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The project TANDEMplusIDEA included the development, implementation and scientific evaluation of a human resources programme for female postdocs of natural sciences and engineering. The programme was funded by the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission for a duration of 2007 until 2010. It was the first joint EU-project of the IDEA League, and the first international mentoring programme.

The project was funded within the framework of the announcement “women to the top” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and had a duration of three years between 2007 and 2010.



Coordinated by RWTH Aachen, the project consortium realised an international mentoring scheme to support highly qualified female scientists of natural sciences and engineering to get prepared for a scientific career and a professorship in the participating countries. The programme was evaluated scientifically and lead to the development of a best practice-model of an international mentoring programme.

The international conference “Going Diverse: Innovative Answers to Future Challenges – International Conference on Gender and Diversity in Science, Technology and Business” on October 29-30, 2009 was the final event of the project. It took place in Aachen and also constituted the conclusion of the first mentoring course. At this occasion the project coordination presented the evaluation results of the programme and set it in the context of human resources and organisational development. Another focus of the conference with around 170 participants was the exchange between gender and diversity experts from academia and companies.



Besides the mentoring relationship with an internationally renowned male or female professor, the programme offered trainings in the form of Summer and Winter Schools on important career-related issues. Additionally, international networking events with prominent speakers offered the mentees the opportunity to socialise and consolidate their networks. The project partners took turns hosting the events.



  • Support of international female postdocs on their way to a professorship
  • International exchange and networking among high potentials
  • Insights into different scientific cultures and the international scientific community
  • Increase of the proportion of female professors