The international phase of PROMEMCI 2023 was inaugurated

An exemplary initiative to replicate in other countries.


The Vice-rectorate of Research at the University of Cuenca, in collaboration with Germany's SDGNN Giessen-hub, has launched the International Women in Science Mentorship Program, known as PROMEMCI. This program aims to provide postgraduate students and early career researchers from the University of Cuenca with invaluable international guidance, support, and numerous opportunities for career advancement. PROMEMCI international, officially inaugurated on September 15th, is dedicated to promoting gender equality in academia.

During the inaugural event, Björn Weeser, Project Manager SDGnexusNetwork from the Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany, emphasized the central role of mentees in the program, highlighting their participation in a transformative journey that empowers them to step beyond their comfort zones and explore diverse avenues for career development.

Special thanks were extended to the mentors for becoming agents of change to advance gender equality in the University of Cuenca, and to promote the exchange of collaboration and knowledge sharing between the network partners. In addition, it was mentioned that this initiative serves as an exemplary model for replication in other countries, since it is preparing a new generation of academics and helping to generate a more inclusive research community.   


Rolando Celleri, Professor in the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Sciences (iDRHiCA) and representative of the Vice-Rector of Research at the University of Cuenca, underscored the importance of advancing inclusive research practices in Ecuador. He placed a particular emphasis on our university's committed efforts in providing support through mentoring programs specially tailored to women in academia.

Furthermore, Professor Celleri highlighted our university's proactive engagement in establishing intercultural learning platforms that align seamlessly with the core objectives of promoting gender equality in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations.

Johanna Orellana, director of PROMEMCI, indicated that the program has 16 talented mentees from Ecuador, matched with 16 dedicated mentors from the SDGNN Giessen-hub. This initiative has transformed into a diverse and intercultural program, representing a total of 11 nationalities, with mentors hailing from 10 different countries across the Americas, Europe, and Central Asia.

Additionally, mentioned that the mentees have embarked on their second mentorship phase, building on the success of last year's pilot program, which was conducted entirely within the University of Cuenca. A noteworthy aspect of the program is the support funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) enabling ten mentees to embark on a short technical visit. During this visit, they will have the unique opportunity to travel and meet their mentors in Germany and Colombia.

The program, scheduled to conclude on December 12, will feature comprehensive training workshops designed for both mentees and mentors, mentioned Vanessa Coronel, coordinator of PROMEMCI. These workshops are strategically planned to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and tools required to conduct effective mentoring sessions, that create a safe and welcoming environment that fosters trust and mutual respect, while facilitating a dynamic learning process that embraces intercultural interaction and communication.

The SDGNN Giessen-hub and the University of Cuenca extended their best wishes of success to all participants of the PROMEMCI international program as they embark on their intercultural mentoring journey for women scientists.

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