If you want to see the list of our Alumni, please click here.

Since BIGSAS was founded in 2007, 133 PhD students from more than 30 countries have already successfully finished their doctoral studies.




Alumni network on Facebook

facebookThe BIGSAS Alumni have an own (closed) group on Facebook where information is disseminated, ideas and thoughts are shared, photos can be uploaded, events can be created and much more. Currently, more than 60 Alumni are members of this group and we are looking forward for more to join.

If you are a BIGSAS Alumni, registered on Facebook and you are not part of this group yet, please check your Facebook messages – most probably, you will find your invitation to the group there. If not, please send a short email to

Participation and registration on Facebook is of course voluntary. Important information will be sent by email as usual.



BIGSAS Alumni Conference 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

From 31 October until 02 November 2018, the Alumni of BIGSAS came from all over the African continent, Europe, Asia and America to meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first BIGSAS Alumni Conference on the African continent was hosted by the BIGSAS Partner University, Addis Ababa University (AAU). More than just a get-together, this encounter was a major academic event in which the Alumni, the President of the University of Bayreuth, four Principal Investigators of BIGSAS, an impressive panel of high-ranking guests and the BIGSAS team took an active part. A great occasion for the Alumni to strengthen their connections and to celebrate together the successful application of the University of Bayreuth for the Cluster of Excellence “Africa Multiple”.

Among the many highlights, two plenary sessions and seven panels were specifically dedicated to the reflection on “the future of African studies scholars in Africa and abroad”. The creation of an efficient BIGSAS-Alumni-Network was also a recurring matter of discussions during the meeting. The participants had the opportunity to visit the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, the Ethnographic Museum of AAU and to enjoy a 215 km trip on bus to the Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park. With nearly 100 participants, this was the biggest BIGSAS Alumni event so far.

BIGSAS Alumni Conf BIGSAS Alumni Conf 2



Alumni at the BIGSAS Journalist Award

In May 2017, Alumni acted as jury members for the BIGSAS Journalist Award for the fourth time after 2011, 2013 and 2015. Under the chair of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Helmut Ruppert Alumni living all over the world with an excellent knowledge of German chose the two best articles out of almost 90 submissions. Two of them held the laudatory speeches for the award winners.

Within the framework of the BIGSAS Journalist Award 2017 Alumni and Junior Fellows came together to meet the winner of the BIGSAS Journalist Award 2017, Jan Rübel, and the recipient of the special acknowledgement 2017, Christian Putsch. Further, Jana Pareigis who held the keynote speech joined the get-together on the afternoon before the ceremony on 29 May 2017. All three of them are trained journalist who currently work in different parts of the world. Thus, the afternoon was filled with fruitful discussions about journalism, politics and research on Africa.

Already in 2015, BIGSAS organised a round table entitled “Bildung über Afrika in Deutschland” (Education on Africa in Germany) with Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Rita Süssmuth, the former President of the German Parliament, who held the keynote address at the BIGSAS Journalist Award 2015. Besides Junior Fellows and Senior Fellows, Alumni briefly introduced themselves, their PhD projects and their careers.




Alumni meeting and workshop 2017

The biggest Alumni meeting so far took place in May 2017. The reunion of 62 Alumni (of 99 Alumni in total) in Bayreuth consisted of several days of activities, including a get-together with current Junior Fellows, an hiking trip to Neubürg and the participation in the ceremony of the BIGSAS Journalist Award 2017. On 30 May 2017, the first Alumni workshop entitled “Advising on Collaboration for Doctoral Training and Academic Career” took place. Representatives of the BIGSAS Partner Universities were invited as well as three Alumni of the University of Bayreuth from Cameroon, Kenya and Uganda. The participants discussed different subjects related to an optimisation of doctoral training, especially at universities in Africa. Undoubtedly, one important asset of the BIGSAS Alumni is their knowhow which can be essential for other international doctoral programmes. Conclusively, the participants decided to start a network of BIGSAS Alumni in order to improve the use of potentials and to facilitate the exchange of ideas.




Alumni meeting 2014

An Alumni excursion took place in May 2014. A group of almost 40 Alumni went to Bonn following the invitations of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

At the DFG, they presented their work and research within BIGSAS and the benefits they derive from the German Excellence Initiative.

At the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, they received information about funding possibilities for further research projects.


Please find a current list of the published dissertations here: publications_of_dissertations.pdf (Update: 17/04/19)