Helmholtz Advance – A Year for Your Career

The Helmholtz Association strongly encourages and supports the personal and professional development of its staff. From 2018 onward, the well-established Helmholtz Mentoring Program will be available in a revised format open to participants of any gender. Helmholtz Advance is designed to support talented staff who find themselves at a critical juncture in their lives and are about to make career-defining decisions. The workshop program provides participants with essential decision-making tools as well as a space to explore their options. They are supported by mentors and, where desired, professional coaches when reflecting their goals and aspirations and deciding on an action plan.

The Helmholtz Association is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to all its employees. As part of this commitment, the Helmholtz Mentoring Program was initially set up as a measure to support aspiring female leaders specifically. As of 2018, the program takes a more holistic approach, welcoming participants of any gender and bringing into focus diversity as a valuable resource. Application for the redesigned program opens in April 2018. Please read the call for applications for detailed information on the program and on the application procedure. If you are interested in applying, please get in touch with the listed contact person in your research center who will organize the pre-selection procedure. 

Who Can Apply?

The Helmholtz Mentoring program is open to early-career researchers, administrators and managers approaching a potential turning point in their professional careers. To be considered, researchers must have completed their doctorate no more than four years before application. Applicants working in administration, technical support and management must possess an academic degree as well as three to eight years of professional experience. Candidates must be employees of a Helmholtz Center or the Helmholtz Association Head Office for the duration of the program.

The Program

Helmholtz Advance offers participants a combination of qualification opportunities, mentoring, and optional coaching over a period of just under one year.

Three workshops of 2.5 days each provide participants with the opportunity to reflect on their professional development so far, their unique strengths and talents as well as their aspirations and goals. The program provides information on career options within the field of science and beyond, helping participants to plan their next steps. The participants advance their self-leadership and communication skills and develop conflict management, self-marketing and networking techniques.

A second core component of Helmholtz Advance is the mentoring tandem. Mentoring involves pairing junior staff with more experienced staff who are comparatively well-established in their career. By sharing their experience, these mentors support their mentees in their personal and professional development. Mentors are experts from Helmholtz Centers, science organizations, and the private sector. The workshop program includes support for the mentoring relationship.

In addition, one-on-one coaching sessions are available to participants. Up to three two-hour coaching units may complement the workshops and mentoring, allowing participants to address topics they consider important for their professional development (such as career decision support, individual skills, conflict management). Coaching is also available to mentors, as an opportunity to reflect on their role and the mentoring relation.

The Network

More than 300 Helmholtz researchers, administrators and managers have already made use of the Helmholtz Mentoring Program to further their personal development and to shape their professional careers. They provide a powerful network within the Helmholtz community and beyond, which program participants are encouraged to actively build on. The Helmholtz Mentoring Program supports their efforts through annual meetings that reunite alumni and introduces them to current mentees and mentors.

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  • Photo of Christiane Kasack
    • Dr. Christiane Kasack
    • Talent Management
      Helmholtz Association
  • Photo of Mandy Ritsche
    • Mandy Ritsche
    • Assistant Academy/Mentoring
      Helmholtz Association