GSCN Mentoring Program

The GSCN Mentoring Program is a new project of the GSCN working group “Career Development”. The aim of the program is to support young scientists up to the level of young group leaders in their search for a career path that fits the personal visions, abilities and needs. During our careers in science, we often stand at crossroads, having to take tough decisions. This one-year-mentoring-program offers a one-of-a-kind chance to obtain orientation and guidance during the decision making process by established stem cell researchers in Germany and experts working outside academia in related fields such as industry, communication, or science management.

The mentee will benefit from the possibility of a secure, discreet, and trustworthy liaison to an experienced mentor for seeking advice regarding career options inside and outside academia as well as more specific, challenging situations such as job negotiations, grant writing, editors, or work-life balance. This is a unique opportunity for young scientists to use the network and mentors to find answers, develop new ideas and take advantage of the knowledge, experience, and visions of established colleagues. The mentees also form a network and support each other during the mentoring phase and possibly afterwards as a base for a personal and career peer-network.
Considering the fact that women are still underrepresented in leading positions in the fields of academic life sciences, the GSCN encourages their application.

Each year a committee of the GSCN will choose 5 candidates judged by their written applications. Mentees will select a mentor from a provided GSCN list or propose a new mentor within the GSCN network themselves. The starting point of each program is the annual GSCN Conference, where all mentees will meet and have a special session on goals, methods, and formulating their personal learning goals and objectives they want to fulfill in the coming year. The mentor-mentee-team will also meet for the first time in person (if possible) in an organized setup and both sides will sign a contract, in which they agree upon a secure, discreet, and trustworthy relationship. The mentee and the mentor will agree upon 3 – 5 meetings over the course of 1 year (in person, via telephone or video) and discuss questions and topics prepared by the mentee.

The GSCN organizes a semi-annual meeting of the mentees to network and discuss experiences and support options. The program ends at the following annual GSCN Conference with a closing meeting with the mentees.

How to apply?

Application deadline is 31 May 2024. The application can only be submitted as E-Mail to

The application includes:
- a motivation letter, why a participation in the GSCN Mentoring Program will be helpful in upcoming decisions
- a curriculum vitae
- a short description of the research, methods, interests
- a choice for a mentor from the GSCN Mentor List. Please include arguments why you want to work with this specific mentor.
⇒ please download the application form (PDF)

The GSCN Comitee will reply to your application at the beginning of July 2024.
The registration for the GSCN Conference (2024 in Jena) is mandatory, as there will be a first workshop as group of mentees with a coach and a first get-together with the mentors and the signing of the mentoring contract.

We recommend a participation in the non-PI-Meeting (2024 in Jena).

Terms and conditions

  • Mentees must be GSCN member at the time of application (application form here).
  • Mentee and mentor will commit to the mentoring program for 1 year.
  • Applicants must apply in written format stating why she/he wants to be part of the program.
  • Accepted mentees are responsible for contacting the future mentor directly via email, and coordinate (1) the number of meetings, (2) the dates and (3) the content.
  • At the end of the program, mentees must provide a short evaluation of the outcome of the mentoring process, via a questionnaire provided by the GSCN.
  • By signing the GSCN Mentoring Agreement both mentee and mentor agree to commit time (3-5 meetings over the course of 1 year, preferably at least one in person) and effort to work together to achieve the mentee learning goals and objectives. 
  • By signing the Mentoring Agreement both mentee and mentor agree to honour their mentee-mentor relationship, and to keep all information confidential.

Expenses of the GSCN Mentoring Program:

The GSCN Mentoring Program will be free of charge for the mentees. The GSCN will cover the costs for the semiannual meeting.

GSCN Ombudsperson:

In case of a conflict or misunderstanding between mentor and mentee, the GSCN central office will coordinate mediation of the situation by designating a mediator.

GSCN Conference, Sept. 2024 Jena

Who is not eligible?
Applicants taking parental leave, senior scientists, junior professors and independent group leaders cannot apply.

In Short

The one-year GSCN Mentoring Program is preferably available to GSCN members and to BIH scientists, who are working in stem cell research and might become GSCN members.
NEW Application Deadline:
15 June 2024

Application includes:
- a motivation letter
- a curriculum vitae
- a short description of  your research
- select a mentor from the GSCN Mentor List and explain your choice
please download the application form (PDF)

Notification of Acceptance:
Beginning of july 2024
Program Start:
GSCN Conference , Sept. 2024, Jena
Program Ending:
GSCN Conference 2025
Mail to or

GSCN Mentee Club

“Mentoring is a great networking opportunity, and your fellow mentees and mentors are your future network.
Stay in touch with them to build your own network for the future.”
(O. Stambouli, 2022)

The GSCN Mentee Club is the network of the GSCN mentees. Founded in Oct. 2022, it bringe the GSCN mentees together and offers networking, exchange, support and talks / meetings.

The spokesperson of the GSCN Mentee Club is Anja Trillhaase  (here with Shinya Yamanaka at the GSCN Conference in Münster 2022).

Report Mentees 2022

Experiences from the mentees, the mentors and the founders 2022:
"Sounding career options and sharing experiences" (GSCN Annual Magazine 2022)
"I like very much the one-to-one meeting with my mentor; I got very valuable tips that I know I would not have gotten if I was not on this program." (Oumaima Stambouli)

GSCN Mentees

GSCN mentees of the first and the ongoing second year have gathered at the GSCN Conference   2022 in Münster to meet and get to know each other.
The mentees of 2021/2022 have founded the GSCN Mentee Club and will soon post news here   (see right column).

GSCN Mentoring Program

From the idea to realization: The founders of the GSCN Mentoring Program
from left: Insa Schroeder, Marieke Essers, Karin Hoehne, German Camargo, Stefanie Mahler

More information:

 Forum 'Cell Stem Cell': Seven Actionable Strategies for Advancing Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine

PDF of the presentation by Anke Raloff from the 4th Annual GSCN Conference, Hannover
Download  here (in German)

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