ECR Buddy-Program

Starting your PhD or arriving in a new work environment as a post doc can be challenging. You are not yet familiar with the procedures, maybe you do not yet have a social network and probably you don’t want to go to your supervisor or team colleagues with every little question you have (besides that you don’t even want to discuss everything with them). So, what to do?

This is exactly where we would like to pick you up with our ECR Buddy-Program. We aim to make it easier for ECRs to arrive at the University of Vienna or to start their PhD. Therefore, we will match those ECRs who already have knowledge regarding the University of Vienna and the PhD process with ECRs who have not gained these understandings so far. In a low-threshold and uncomplicated way, experiences are to be shared and support offered. In the best case, long-term networks can form that are enriching for both sides.


How to register

If you are interested in being a senior buddy or if you need a buddy for yourself, write us an email ( with the following information:


-          Do you need a buddy or do you want to be a buddy?

-          Your name, email address, position (PhD or Post Doc), affiliation and working group

-          Preferences regarding the size of your tandem: a double tandem or a bigger group

-          Information on further preferences, e.g., regarding gender, position of your senior buddy (PhD or Post Doc), etc.


Once we find a suitable match, we will introduce you to each other. We also plan to have informal buddy-get-togethers once a semester, where all buddy groups can get together and socialize.



How much time do I invest?

You decide together with your buddy how often you want to be in touch and what this looks like. From weekly coffee meetings for exchange to irregular meetings as needed or online exchange for specific questions, everything is possible. As a senior buddy, we think that it does make sense to be willing to meet up at least once a semester and respond to questions your buddy might have, but the most important thing is really that both of you feel comfortable. The buddy program should be an enrichment rather than an additional burden for you.


What are my responsibilities as a Senior Buddy?

It is important to us that you meet as equals. Nevertheless, as a senior buddy you take responsibility for your buddies. Therefore, be reliable when it comes to making and keeping appointments. Be conscientious with the information that is entrusted to you (this applies to all participants, of course). We assume that confidential information will remain between you and that you will treat each other with respect.


What if we have big issues to deal with or I need advice?

If there is an issue that you can't solve on your own or if there are problems between you, please contact us. Together we can discuss your problem and try to find a solution. If necessary, we can refer you to agencies that can help you with your specific concern. Or you directly contact the ombudspersons and trustees who act as independent and neutral supporters and mentors for problems that (have) arise(n) within the activity as an ECR.


What if you feel uncomfortable with your match?

Please let us know early if you are dissatisfied. We will do our best to find a new match for you that everyone feels comfortable with. 


What if I want to quit?

Of course, that is not a problem. Participation in the program is voluntary. Please just communicate this to your tandem in a timely manner and also contact us so that we can remove you from the buddy list.