Promoting the Most Valuable Resource: Knowledge

A woman is pointing at a blackboard with a molecule on it.

As a research-based company we are heavily dependent on recruiting well-trained scientists and on society’s acceptance of technology in general. Education is one of the most important preconditions for long-term prosperity for society as a whole. That is why Bayer places such great emphasis on supporting education and research in its societal environment. Our focus in this is on the natural sciences, life sciences and agricultural science, environment protection, technology, and medicine.

A significant share of our funding goes to the Bayer Science & Education Foundation whose work includes funding endowment chairs, conferring science awards, and supporting young people through pupils’ and scholarship programs.

Leading-Edge Research and Scientific Prizes

Basic research and industrial research are an investment in future development and added value. That is why the Bayer Science & Education Foundation honors outstanding research achievements with various science awards.


Every two years, the Hansen Family Award and the Otto Bayer Award, each worth €75,000, are presented to researchers in German-speaking countries. The Hansen Family Award honors pioneering achievements in basic medical research that have the potential to sustainably improve healthcare and the treatment of illnesses. The Otto Bayer Award honors scientists from German-speaking countries who have made pioneering research contributions in innovative fields of chemistry and biochemistry.


With its Talent Awards Bayer specifically supports creative junior researchers in the early stages of their career. The annual Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award honors biologists, chemists and medical scientists who gained their PhD no more than five years previously and whose work has clearly contributed to new insights in their fields of research. The biennial Thrombosis Award honors junior researchers for their outstanding achievements in basic and clinical thrombosis research.


The International Fellowship Program with its six scholarship schemes supports students and young professionals in scientific and medical disciplines. The most important criterion for funding is that applicants work on an innovative and internationally oriented project. Scholarships are awarded to students and young professionals in the following disciplines:


  • Life sciences (Otto Bayer Scholarship
  • Medicine (Carl Duisberg Scholarship
  • Agro sciences (Jeff Schell Scholarship
  • Teachers in stem education (Kurt Hansen Scholarship)


Students and young professionals from various fields of study benefit from our Talents for Africa Program: students from Germany for a project in Africa, and students from Africa for time spent in Germany.


The Hermann Strenger Scholarship provides funding for vocationally oriented foreign assignments for vocational trainees and young people working in non-academic professions in the health, technical, scientific or commercial fields.


In 2019 the Bayer Science and Education Foundation supported 47 fellows with over €400,000 in total.


With its Post Doc Specials Bayer helps young post-docs from all over the world to gain a footing in the academic world through attending headliner events and interacting with top brains. Bayer Lindau Fellowships enable young scientists to attend the annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, while the Bayer Young Physician Leaders Program allows young medical talents to attend the World Health Summit, the world’s largest international medical congress.


A cornerstone of Bayer’s work in the field of agricultural education is the Youth Ag program, which aims to get youngsters, young adults and scientists in the 14-28 age group enthusiastic about agricultural topics. A key aspect of this program is that it enables young people to attend the one-week Young Ag Summit where young thought leaders meet to discuss sustainable farming solutions that will help to feed the growing global population.

School Support

The earlier meaningful educational support begins, the better. Bayer takes this principle to heart by starting its promotion of the natural sciences in schools. Some of the numerous projects have won awards and are seen as model projects.


The Bayer Foundation’s Science@School Program supports schools located near Bayer sites in Germany in their efforts to make science lessons more interesting by means of innovative projects. Each year, funds totaling €500,000 are available for this school support.


In our Baylabs we give children and young people the chance to carry out exciting experiments in the fields of health, biology, nutrition and medicine – on their own but with professional supervision. In this way, they get to know hands-on science at first hand. Currently, we have 16 Baylabs close to our sites in ten countries around the world.


Another component of the Bayer Foundation's scientific funding is cooperation with major events and conferences. In 2019, “Mind the Lab” took place as part of the Berlin Science Week, a Berlin initiative in which scientists in Berlin's subway stations show experiments and thus draw attention to science. The BayLabs and the Bayer Foundation were taking part at this wonderful event.

mind lab

In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Bayer’s Headquarters is located, we have long been partnering with scientific competitions for school pupils, e.g .Jugend forscht, the International Biology Olympiad and the International Chemistry Olympiad. These competitions honor the special achievements and talents of young people in the natural sciences, mathematics, and technology.


Over a period of 12 months, our Start-Up Support Program in Germany focuses on helping disadvantaged youngsters prepare for a scientific or technical vocational training course. For nearly 30 years, this program has been successfully easing these youngsters’ entry into the world of work, with well over 80% of the participants subsequently commencing vocational training.

Arousing a love of science is the goal of our international Making Science Make Sense program that was launched in the U.S. in 1995. Some 1,200 Bayer employees take time out to regularly visit schools and show children how exciting science can be. As a result, the program has received prestigious U.S. awards, such as the President’s Service Award and the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership. The program’s outstanding success in the U.S. has led to similar programs being launched in Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Türkiye, and the UK.