Since 1999, BIGS-DR has educated hundreds of decision-makers for an international career in a development-oriented context. Many of the nearly 500 BIGS-DR Alumni work in research institutes, universities, government agencies, or NGOs. All of them are doing amazing work all over the world in the field of sustainable development.

Approximately three-quarters of our graduates from the Global South returned to take up positions in the Global South in research, teaching, and governance. About 10% of our Alumni found professional jobs in international organizations such as the World Bank or the United Nations, while the rest found positions in a development-related context in Germany and in other OECD countries. Many of our alumni are still in close touch with ZEF for joint research projects.

BIGS-DR Aumni News

ZEF alumna Denise Matias among six recipients of the 2024 Planet Earth Award
March 18, 2024. 

On March 13, 2024, the Alliance of World Scientists (AWS) announced six recipients of the 2024 Planet Earth Award. More info on their Website here.

ZEF alumna Denise Matias participated in the ZEF doctoral program and received her doctoral degree from the University of Bonn's Faculty of Agriculture in 2017. The topic of her thesis was: Sustainability of community forestry enterprises: indigenous wild honey gathering in the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Palawan, Philippines (download here).

Her doctoral supervisor was Professor Christian Borgemeister. 

Since 2021, Dennis Mathias has been Professor at the Biosphere Reserves Institute (BRI), Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE), Germany.

Staying Connected



Dr. Silke Tönsjost
(Academic Coordinator)
+49 (0)228 / 73-1794

Max Voit
+49 (0)228 / 73-1727

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