Bayer in collaboration with Bhubaneshwar City Knowledge Innovation Cluster Foundation (BCKIC), an initiative by the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India, has launched a unique fellowship programme ‘Medha’, exclusively for students from the economically weaker sections. Under this fellowship, Bayer will support 125 research scholars in the field of agriculture and life sciences. The initiative will provide monthly financial assistance of ₹20,000 and ₹40,000 to Master’s and PhD students for a period of 2-3 years, respectively. In line with Bayer’s commitment to bridging the education finance gap, the company has pledged ₹100 million to support researchers in the field of life sciences.
The Medha fellowship combines annual financial assistance with the opportunity of receiving mentorship under Bayer’s employees as well as industry experts. The students will also get an opportunity to visit Bayer’s research labs and interact with industry experts, to gain exposure and build their knowledge base. The fellowship will be provided for two years to the master’s students and three years to the PhD students. The target of the fellowship is to enable the fellows to achieve their short and long-term academic and professional goals. The fellowship programme is being implemented through Bayer Foundation India.
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D Narain, President, Bayer South Asia, and Global Head of Smallholder Farming said, “As India increasingly becomes a knowledge and innovation hub for the rest of the world, we are thrilled to be supporting the future of young scholars who are shaping our tomorrow through impactful research in the areas of life sciences. At Bayer, we are committed to supporting education, research, and innovation, and providing inclusive opportunities for all sections of society. Through ‘Medha’ fellowships, we are extending our support towards students from economically weaker sections and women scholars, encouraging and supporting them to play an active part in nation-building.”
“India is seeing several industries support Research and Innovation. Bayer’s opportunity for researchers and academicians is an example of an unconditional focus on the development of high-quality scientific human resources. This enables the best brains to learn today and contribute tomorrow to the nation’s social impact.” said Dr. Sapna Poti, Director – Strategic Alliances, office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Govt. of India.
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The Bayer Medha Fellowship seeks to benefit students from lower-income families, who are facing financial constraints to fund their education. To encourage applications from women students and students with disabilities, Medha provides a 60 per cent reservation for women candidates and an additional 10 per cent reservation for persons with disabilities (PWD). Students enrolled in 1st year Master’s/Ph.D. can apply for the fellowship.
Dr. Mrutyunjay Suar, Chairman, BCKIC Foundation, said, “It is imperative to work toward making education and research more accessible by removing financial barriers and providing opportunities to meritorious underprivileged students to succeed. Bayer’s fellowship programme – Medha – is the enabler.”