The Foundation Staff
Member of the Executive Management
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. She is a member of 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.
Head of Team International
Head of "Team International", responsible for old and non-European languages and cultures as well as for (European) ethnology. Up to now, Adelheid Wessler supervised collection-based research projects at museums as well as cooperations between Africa and Germany.
Background: Studies of social anthropology, sociology and political science in Bonn and Cologne, PhD on "Museale Repräsentationen des Selbst und des Anderen im (De-) Kolonisierungsprozess Namibias". Longer research stays abroad, e.g. in Bolivia and Namibia and participation in various (international) exhibition projects. Professional background includes working for the Lower Saxony State Museum Hannover and the University of Cologne.
- Cultural Studies
- Non-European Languages and Cultures, Social Anthropology
Head of Team Challenges - for Academia and Society
Head of the funding team „Challenges – for Academia and Society“, has been in charge of projects in the sciences and various Fellowships.
Background: Physics major at University of Freiburg and RWTH Aachen, MSc in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University, research assistant at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, PhD in physics.
Her favourite pastime is birdwatching at home and abroad.
Background: Silke Bertram studied geography and geosciences, with a Master's degree from the University of Uppsala/Sweden, and received her PhD from the University of Wuerzburg in the framework of the research training group "Geoscience Research in Africa. Geological and Geographical Processes at the Continental Margin of Southwest Africa". She previously held positions as coordinator for study affairs at the Department of Geosciences at the University of Bremen and as officer for science policy, research funding and EU affairs at the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony.
- Architecture, Regional and Urban Planning
- Area Studies
- Earth Sciences
- Environmental Sciences
Program Director | Parental Leave
- Health Sciences
Program Director; Coordination Niedersächsisches Vorab
Program Director in the funding team "Challenges — for Academia and Society", has been responsible for projects from the engineering and material sciences as well as mathematics.
Background: Studied Physics at the University of Tübingen and NMI Reutlingen, Doctoral studies in the area of Materials Science at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research at the University of Stuttgart, later research assistant; previously worked for DECHEMA, Frankfurt am Main, in the areas of research and research funding.
- Computer Sciences
- Engineering Sciences
Program Director in the funding team "Challenges – for Academia and Society". Responsible for projects in life sciences, especially in Biomedicine.
Background: Studies of Biology with focus on Microbiology, Genetics, and Biochemistry at the University of Göttingen (Institute of Microbiology and Genetics). Doctoral studies and Postdoc at the Hannover Medical School (Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology).