Catalyzing Science and
Social Innovation to create Health for All and Hunger for None!

Why do we exist?

Today’s accelerating rates of change present amazing opportunities to help the world’s growing population to thrive while ensuring that our planet survives. This is why...

Our Purpose at Bayer Foundation is to catalyze science and social innovation for a world with Health for All and Hunger for None!

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Who are the people behind the Foundation?

Foundation Leadership Monika Lessl

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Dr. Monika Lessl (View CV)

Monika is Executive Director of the Bayer Foundation and leading the Bayer Foundation. She is also VP and Head of Corporate R&D and Social Innovation at Bayer AG.

Monika says: “I am honored to lead the Bayer Foundation and to work with leaders in science and social innovation to impact societal progress”

Foundation team:

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Simone Jonek

I’m Simone and I´m responsible for the Foundation Office. I also take care of the Science Awards and the Foundation partnerships.

My passions: “ I’m always keen to learn something new, which is why I am currently completing studies in business psychology.”

Peng Zhong

Dr. Peng Zhong

I’m Peng and I am responsible for the social innovation engagement at Bayer Foundation, for example, communications and social innovation partnerships.

My motto: "We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden. 身若付波,与子同海;若为落木,与子同枝;若为兰草,与子同室"

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Stefan Wilhelm

I’m Stefan, responsible for part of Bayer Foundation’s Social Innovation program portfolio as well as Impact Management.

Stefan says: “If we unleash potential where others see problems, we have a real chance at generating lasting positive change in the world.”

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Vanessa Blacha

I’m Vanessa and I work with the Foundation on various activities, including supporting the Fellowships program.

My Motto: “Enjoy the small things, they make life great.” 

Alina Czeczinski

Alina Czeczinski

My name is Alina and I am part of the communications team at the Bayer Foundation, in the field of Science Impact as well as Social Innovation.

Alina says: “Through my work at the Bayer Foundation, I strive to create a sustainable added value for former, current and future fellows. My aim is to have a lasting impact on society.”

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Lars zur Mühlen

I'm Lars. I support various activities and programs at the Bayer Foundation, including our social media activities. 

Lars says: Discovering new things and learning new skills is one of the best things about my job at the Bayer Foundation” 

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Hielke Klomp

I am Hielke and I joined Bayer in April as a supporting intern for the foundations and societal engagement department.

My motto: “If you work hard enough, everything will turn out fine in the end.”

Florian Rausch

Florian Rausch

I am Florian and I joined Bayer Foundation for a 6-month internship supporting the communications strategy and the Social Innovation program.

Florian says: "It is not enough to just be compassionate. You must also act."

Foundation Strategic Advisors:

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Dr. Michael Metzlaff

Dr. Michael Metzlaff is the Foundation’s Strategic Advisor for topics related to Science.  Until December 2019 he was Bayer’s Vice President of Science Relations. 

Michael says: “To progress sciences, it always needs enthusiastic young scientists who dare to knock down walls and open new horizons.”

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Dr. Michael Schwall

Dr. Michael Schwall is the Foundation's Strategic Advisor for topics connected to Social Innovation.  He is also a Strategist for Bayer’s Crop Science business.

Michael says: “Bayer Foundation is forging partnerships with leading social innovators, who have joined us in our goal to achieve systemic change. Together, we are building an ecosystem that provides health for all, hunger for none. That’s what makes my day!”

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Krysia Sommers

Krysia Sommers is the Foundation's Strategic Advisor for topics related to Communications and Engagement. She was Bayer's Head of Innovation Engagement until June 2020.

Krysia says: "Dream big, start small and fail forward."

Foundation Governance:

Our Science Impact programs are run by the Bayer Science and Education Foundation. 
Our Social Innovation programs are run by the Bayer Cares Foundation. 
Both Foundations are governed by the respective Board of Trustees, which is tasked to support with regards to strategic, content and funding decisions.  

Both Foundations are steered by an Executive Board of which Dr. Monika Lessl and Liam Condon are members. Liam Condon is additionally a member of the Board of Trustees of both Foundations.


    Board of Trustees for Science Impact

    Our Board of Trustees for Science Impact support the Foundation's Executive Directors with regards to strategic, content and funding decisions.


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    Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer (View CV)

    Prof. Dr. Patrick Cramer Is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bayer’s Science and Education Foundation since 2019. He is also Professor and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biology.

    Patrick says: “With free science and education we can shape the future.”

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    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Plischke (View CV)

    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Plischke is Senator of the Helmholtz Association for the research area of Health. He is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG. Until 2014 he was a member of Bayer’s Board of Management, with responsibility for Technology, Innovation and Sustainability at Bayer.

    Wolfgang says: “The recognition of outstanding scientists is more important than ever, because only their scientific insights enable desired groundbreaking innovations.“

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    Liam Condon

    Liam Condon is a Board Member of Bayer AG and responsible for Bayer AG’s Crop Science business.

    Liam says: “Technological and social advancements in agriculture are critical to feed a growing population without starving the planet.”

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    Dr. Jörg Möller (View CV)

    Dr. Jörg Möller is Corporate Vice President and Head of Global R&D, as well as a Member of  the Pharmaceuticals Executive Committee at Bayer AG. He is responsible for leading Bayer Pharma's global R&D organization.

    Jörg says: “Science, Innovation and Education are the solution to many societal and environmental challenges.“

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    Dr. Robert Reiter (View CV)

    Dr. Robert Reiter is Head of Research & Development (R&D), Crop Science. He also serves as a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. 


    Robert says: “Science is critical to illuminating the path to solving the world’s social and environmental challenges.“


    Board of Trustees for Social Innovation

    Our Board of Trustees for Social Innovation support the Foundation's Executive Directors with regards to strategic, content and funding decisions.


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    Prof. Dr. André Habisch

    Prof. Dr. André Habisch is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bayer Cares Foundation. He also teaches Business Ethics and Corporate Citizenship at Ingolstadt School of Management (WFI) and is the Associate Research Director of the Academy of Business in Society (ABIS). 

    André says: “Fostering positive societal change through social innovation is one of the greatest opportunities of our time.“

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    Dr. Michael Preuss (View CV)

    Michael Preuss is Head of Communications at Bayer AG. 

    Michael says: “Doing well by doing good has a long tradition at Bayer. The work of the Bayer Foundation makes an important contribution toward our vision of “Health for all, Hunger for none.“

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    Andreas Günther (View CV)

    Andreas Günther is Head of Human Resources at Bayer AG. 

    Andreas says: “I’m honored to work for a company that gives our employees The Power to Change the World by tackling humanity’s largest challenges in health and nutrition through purposeful jobs and social engagement.”

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    Matthias Berninger (View CV)

    Matthias Berninger is Head of Sustainability and Public and Governmental Affairs at Bayer AG. 

    Matthias says: “Social innovation is essential to allow the world’s soon eight billion people to thrive within planetary boundaries.”


    Members of the Foundation’s Science Council

    Members of the Science Council select the winners of the Foundation's science awards. They also provide advice to shape the Foundation's programs, ensuring they reflect advancements in the life sciences.


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    Prof. Edith Heard (View CV)

    Prof. Edith Heard is the Director General at The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

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    Prof. Regine Kahmann (View CV)

    Prof. Regine Kahmann is the Acting Head of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg.

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    Prof. Lothar Willmitzer (View CV)

    Prof. Lothar Willmitzer is the Director of the Molecular Plant Physiology department at the Max Planck Institute.

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    Prof. Dirk Trauner (View CV)

    Prof. Dirk Trauner is the Janice Cutler Chair in Chemistry at New York University.

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    Prof. Patrick Cramer (View CV)

    Prof. Patrick Cramer Is professor and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biology.

    What we do

    At Bayer Foundation, we catalyze the power of science and social innovation by focusing on two strategic pillars, namely:


    1. Advancing science as a basis for societal progress by:


    - Recognizing scientific achievements with awards

    - Supporting scientific research with fellowships and funds

    - Advancing education with support programs

    - Curating collaborative ecosystems with global partners



    2. Driving social entrepreneurship as an enabler for long-lasting change by:


    - Catalyzing the impact of social enterprises with funds

    - Empowering women with role-model awards

    - Springboarding solutions with entrepreneurial programs

    - Curating collaborative ecosystems with global partners


    What we do not fund

    everything besides our main programs including: 

    - Individual funding 

    - Fund raising 

    - Personal fates 

    - Profit organizations 

    - No sponsoring at all 

    - Sport or culture clubs 


    Also please note that we don’t accept any applications, which are not send in within the application time. 

    In addition, due to data security reasons we can only accept applications via our online application tool. We don’t consider applications send via post.