Gender Equality

ADVANCE mentoring programme

Welcome to the ADVANCE mentoring programme! Our mission is to cultivate a supportive and equitable research culture right here in Luxembourg. But why mentoring, you might ask?

Mentoring isn’t just about guidance; it’s a catalyst for growth, collaboration, and empowerment. Through ADVANCE, we foster a vibrant learning community where researchers engage in transformative conversations, share experiences, and build connections.

At the heart of ADVANCE is the belief in individual potential. We recognise the power within each researcher, furthermore, by embracing the social-ecological model, ADVANCE acknowledges the intricate interplay between individuals, relationships, and the broader research community. Together, we’ll not only advance your career but also strengthen our collaborative culture.

“Mentoring is a learning relationship, involving the sharing of skills, knowledge, and expertise between a mentor and mentee through developmental conversations, experience sharing, and role modeling. The relationship may cover a wide variety of contexts and is an inclusive two-way partnership for mutual learning that values differences.” – European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC)

The ADVANCE Mentoring programme is organised by the Gender Equality Office, with support from the Vice-Rector for Research, in partnership with the research institutes: Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research and the Luxembourg Institute of Health.

ADVANCE has three main pillars

Mentoring activities

•Individualised support for personal and professional development.

•Structured conversations with a trusted mentor(s), to explore potential and get advice on career development/challenges.

•Peer-mentoring groups.

•Focus on Women and other underrepresented groups.


•To support effective mentoring conversations.

•That promotes personal narratives and career planning.

•Group training targeting women, and other underrepresented groups.

•Working towards developing a comprehensive career development programme, in particular for PhD holders (in collaboration with diverse university departments/teams and partners).


•Women Leaders Lecture Series

•Facilitate conversations across entities/functions on transversal topics: caregiving; careers; leadership, etc.

•Empower unheard voices (e.g. young academics, minority groups,…)



One-on-one, international mentor

# of mentees

Max. 10


Every other year


12 months

# of meetings*


ADVANCE Fellows (with LISER & LIH)


One-on-one, local/international mentor

# of mentees

Max. 20




6 months

# of meetings*


ADVANCE Circles (with LISER & LIH)


Group. 3-4 local

# of mentees

Max. 10


Twice a year


4 months

# of meetings*


*Envisioned number of meetings

Prof. Anna Kornadt and Prof. Machteld Venken explain why they became mentors

Testimonials from ADVANCE Fellows

“The programme made me reflect and strengthened my relationship with the University’s community.” -Mentor

“The mentorship programme helped me reflect on my own practice and experience” -Mentor

“The Advance programme provided me with an environment of support, resources, and reflection-provoking activities that were crucial in helping me figure out what my goals and wishes are and what my next steps should look like.” -Mentee

“The mentoring programme was a unique opportunity to speak to a senior researcher about all things related to academia in an unbiased manner and a safe environment, which has helped me significantly in my outlook on my own career.” -Mentee

Testimonials from ADVANCE Circles

“Advances circles have been a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend it. I left feeling more confident and prepared for the PhD years ahead!”

“The circles are a unique welcoming and supportive space to share and listen to both female peers and leaders’ experience in their careers.”

“The diverse perspectives and experiences of both the mentors and fellow participants enriched our discussions, enabling me to challenge my own assumptions. The circle with female professor mentors fostered a supportive and empowering environment for aspiring researchers like myself.”

As a mentor, I was delighted to ‘pay it forward’ in a space created by the university, specifically the Gender Equality Office. While I’ve had informal mentees before, this format required much less planning. The circle created a group atmosphere where support and insights were not only provided by the mentors but also by our peers themselves, which I found immensely valuable.”

ADVANCE is sponsored by the Gender Equality Officer (Rector’s office) and it is an action of the current Gender Equality Policy.

Executive committee

In addition, ADVANCE is setting up a steering committee and an advisory board:

  • Steering Committee: Executive Committee together with representatives from each of the entities. For the Fellows and Circles strands the Steering Committee will include 1 representative from the partner institutions.
  • Advisory Board: 3 international experts (to be invited)

ADVANCE Fellows and Circles are run in partnership with the Luxembourg research institutes: Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research and the Luxembourg Institute of Health (the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology is set to join the program in autumn2024).

Within the University and with partners, ADVANCE adopts a transversal and collaborative approach to establish a mentoring culture. This approach involves working across functional teams, including Human Resources, Office of Doctoral Studies, and Research Support Department, among others.

ADVANCE also collaborates with national initiatives such as Research Luxembourg and EURAXESS Luxembourg to promote a positive research culture and support the career development of researchers.

For reference, download the Luxembourg Mentoring Charter.

  • Luxembourg Institute of Health -LIH

    Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)

  • Luxembourg Institute of Socio Economic Research

    Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

  • Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology -LIST

    Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology -LIST

    Joining in 2024-2025