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Recognizing the Boundary Breakers

Identifying outstanding scientific talents & breakthrough research topics in the life sciences, and providing unique opportunities for collaboration in science

Outstanding Scientists
Our Awards

Our Objective

Bayer Foundation shines a light on exceptional achievements in fundamental scientific research, highlighting outstanding young scientists with the potential to transform their fields, as well as recognizing the paradigm-shifting contributions of world leading experts.

 

In honoring these exceptional people, we not only reward their past achievements, but we bring their expertise and discoveries to a diverse audience of scientists, innovators and beyond. By sharing knowledge and expertise widely, we open the door to new collaborations, to investment in important areas of research, and ultimately, we further enhance the impact of science.

“Our awards recognize outstanding leaders in the life sciences. In honoring their breakthrough discoveries we aim to inspire others and foster collaborations to translate fundamental discoveries into innovation to drive societal progress.”

Monika Lessl, Executive Director Bayer Foundation

Fundamental scientific research is the foundation on which we build new technologies and can provide solutions to the challenges we face as a society. Through equitable access to knowledge around the globe, and through collaboration across borders & organizations, we can translate these ground-breaking discoveries, and change people’s lives for the better.

 

The scientists recognized by our awards are nominated by either senior members of renowned scientific institutions across the globe or by scientific leaders from Bayer, and the winners are selected by an independent panel of world leading scientific experts. Awardees typically receive their prizes in person at the Bayer Foundation Science Day and are also invited to be life-long members of the Bayer Foundation Scientific Network: Connecting boundary breaking scientists around the globe.

 

Read about our inspiring winners from previous years here.

Otto Bayer Award for chemisty and biochemistry

Since 1984, world leading researchers who have made pioneering discoveries within the fields of chemistry and biochemistry are celebrated with the biannual Otto Bayer Award. These outstanding scientists are recognized for work that has typically been fundamental to the wholistic advancement of their field and they receive a cash prize of 75,000 €. The award was established following a generous provision in the will of Prof. Otto Bayer and continues in his memory.

Several of our awardees including Benjamin List, Stefan Hell and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. subsequently received the Nobel prize and you can read more about our inspiring former awardees here.

 

Who is eligible?

Worldwide recognized scientists based in German-speaking countries with a long-term track record of ground-breaking research in chemistry, or biochemistry.

 

The Process

Awardees are nominated by senior members of renowned scientific institutions from across the globe or by scientific leaders at Bayer. Self-nominations are not eligible. The winners are selected by an independent panel of scientific experts, the Bayer Foundation Science Council.

 

The next call will be spring 2022.

About Prof. Otto Bayer:

Prof. Otto Bayer was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1902. A trained chemist, he established a reputation as an outstanding researcher at a young age and subsequently became the director of research at Bayer. He is ultimately credited with invention of polyurethane based materials, a revolutionary family of plastics that are still critical to many aspects of our everyday lives. Following his death at the age of 79 in 1982, a generous provision in his will ensured that the Otto Bayer Prize could be established in his memory.

Hansen Family Award for medical sciences

This Hansen Family award is presented every two years and recognizes leading scientists for exemplary research in the medical sciences and related fields. Brilliant researchers are recognized for their ground-breaking discoveries with the potential to drive innovation in medicine and receive a cash prize of 75,000 €. This award was generously established in 2000 by Prof. Kurt Hansen, a former Chairman of the Board & Supervisory Board at Bayer.

Previous winners include Emmanuelle Charpentier, who was subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020. Read more about our the inspiring former awardees here.

 

Who is eligible?

Worldwide recognized scientists based in German-speaking countries with a long-term track record of ground-breaking research in the medical sciences, medicine or related fields.

 

The Process

Awardees are nominated by senior members of renowned scientific institutions from across the globe or by scientific leaders across research & development at Bayer. Self-nominations are not eligible. The winners are selected by an independent panel of scientific experts, the Bayer Foundation Science Council.

 

The next call will be spring 2023.

About Prof. Kurt Hansen:

Prof. Kurt Hansen was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1910. After training as chemist with the Nobel laureate Prof. Hans Fischer, he began his career at Filmfabrik Wolfen, a subsidiary of I. G. Farben. Prof Hansen went on to serve as Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer AG from 1962 to 1974. He established a foundation to promote the teaching of science, a program that is still running today, as well as establishing the Hansen Family Award for medical sciences in 2000. Prof. Hansen died on January 26, 2002 at the age of 92.

The Early Excellence in Science Awards

Launched in 2009, our annual Early Excellence in Science Awards identify the rising stars of science across the globe in four disciplines: biology, chemistry, medical science, and data science in life sciences. With these awards, we showcase the inspiring work of game changing early-career scientists, with the prize winners receiving a cash prize of 10,000 € for already demonstrating pioneering research in their fields. Here you can read more about how our award winners are already making a mark on history at the beginning of their careers.

 

Who is eligible?

Outstanding early career scientists with a proven record of excellence and having completed their PhD or MD no more than five years ago. There is no geographical restriction on the location of the nominee and time taken for parental leave or other exceptional circumstances does not contribute to the five-year period.

 

The Process

Awardees are nominated by senior members of renowned scientific institutions from across the globe or by scientific leaders across research & development at Bayer. Self-nominations are not eligible. The winners are selected by an independent panel of scientific experts, the Bayer Foundation Science Council.

 

The next call will be spring 2022.

The Bayer Thrombosis Research Award

The Bayer Thrombosis Research Award was established in 2011 and is presented to early career researchers that have already made outstanding contributions in basic or clinical thrombosis research. The recognition is given every two years with a prize of 30,000 € and was kindly established by the scientists awarded the German Future Prize (“Deutscher Zukunftspreis des Bundespräsidenten”) for the invention of the anticoagulant Xarelto®.

 

Who is eligible?

Outstanding early career scientists based in German-speaking countries with a proven record of excellence and having completed their PhD or MD no more than five years ago. Nominees should have a track proven record of outstanding basic or clinical research into thrombosis, particularly on the diagnosis, prevention, and therapy of thromboembolic diseases, including epidemiology and health policy approaches. Time taken for parental leave or other exceptional circumstances does not contribute to the five-year period.

 

The Process

Awardees are nominated by senior members of renowned scientific institutions from across the globe or by scientific leaders across research & development at Bayer. Self-nominations are not eligible. The winners are selected by a panel of internal and external experts in the field.

 

About the benefactors:

With the ambition to support the development of new talent, Bayer scientists Dr. Frank Misselwitz, Dr. Dagmar Kubitza and Dr. Elizabeth Perzborn generously donated the 250,000 € prize money they received following the award of the Deutscher Zukunftspreis. The prize was given for the invention of the anticoagulant Xarelto®. Bayer matched the donation by an equal installment.

The next call will be autumn 2022.