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Tandem Project

Short description

In collaboration with the Central Placement Office of the Federal Employment Agency (Zentralstelle für Arbeitsvermittlung, ZAV ) and the Welfare Association of the land (federal state) of Hesse (Landeswohlfahrtsverband (LWV) Hessen), the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut has developed and extended the tandem project as a special collaboration project for the integration and further education of disabled scientists. This project with model character for other projects was started at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in 1996.

The goal of the tandem project was to improve job changes for disabled scientists. This was done by integrating them into the job market and promoting their further education. The model project was developed and implemented in 1996 upon the initiative of Mr Klaus Posselt, head of the Personnel Unit of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) in collaboration with the ZAV and the local employment agency (Arbeitsamt) at Langen. In the original form of the project, a disabled job-seeker in the field of science was employed together with a nondisabled staff member. Both staff members then formed a team called tandem partnership.

Later on, the tandem partnership was put into practice in three different variations.

  • In first variation, each disabled scientist was assisted by an experienced non-disabled scientist. In this model, the focus was on scientific collaboration. Thanks to internal organisational structures, it was possible to share the workload with special consideration for disability specific problems.
  • The second variation was, above all, based on providing a non-disabled technical assistant who would help to compensate for the physiological limitations imposed by the disability of the scientist.
  • In the third variation, the disabled scientist worked independently.

At first, the project could be extended from previously 6 job-creation projects with 11 employees to altogether 34 new jobs. The portion of disabled employees compared with the workforce at the PEI as a whole thus rose from 6.5 % to more than 12% (the present rate is 19 %). Today, after the completion of the project in November 2007, the portion of disabled employees compared with the total number of staff members at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut is 19.9%. 40% of these disabled employees are university graduates.

Co-operation partners

  • The Federal Employment Agency (Zentralstelle für Arbeitsvermittlung, ZAV) at Bonn
  • The Welfare Association of the land (federal state) of Hesse (Landeswohlfahrtsverband (LWV) Hessen) – Integration Office
  • The local employment agency (Arbeitsamt) of the city of Langen


There are various publications on the tandem project, which are listed below:

List of publications


Annetraud Grote

Phone: +49 6103 77 1025

Fax +49 6103 77 1234


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