What do we mean by “mentoring”?


The BMS Mentoring Program was developed to provide individual guidance to BMS students in both their academic and personal development. Mentors will pass on their personal experiences to help students to develop on their own. The meetings are confidential. Discussions on personal issues are not only allowed but encouraged. The mentoring program also functions as a way to detect possible difficulties early so that additional support can be offered and, if necessary, countermeasures can be taken.

Phase I

Phase I students are assigned a mentor and an advisor from the BMS faculty. The advisor and mentor should give guidance and advice throughout Phase I, while providing perspectives for Phase II. These two faculty members are often, but not always, the same person.

The duties of the Phase I advisor include
- advising you on your study program and giving recommendations,
- meeting you on a regular basis to evaluate and follow your academic progress,
- informing you about the BMS Study Regulations and Qualifying Exam.

The role of the Phase I mentor is to
- offer honest advice and support on personal issues
- offer insight on the challenges of undertaking a PhD project
- provide information about the Berlin mathematics landscape, the various research groups, research opportunities and possible career paths.

Phase II

Each Phase II student has a scientific advisor who provides support in all aspects relating to the dissertation, including advice on choosing the right conferences and publishing articles. Phase II students will additionally have a separate mentor who can
- help broaden your professional network,
- suggest employment opportunities and funding possibilities,
- offer a second opinion with regard to your research or career plan, and
- provide support if you encounter problems with your advisor.

Both the advisor and the mentor can assist students in forming career plans and in establishing a professional network. The Phase II mentor guides the student for the entire duration of Phase II.

Phase II students can choose a mentor on their own from our Faculty list or one can be suggested to you by our Diversity Manager. We recommend that your mentor not be a member of your research group, but it may be helpful if they work in the same field.

New Phase II students who do not have a mentor yet will have Initial Mentors. The Initial Mentors are two members of the BMS Postdoctoral Faculty at each of the three univiersities. They form small mentoring groups with new Phase II students to help you through your first few months. These groups are also a great way to meet other new BMS Phase II students in your university. You can help each other settle into your new life here in Berlin.