Wednesday - May 5, 2021
Bayer Foundation supports scientists in sub-Saharan Africa:

Collaboration with Alexander von Humboldt Foundation expanded

Together with Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bayer Foundation promotes scientists in sub-Saharan Africa through fellowships and a research hub / Bayer Foundation provides a total of EUR 3 million for the six-year collaboration

Leverkusen, May 5, 2021 – Bayer Foundation and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation are expanding their existing cooperation. Bayer Foundation provides EUR 3 million to fund research fellowships for doctoral and postdoctoral students and the creation of a research hub for established scientists. This will specifically support research in the fields of sustainability, health, and nutrition.
“We view science as a critical enabler for societal progress – in line with our vision of 'Advancing Science and Social Innovation for a world with Health for all, hunger for none’,” says Dr. Monika Lessl, Executive Director of Bayer Foundation. “In cooperation with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, we want to strengthen researchers in sub-Saharan Africa to make a difference, promote progress and become the next generation of scientific leaders in their community.”

“Western science has often failed to provide solutions for the challenges that arise in sub-Saharan African, often because we don’t know which are the right questions to ask,” says Dr. Karl Collins, Director Science Program at Bayer Foundation. “Therefore, by supporting the training of young sub-Saharan African scientists, we intend to facilitate sustainable development within their own countries.”

Secretary General of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Dr. Enno Aufderheide says: “Especially with the new research hubs introduced by the Humboldt Foundation, we are putting the steering wheel in African hands. This is completely new – and the interest on the African side is huge.”

The collaboration includes three programs:

“AGNES-Bayer Science Foundation” Fellowships for PhD Students

Established in 2011, the African-German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES) facilitates the training of young scientists in sub-Saharan Africa by linking them to the African and international Humboldt Network and promoting regional academic exchange between researchers in Africa and their collaborative partners in Germany. Through AGNES, Bayer Foundation will provide 30 fellowships between 2021 and 2027 for PhD students conducting field studies on biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture in Africa.

“Humboldt-Bayer Science Foundation” Fellowships for post-doctoral researchers

A total of up to 18 researchers across sub-Saharan Africa will be supported with fellowships in the life sciences for their post-doctoral research. They are invited to conduct scientific research in the life sciences in Germany that is relevant for the further development of their countries of origin.

“Humboldt-Bayer Science Foundation” research hub for senior scientists
In addition, Bayer Foundation will support the creation of a research hub. Alexander von Humboldt alumni who hold scientific leading positions at African universities and research institutions will be enabled to carry out long-term research concepts dealing with coping with pandemics. For this purpose, the alumni will select cooperation partners in Germany and across Africa.

Bayer Foundation and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation have been working together on research fellowships since 2013: Together, 40 Humboldt-Bayer research fellowships have been awarded to excellent scientists abroad.

Bayer Foundation
Bayer Foundation sees itself as a promoter of innovation and pioneering spirit at the interface of industry, academia and civil society. The Bayer Foundation's goal is to advance science and social innovation, true to Bayer's vision of “Health for all, hunger for none”. In doing so, it relies on two strategic pillars: advancing science as the basis for societal progression and strengthening social entrepreneurship as a prerequisite for sustainable change. The Bayer Foundation Science Awards honor both established leading researchers and young scientists for outstanding achievements in science and education. With its social innovation programs, Bayer Foundation focuses on rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa, where access to health services is to be promoted and agricultural productivity and sustainable earning power are to be improved. For more information, please visit

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
The mission of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, founded in 1953, is to create a globally cooperating network of excellence by providing individual support to outstanding qualified scientists and scholars as well as future leaders in science-related fields. It maintains a worldwide network of more than 30,000 scientifically active ‘Humboldtians’ in over 140 countries. With its research fellowships and research awards, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes scientific collaborations between outstanding foreign and German researchers. Alumni are supported throughout their lives on their individual career paths and collaborations within the Humboldt Network are strengthened.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2020, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 41.4 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 4.9 billion euros. For more information, go to

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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Dr. Dieter Hilla

Phone +49 214 30-58992