Career advancement

One of the main responsibilities of the Culture and Equality unit is to develop and implement various measures in the field of the advancement of academic careers. Our services include workshops, programs and networking tailored to predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers and prospective university professors.


doc:muv Mentoring program for early-stage researchers

The career development program doc:muv for female prae-doc scientists of all disciplines and faculties of the University of Vienna starts in the winter semester 2022/23. The three formats mentoring, group coaching and training are combined with each other. The three semester long program gives the participants the possibility to strategically plan their scientific careers, to form personal relationships for their growth and to establish (peer) networks that cross discipline boundaries.
The combination of tried and tested methods of women's advancement in an innovative way is supposed to give female scientists at the prae-doc level a starting point for the multiple requirements of an academic career.

Applications for the doc:muv program are currently closed.


Franziska Seidl Funding Program

On behalf of the Rectorate, the Culture and Equality unit offers three fixed-term positions (6 months each) for female postdoctoral researchers every six months as part of a new program for the advancement of women. The positions will especially be awarded in those faculties/centers of the University of Vienna where women are significantly underrepresented. The program supports female scientists at the University of Vienna in completing research projects, finalizing / revising / resubmitting research proposals and/or completing publications.

postdoc:muv - Mentoring program for female postdoctoral researchers at the University of Vienna

The third round of the career development program postdoc:muv for the promotion of female postdoctoral researchers of all disciplines and faculties of the University of Vienna will start in March 2024. The program combines the three formats mentoring, group coaching, and training. The English-speaking program lasts three semesters and offers its participants the possibility to strategically plan their academic career, to enter individual fostering relationships, and to establish (peer) networks across disciplines.

postdoc:muv fosters an inclusive, supportive, and respectful environment, where participant’s experiences, identities, and backgrounds are acknowledged and cherished. For more details see the postdoc:muv mission statement.


  • Program details

    postdoc:muv is a three semester long program that centers on the career advancement formats "mentoring" and "coaching". In addition to those two formats, there are also trainings on other specific contents. The combination of these formats into an innovative whole should help female scientists in their post-doc phase to face the varied requirements fora successful scientific career.

    A maximum of 24 participants can join the program. The participants will be separated into

    • two groups with 12 people each (Humanities & Social Sciences and Natural & Life Sciences) for the coaching and
    • around 8 smaller groups with 3-4 people each for the mentoring.



    The postdoc:muv kick-off will take place on November 30, 2023, thus before the actual start of the central program elements (Mentoring, Coaching, Training) in March 2024. In this first meeting, participants will get to know their peers (mentees), program coordinators, and coaches. After a Who Is Who and a thematic introduction to the program, the mentees will work on a list of three potential mentors in their mentoring groups. The Culture and Equality unit will contact the mentors afterwards on the basis of this list.


    The mentoring group consists of one mentor and 3-4 participants and is established according to fixed rules. The group is accompanied by professors (= mentors) of the University of Vienna in regular work meetings answering questions regarding job, career, and routine. In addition, the peers provide each other with impulses and support.


    The 24 participants in the program will be divided into two equally sized coaching groups who will each be accompanied by an experience Academia Coach for the duration of the program. The coaching groups will, on the one hand, help prepare and accompany the mentoring relationships. On the other hand, they will work according to supervision principles to help participants formulate their career goals and work through current challenges (dealing with conflict, positioning oneself in academia, analysis of roles and expectations, work-life-balance, time management etc.).


    Once per semesters, a special two day training with international trainers is offered on the central topics of presentation, negotiation, and leadership. The goal of the trainings is to strengthen core competencies.

Habilitation training for female academics

Habilitation is a postdoctoral qualification in several countries and by its peculiarity requires much knowledge and understanding of the academic world and its rituals. In general, women have less access to male-dominated networks and informal information. Hence, this one-day-workshop is targeted towards female postdoctoral candidates working on a specific habilitation project and female postdocs who aspire to or are at the beginning of a habilitation. The workshop is designed with the aim to provide them with concise information about the process and regulation of habilitation and to support them in planning their steps towards a successful habilitation.

Thematic focus:
Significance of the habilitation for an academic career; the process of habilitation: prerequisites, requirements and types of habilitation; the unwritten rules of habilitation; time management during habilitation.

Prospective professors

Apppointment training for prospective professors

This offer is an important measure to increase the career opportunities of female academics at the University of Vienna and thus to promote gender equality. By taking part they acquire extensive formal and informal knowledge about the professors’ appointment process and are prepared for their national or international applications. The workshop is targeted towards female academics of the University of Vienna holding a habilitation or equivalent qualification who are currently applicants in national or international appointment procedures or who are planning to apply for a professorship within the next few years.

Thematic focus:
Legal framework; coaching of soft skills; unwritten rules of the appointment process; talking with the appointment committee; strategies for salary negotiations.

  • The call for trainings in winter semester 2024/25 or summer semester 2025 will be announced on time.
  • Course language: English or German
  • Trainer: Ute Riedler
  • Program


Networking lunch for female academics

Based on the experience that good networks are of key importance for an academic career, the Culture and Equality unit has been organising networking events for current and previous participants of its programs. Each networking lunch is designed to provide a space for input and in-depth dialogue on a selected topic as well as time for networking, reunion and informal exchange.

  • Previous networking events:
    "Self-Leadership - Connecting to the Source" with Anette Hammerschmidt.
    "Networking made easy?" with Deborah Ruggieri.
    “Does a successful academic career go together with family life and private interests?”
    with Prof. Andrea Olschewski, Moderation: Ute Riedler.
    "Salary negotiations for women" with Ute Riedler: Gehaltsverhandlungstipps für Frauen (PDF)(in German)

Discontinued programs

Marie Jahoda Grant

With the Marie Jahoda Grant, the University of Vienna aimed to support female, highly qualified postdoctoral researchers who had to reduce or interrupt their research activities because of care obligations in their families or close environment.

Starting in 2014, the grant (formerly Back-to-Research Grant) has been issued every year from the rectorate's ressources. With Marie Jahoda, a renowned social scientist who started her career at the University of Vienna lends her name to the grant. In the winter semester 2022/23, up to 10 grants set at EUR 30,000.00 each were awarded from the ressources of the rectorate.

The Culture and Equality unit coordinated the grant and its award process.

We warmly congratulate the 11 grantees 2022:

  • Veronika Burz-Tropper, Faculty of Catholic Theology
  • Linda Dezsö, Faculty of Business, Economics and Statistics
  • Laura Gianvittorio-Ungar, Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies
  • Lisa Isola, Faculty of Law
  • Olga Kepinska, Vienna CogSciHub
  • Sabine Kraushaar, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy
  • Nana Naetar-Kerenyi, Centre for Molecular Biology
  • Monika Palmberger, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Agnieszka Pasieka, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Angela Stöger-Horwath, Faculty of Life Sciences
  • Sylvia Plöckinger, Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy

FEMAC – career development program for female researchers in English

FEMAC is a three-semester career development program for female postdoctoral researchers and habilitation candidates at the University of Vienna and is held in English. The program combines career-integrated coaching led by national academic coaches and training sessions and workshops led by international experts. The group coaching aims to promote the exchange of experiences among the participants.

The second run of FEMAC 2 started in March 2018 and ended in June 2019. Participants were female postdoctoral researchers and habilitation candidates of all disciplines of the University of Vienna (minimum duration of the current contract until January 2019), who pursue an academic career.

Berta Karlik Program

As part of the Berta Karlik Program, special professorships were created at the University in 2011 to promote excellent female researchers. Following the principles of gender equality, the Berta Karlik Program was designed to increase the opportunities of highly qualified women researchers at the University of Vienna. These temporary professorships increased their chances of subsequently being appointed as professors in Austria or abroad. The Program was launched two times. 6 Berta Karlik professorships were awarded in total.

"Leading, Managing and Developing Competences": career planning curriculum for female postdoc university assistants

The three-semester career planning curriculum "Leading, Managing and Developing Competences. Women in Academia Shape their Future" offered female postdoctoral academics at the University of Vienna the opportunity to broaden their skills for their professional future. The program was mainly directed towards female postdoctoral university assistants who were in longer-term employment with the University of Vienna (the employment contract had to run for a minimum of two years as of the beginning of the program).

Career planning curriculum for female predoctoral researchers

The three-semester career planning curriculum for female researchers "Steps to Success" was organised by the units Culture and Equality and Human Resources Development. The program was exclusively directed towards female academic staff in the predoctoral phase: university assistants, external lecturers and academic project staff.