The Foundation Staff

At present some 100 people work directly for the Volkswagen Foundation – in the "Staff Divisions" of the Secretary General as well as in the departments "Funding", "Investment Management" and "Finance and Administration".

Michaela Finsel

Administrative Support

T +49 (0)511 8381-207
F +49 (0)511 8381-4207
Julia Fischer

Media Design, Photo Editing

T +49 (0)511 8381-253
F +49 (0)511 8381-4253
Dr. Anja Fließ

Program Director

T +49 (0)511 8381-374
F +49 (0)511 8381-4374
Additional Information

Program Director in the funding team  "Persons and Structures", has been in charge of various initiatives in medicine and the natural and engineering sciences, as well as the program for junior research groups, forerunner to the Lichtenberg Professorships.

Background: Studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University and Medical School, Hannover, doctoral thesis on Molecular Biology; later worked as a research assistant at the Medical School, Hanover.

Subject areas:

  • Biochemistry / Biophysics  
  • Chemistry  
  • Pharmacy

Funding initiatives:

Maria-Luisa Förster

Assistant | Parental Leave

Susanne Grabner
Susanne Grabner

Assistant | Administrative Support Board and Legal Affairs

T +49 (0)511 8381-221
F +49 (0)511 8381-4221
Portrait Grages
Daniela Grages


T +49 (0)511 8381-257
F +49 (0)511 8381-4257
Dr. Oliver Grewe

Program Director

T +49 (0)511 8381-252
F +49 (0)511 8381-4252
Additional Information

Program Director in the funding team "Persons and Structures". Responsible for the postdoctoral fellowship program "Freigeist" (in particular natural and life sciences). Has previously been in charge of projects in areas such as evolutionary biology, biomedicine, and tropical medicine.

Background: Studies in biology, musicology, communication studies, and philosophy at Münster and Bologna. PhD in neurosciences, and postdoc at the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine, Hanover. Since 2008, positions as program manager at Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and Wissenschaftliche Kommission Niedersachsen.

Outside of the foundation Oliver Grewe has been working as a business coach for academics since 2015.

Subject Areas: 

  • Neurosciences  
  • Psychology  

Funding Initiatives:

Frank Häberli

Purchasing; Administration of the Foundation’s Premises

T +49 (0)511 8381-266
F +49 (0)511 8381-4266
Portrait Hammerich
Frank Hammerich


T +49 (0)511 8381-242
F +49 (0)511 8381-344
Henrike Hartmann
Dr. Henrike Hartmann

Member of the Executive Management

T +49 (0)511 8381-376
F +49 (0)511 8381-4376
Additional Information

Henrike Hartmann is a member of the executive management at the Volkswagen Foundation and head of funding. Previously, she has been in charge of various funding activities in the life sciences, in funding of junior scholars and structural development of the higher education system.

Henrike Hartmann studied pharmacy at the University of Freiburg, and did her PhD in Pharmacology in Heidelberg and Mannheim. She gained her postdoctoral experience at the University of Gainesville, Florida, the Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston and the University of Frankfurt/Main. She is a member of the University Council of the University of Konstanz, the board of trustees of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the University of Frankfurt and a member of the administrative Council of the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach.