Excellence Programme for Women in Academia

The Excellence Programme offers talented early career women academics at Saarland University a varied range of specialist support services designed to help them achieve high-impact roles in the academic or business sectors.


The Excellence Programme for Women in Academia offers support and guidance to high-potential female academics at Saarland University and at the non-university research institutes on campus. Women who aim to take up leading roles in academia or in the private sector receive tailored support that will enable them to make full use of their skills and to realize their career potential.

The Excellence Programme offers opportunities for specialized training, mentoring and coaching, enabling participants to connect with other academics and researchers and thus broaden their professional networks at the regional, national and international levels.

The programme is aimed at doctoral students, post-docs, habilitation candidates, leaders of junior research groups, academics permitted to teach at professorial level (Privatdozentinnen) and junior professors. As a programme participant, you will join a select group of women academics and have the opportunity to make use of all that the programme has to offer for a period of three years.

Programme components

The Excellence Programme provides specialized training and support initiatives designed to advance the careers of early career women academics at Saarland University. The long-term goal of the programme is to increase the proportion of women holding leadership and other high-level positions in academia and the business sector. The programme aims to increase the proportion of women applying for professorial positions and to encourage them to plan and build their careers and to develop their professional networks.

The programme has four components:

    • 1. Skills development and training

      Information events, training courses and workshops enable participants to develop their skills and expertise in various areas. The courses and events organized by the university's Gender Equality Office reflect the specific requirements and preferences of programme participants and are conducted in collaboration with specialists in the relevant field. Examples of previous courses and events include: – Finding your voice – Speaking with confidence – Theoretical and practical aspects of the professorial appointments process – Committee work – Securing external funding – Management and leadership skills – Conflict management

    • 3. Mentoring

      The goal of mentoring programme is to establish a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue with senior professorial staff and/or leading figures in the local and regional business communities. This type of interaction enables participants to gain new insights and new perspectives and to improve their career advancement opportunities. The peer mentoring scheme at Saarland University offers participants on the Excellence Programme the opportunity to connect and forge links with each other. Benefits for the mentee: – Sharing ideas, experiences and knowledge with the mentor – Identifying and developing your personal potential – Career planning advice and guidance – Formal and informal networking

    • 2. Coaching

      After first discussing their needs with the project team, participants may then be assigned to a specialist coach for more in-depth advice and training. Topics that could be addressed in individual coaching sessions include: – Personal career planning – Support when applying for a professorial position and negotiating terms – Finding realistic solutions and appropriate action plans – Balancing work and family commitments

    • 4. Networking

      The programme also encourages participants to expand their professional networks. As each group contains academics from different disciplines, participants are encouraged to share ideas across subject boundaries, potentially leading to new and productive professional relationships. Networking provides an opportunity for early career female researchers to: – share and exchange knowledge and ideas with other women academics at a similar stage of their careers – exchange knowledge and ideas with experts – share information on existing subject-specific and professional networks


Project lead
Gender Equality Officer at Saarland University
Dr. Sybille Jung
Phone: +49 681 302-4795
Email: sybille.jung(at)uni-saarland.de

Coordination and project implementation
Svenja Burmann, Dipl. KuWi
Phone: +49 681 302-4966
Fax: +49 681 302-4794
Email: svenja.burmann(at)uni-saarland.de

Gender Equality Office at Saarland University
Building C3 1 (Annex)
Postfach 15 11 50