In June 2003, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the Technische Universität Berlin jointly initiated the ProFiL Programme to provide targeted and individualized support to highly qualified female scholars on their way to a professorship and to prepare them for future leadership requirements in science. In addition, the ProFiL Programme focuses on the interplay between human resources and organisational development by developing leadership and management skills, thus contributing to the modernisation and to the excellence- and equality- oriented transformation of universities. The numerous appointments to professorships and junior professorships, the many completed habilitations and the many third-party funds raised are proof of the success of the ProFiL Programme and the high performance of the participants.

The ProFiL Network sustainably promotes networking and exchange amongst the participants in the ProFiL Programme. The network has established viable support structures and created a professional framework in which the expertise, knowledge and commitment of the female scholars are pooled and adequate forums are available for academic discussion and higher education policy debate, for providing advice to each other and for exploring possible cooperation. The specific potential and the dynamics of the ProFiL Network are based not only on its continuous growth, but above all, on the concentrated expertise and the creative spirit of its members.

In order to sustainably maintain its performance potential, we have created a new organisational basis for the ProFiL Network with the founding of the ProFiL Netzwerkverein e.V. on October 5, 2013,  stabilising the culture of dialogue and discussion jointly developed in the ProFiL programme and further strengthening the networking and support structures developed for the participants and the alumnae. The opportunities of giving professional advice and support to network members and of actively participating in shaping the higher education and science system increase with every appointment and election to a higher education policy position. In professional and interdisciplinary positions and functions, the ProFiL-Alumnae themselves are now contributing to the establishment of an excellence- and equality-oriented development of young academics and leaders and a non-discriminatory scientific culture.

In addition to the tried and tested formats of networking and individual career promotion, more perspectives beyond the successful appointment are being developed in order to offer the alumnae, also as professors, the opportunity to consult with experienced peers and top-class experts, on current professional requirements and to prepare professionally for university and science policy offices and functions.

The dialogue with leading figures and experts from science and politics is a particular concern of our ProFiL Netzwerkverein e.V.: it enables a discussion on future requirements in higher education and science policy and an active participation in shaping reform processes in the science system.