Mentors: July 15th
Mentees: August 20th

The goal of the DANWISE Mentoring Program is to facilitate the guidance and support of young female scientists through mentoring by experienced and independent role models across academia and industry. The program was launched in 2019, the first year of DANWISE’s existence, where 6 mentees were paired with a mentor. Since then, the program has been running once a year and has grown to include 38 mentee-mentor pairs in the latest round (2021/22).


Potential mentors and mentees register through our website, and the pairs are formed by mentees contacting potential mentors, and the mentors then selecting one or more mentees, which they believe match their profiles. 

A good match between the mentee and mentor is essential and constitutes the foundation of a fruitful mentoring relation. Therefore, we highly encourage both the mentees and mentors to reflect upon their personal aims and expectations before entering a mentoring relation.


  • First, think carefully about your aims and expectations regarding concrete challenges that you wish to discuss with a mentor
  • Read the information about available mentors on the DANWISE website
  • Identify and contact potential mentors, who have a suitable profile, via email
  • When reaching out to potential mentors, introduce yourself and be very clear about what you seek in a mentor, what you expect to gain from the mentoring relation, and why you believe this mentor will be a good match


  • You will be contacted by potential mentees via email
  • Carefully evaluate the mentee candidates based on how well their aims and expectations match what you can/will provide
  • Select one or more mentee who you wish to mentor during the next 8 months
  • Notify all mentee candidates via email about your decision to accept or decline their application 

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that every mentee will find a mentor, as this depends on the individual mentors available, but we will do our best to help as many mentees find a mentor as possible.

Alignment of Expectiations

Once a mentor and mentee has agreed to initiate a mentoring relation, decide on a time and place (physical or virtual) to have your first meeting.

We encourage you to start out the first meeting by together filling out the Mentor-Mentee Agreement Form (available on the DANWISE website) in order to align expectations and agree on a structure for your meetings.

The mentee should define what concrete challenges the mentoring meetings should deal with. These challenges should be related to the mentee’s professional life such as career planning, skills, work-life balance, CV etc.

The questions below might be helpful to clarify and align expectations:

  • What does the mentee want to achieve?
  • What kind of help does the mentee hope to receive?
  • What kind of help does the mentor anticipate providing?
  • How will you evaluate the meetings during the process?
  • How is confidentiality ensured?
  • How should cancellations or changes be handled?
Meeting Frequency and Structure
  • The mentor and mentee together define the frequency and duration of the meetings
  • The suitable meeting structure and frequency will depend on individual needs, but as a guideline we suggest meeting for 1-1.5 hours every 4-6 weeks
  • You may find a need to adjust the meeting frequency during the program as there is typically a need for more frequent meetings in the beginning
The good mentoring meeting
  • The mentee is responsible for calling for the meetings and defining the agenda
  • An agenda may look like this:
  • What has happened since the last meeting?
  • Agreeing on the purpose of the meeting
  • Exploring topics from the perspective of the mentee
  • Drawing up options for taking action
  • Summing up the meeting and defining the mentee’s focus until the next meeting
  • Setting the date for the next meeting
  • It is the mentor’s responsibility to keep the mentee on track and regularly make sure that expectations are still aligned
  • The mentor should avoid giving the mentee instructions (“You have to do this and this”), but rather provide advice (“If I were you, I would do this and this”) and guidance (“Have you tried doing this and this?”) and ask questions to help the mentee reflect upon her own situation (“What have you considered doing?”)
  • It can be a very good idea for both the mentee and the mentor to write down learning points, ideas, realizations, thoughts etc. in a logbook
  • Short notes from each meeting will help the mentor discover whether the mentee progresses or whether there are areas that still have not been fully addressed
  • A logbook helps the mentee retain thoughts and learning points, and when used systematically it will allow the mentee to monitor her personal development

If you have any questions or experience any issues during the mentoring program, please feel free to reach out to DANWISE for support any time at