further career steps. In the course of one or more research stays abroad, mentees obtain insights into the sphere of international science as well as the structures and processes of the respective host institution. Furthermore, the promising PhD students and postdoctoral scholars are integrated into the scientific community, which can consequently smoothen the way for future scientific cooperation.

Within the framework of a Kick-Off Meeting which takes place at the University of Klagenfurt at the beginning of each academic year, the selected mentees present themselves, their research projects, and the associated mentoring partnerships. The public get-together offers an occasion to become acquainted, exchange views, and network with other participants and mentors of the YSM cohort.

Since 2016, more than 70 early career researchers have taken part in the Young Scientists Mentoring Programme, after their applications have passed the highly competitive selection procedure of the university’s Research Council. Through the financial support of the University of Klagenfurt, doctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars have had the opportunity to conduct their research under the guidance of mentors from the University of Potsdam, University of Tübingen, Free University of Berlin, Ghent University, King’s College London, University of Liverpool, University of California Los Angeles, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Cornell University, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University and many other renowned universities and research institutions. Likewise, many mentees were able to welcome their chosen mentors at the University of Klagenfurt where they conducted short-term research and network visits. Moreover, the university provided financial support for participation in career-relevant workshops and coaching sessions.

Photocredit: © Daniel Waschnig

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