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Support for women in academia

Scholarships, advisory services and mentoring programmes for women
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Financial Support

Women are still underrepresented in academic leadership positions. For this reason, there are some foundations that are primarily dedicated to the support of young female scientists. Almost all funding programmes of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) also offer measures that aim to establish equal opportunities, e.g. financial support for childcare or support for special career development activities for female researchers in structured programmes (mentoring programmes, coaching, participation in networks, etc.).

Below you will find a number of foundations that support women. The Friedrich Schiller University of Jena also has its own programme to promote women in science. For information on doing a postdoc with children, click here.

Funding opportunities of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena

ProChance - Programme for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in Science

The ProChance programme supports the scientific activity and qualification of female researchers. The aim of the ProChanceexchange programme line is to provide financial support for short research stays, publication costs and participation in workshops and summer schools. Within the framework of the ProChancecareer programme line, funding can be applied for to carry out research projects or organise conferences, for mobility (e.g. for stays abroad), for planned third-party funding and for academic leave.

Further funding opportunities for women
  • Christiane-Nüsslein-Volhard-FoundationExternal link
    The Foundation promotes talented female researchers with children and is particularly aimed at postgraduate and postdoctoral students of experimental natural sciences or medicine.
  • Deutscher Akademikerinnen Bund e. V.External link
    Female academics of all subject fields are supported, especially with regard to publications and achievements, by the provision of awards. The association provides support without consideration for politics, religion, nationality or age. Female students are also invited to apply for support.
  • UNESCO-L'Oréal promotional programme for researchers with childrenExternal link
    Every year, the UNESCO-L'Oréal Support Programme in Germany supports three outstanding female PhD candidates with children. The programm is for young scientists in experimental life sciences or medicine. The yearly support amounts to max. 20000 EUR for each PhD candidate.

Advisory service

The Equal Opportunities Office is responsible for promoting equal opportunities for men and women in the academic world. It is a contact point for all members of the university and offers support, advice and assistance:

  • Questions on the advancement of women in higher education,
  • appointment and application procedures,
  • discrimination, sexual harassment and difficulties in the working environment,
  • need for advice on transgender or trans identities.

If you have any questions or need advice, you can always contact the Equality Opportunities Office by e-mail or telephone (9-400981). You can find more information here de (in German).


If you are a female postdoctoral researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (or another Thuringian university) and are currently planning your individual career path, you can apply as a participant in the Rowena-Morse-Mentoring programme. If you are an experienced female postdoctoral researcher, you can apply for the Mentoring programme of the university network of Halle-Wittenberg, Jena and Leipzig.

Rowena-Morse-Mentoring Programme

The mentoring programme provides interdisciplinary support for female doctoral candidates in the final phase of their doctorates and for female postdoctoral researchers in the orientation phase of their individual careers. In addition to the placement of a mentor, specific workshops for further qualification are offered. Within the framework of peer mentoring, the mentees network with (young) scientists from other Thuringian universities and are accompanied in groups by experienced professors from the Thuringian universities. The programme runs for a total of 12 months and begins at the end of October/beginning of November of each calendar year.

The programme is financed by the Thüringer Kompetenznetzwerk Gleichstellung. The basic concept was developed at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and further developed by the Mentoring Working Group of the Thuringian Equality Competence Network as a joint concept of Thuringia's universities.

The application deadline is yearly in the middle of September. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Bianka Dettmer at the Office of the Vice President for Young Researchers and Diversity Management.

Mentoring Programme for female postdocs of the university network of Halle-Wittenberg, Jena, and Leipzig

The mentoring programme for female postdoctoral researchers is an inter-university service provided by the universities of Halle-Wittenberg, Jena and Leipzig. It is targeted at highly-qualified female postdocs, researchers undertaking a "habilitation", junior research group leaders, and junior professors in all disciplines at these universities who were awarded their doctorate at least 2 years ago and aspire to a professorship at a German university. Applicants are also expected to have a serious interest in and high commitment to an academic career.

The programme aims to enable these female researchers

  • to access individual advice and support from experienced mentors (one-to-one-Mentoring) on career-related issues and integration into the scientific community,
  • training sessions on key career-related competences
  • intra- and interdisciplinary professional contacts required for effective planning and pursuit of a career in science.

Each year, up to 24 female postdocs from the three participating universities are admitted to the programme. Upon request, the one-year participation in the programme can be extended by a second year.

You can submit an application to take part in the programme by the end of the winter semester each year. The application phase is announced at each of the three universities. For further information, please visit the website of the mentoring programme for female postdocs. If you have any questions or would like to submit an application, please contact Mrs. Annette Wagner-Baier at the Office of the Vice President for Young Researchers and Diversity Management.