ADVANCE - Advanced Training for Women in Scientific Research

Women are still heavily underrepresented in research. Under the leadership of the Donau-Universität Krems, the ADVANCE project was conducted with the aim to offer female scientists career perspectives through training and the acquiring of leadership skills.


EU, 6. Rahmenprogramm, „Science and Society“



  • Donau Universität Krems, Austria (Project coordination)
  • Spoleczna Wyzszy szkola przedsiebiorcszszi i zarzadzania, (Academy of Management), Lodz, Poland
  • Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • GGeP-The Graduate Gender Programme, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

Studies confirm that barriers and “male” structures make the path to scientific management positions much longer for women than for their male colleagues. As a result, many women are systematically lost to science in the course of their career – a phenomenon that is known in research as a “leaky pipeline”. Women are therefore caught in a vicious circle: on the one hand, classical male-oriented structures impede promotion; on the other, there are too few role models, both in industry and in the academic sector. As an example, only around 15 percent of scientists employed in European industry are women.

ADVANCE (Advanced Training for Women in Scientific Research) is intended to counteract this phenomenon and is directed towards women both from universities and from non-university institutes. In cooperation with five partner institutes from Poland, Finland, Austria, the Netherlands and Bulgaria and also – for the first time – in interdisciplinary collaboration with four departments of Danube University Krems, a specific training programme for the participants will be developed, together with a mentoring and coaching programme. The two-year EU project is aimed in particular at women researchers from engineering and science in the pre- and post-doctoral phase. ADVANCE therefore encompasses not only the working and living situation of women active in science and research, but also the structures and conditions of scientific institutions.

The 456,000-euro project consists of two parts. The core section is the training programme within the framework of a summer school, in which the selected participants will acquire competence in research and management skills according to their needs. A second, key factor of the project comprises the accompanying mentoring and coaching programme. The participants are assigned mentors – in other words experienced scientists – from the partner institutions. Both personal and professional development can be advanced within a mentor-mentee partnership. In addition, the candidates are offered the opportunity of networking.