MenZa: Mentoring for postdoctoral researchers (academic careers)

You work hard, but are you unsure where your career is heading?
Do you feel you are at a career turning point?
You have academic ambitions, but you do not know how to play the game?
If so, mentoring can help you out.

Calendar of activities edition 2016-2017

  • 1 February 2018: Celebration for all that have taken part in mentoring for postdocs this year. We are delighted to announce Dirk Van Damme (  to bring a testimonial on his non-academic career. Our vice-rector, Mieke Van Herreweghe, will share her academic career story.
  • 14 November 2017: ‘From postdoc to professor (ZAP)’: a session covering useful information and tips and tricks on the job application process for ZAP offered by experts from the university’s Recruitment Office and the Career Development Office (Department of Personnel) and by recently appointed ZAP members.
  • 4 May 2017:  lunch lecture "Myths and facts in the career after the PhD"
  • 2 February 2017: 2nd MenTa/MenZa alumni event on 200 years UGent
  • December 2016: 'Steer Your Career' - a mandatory workshop for mentees selected for MenTa or MenZa
  • 9 November 2016: info session for postdocs wishing to participate in MenTa or MenZa

What is MenZa?

MenZa ("Mentoring by ZAP") is Ghent University's in-house mentoring programme committed to helping postdoctoral researchers increase their chances of gaining academic promotion and tenure. Mentors are experienced Ghent University professors from another faculty than the mentee's.

MenZa complements MenTa, Ghent University’s mentoring programme for postdocs who consider switching to a career outside academia. Mentors are PhD holders working in the private, public or non-profit sector.

For more information on mentoring for postdocs, check this page.

Profile of a mentee?

  • A postdoctoral researcher with solid academic ambitions, from all faculties and disciplines.
  • The maximum number of mentees admitted to MenZa depends directly on the number of available mentors.
  • Priority will be given to those clearly explaining their reasons for participating in their motivation statement and to postdoctoral researchers employed on non-renewable fixed-term contracts.


"Ik heb door mentoring een belangrijke keuze omtrent mijn loopbaan eindelijk genomen. Ik heb tips van mijn mentor omtrent zichtbaarheid, CV en toekomststrategie reeds toegepast"

"Ik ben niet alleen onderzoeker, maar ook moeder van twee kinderen en de combinatie van werk en gezin blijft een precaire evenwichtsoefening. Ik doe mijn job ontzettend graag, maar het zou fijn zijn te horen hoe iemand anders omgaat met de moeilijke kanten van ons vak"


Profile of a mentor?

  • A professorial staff member at Ghent University with a minimum of 2 years experience
  • No hierarchical relation with mentee (different faculty than mentee's, but relevant research field of profile)
  • A positive role model, enthusiastic, empathic, good listener, fully committed to helping a mentee find solutions to different career challenges

“Ik ben zelf destijds zeer goed begeleid in mijn onderzoeksgroep en wil dat nu ook kunnen doen voor anderen”

“Ik doe dit nu voor het derde jaar op rij en blijf het een waardevol project vinden. Ik vind het zinvol en bijzonder aangenaam om jonge mensen te coachen en ervaringen over te brengen en te helpen waar ik kan”

“Ik had zelf te weinig begeleiding gekregen en wou het voor de volgende generatie beter doen”

How to register for MenZa?

Registration is closed for the edition 2016-2017.

The start of a new cohort is planned in September 2018.

How to start?

As soon as the selected mentees have been matched with their mentors (by the project team), a first meeting can be scheduled.

We recommend to have 4-6 meetings throughout the mentoring year (January-December).

Apart from the 1-to-1 meetings, mentors and mentees will be invited to a series of activities and workshops.

Some background

MenZa was launched in 2009 by the Diversity and Gender Policy Unit in order to support female postdocs in their career path and transition to professorship: MenZa 2009-2013

Since 2011 the programme is open to all (female and male) postdocs. Since 2014 MenZa is part of Ghent University's Postdoc Talent Management, run by the Department of Personnel & Organization.


Please direct all your questions to:

Project team: Jasmien Van Daele, Inge Vanheule and Liesbet Boone