What is mentoring?

Mentoring can be defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced scientist (the mentor) assists a less experienced one (the mentee) in developing scientific and personal skills. Mentoring involves support outside of the institutional hierarchical relationship, and is based on trust and confidence. Mentoring is a "bottom-up" relationship in the sense that the initiative comes from the mentee.

Who are the target persons?

Young scientists at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich (students in the last year of their studies and those working on their doctoral and habilitation dissertations) who would like to build an academic career in clinical medicine or in some basic subject of medicine.

What are the goals?

Goals of the mentoring program are:

  • raising early awareness of the need for career planning and advice about professional development;
  • supporting career steps;
  • integrating young scientists into research groups and networks;
  • establishing research collaboration;
  • giving advice on research proposals;
  • facilitating stays abroad;
  • supporting publications

Two forms of mentoring

Two forms of mentoring are being offered: 

  • Group mentoring: Groups of students from related disciplines ask potential mentors for advice; they receive support from the programme direction in their search for a mentor.
  • One-to-one mentoring: especially adapted to advanced scientists.


Mentor and mentee sign an agreement regarding the frequency of contacts (at least once every 2 months) and the objective for the next 12 months of mentoring. 

In case you are interested in the mentoring program, please  contact Prof. B. Beck Schimmer (director of the program). 

Institutions responsible for the program

Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich.

Mentoring of students

For the mentoring of students in the 3rd and 4th year of studies: