Working in Tandem

Mentoring is based on a trans-hierarchical and cross-generational relationship between mentors and mentees in a tandem partnership.

The tasks of both mentors and mentees in the tandem relationship is to identify the personal goals of the mentees, develop strategies for action, and to discuss various options.

In more personal discussions mentors will offer help that mentees can use to help themselves. The individual conversations are a safe space in which the goals, motivations, and options of the mentees can be discussed.

Possible Topics in the Tandem Relationship

  • some mentees seek the best possible contacts and content-related input to support their research endeavors
  • some mentees wish primarily for feedback concerning informal knowledge about entering the profession, fundraising from external organizations, professional associations, publications, etc.
  • some mentees seek role models and suggestions for compatibility between family life and career in university clinics
  • some mentees would like to change their career specialization and are looking for insight into their new area of interest
  • some mentees are new at the Charité and are interested in more colloquial knowledge about university structure, networks, and organizational culture at the Charité
  • some mentees are already well acquainted with the Charité and would like to be more well connected and well positioned internationally
  • some mentees are interested primarily in experience regarding the compatibility between research and clinical practice
  • on the other hand, others would like to set up their own laboratory, working groups, etc. and are seeking mentors who can provide them with competent guidance and valuable experience
  • some mentees are unsure if they would like to become professors and are looking for informal insight into the demands, burdens, but also opportunities and prospects that are connected to being a professor
  • some mentees are interested in how others have handled the experience of failure in complex professional contexts
  • on the other hand, other mentees seek honest feedback and assessment regarding their strengths and weaknesses
  • some mentees are in interested in their mentor’s wide range of experience concerning conflict with colleagues, employees, superiors, etc.


The success of the mentoring program is dependent to a large extent on finding the right match between mentors and mentees.

“Matching” refers to the composition of the tandem partnerships. The decision as to which mentee will be placed in a tandem partnership with which mentor depends upon the aims and interests of the mentees and the mentors. In an introductory workshop the mentees will develop the criteria for choosing their mentors based on their personal goals, and then contact with the mentors will be established.

We are members of the network: Lived Diversity at the Charité