Press Release No. 24 | June 28, 2023

A new Vice President for the DFG

General Assembly elects art historian Johannes Grave to the governing body / Kerstin Schill and Britta Siegmund re-elected

General Assembly elects art historian Johannes Grave to the governing body / Kerstin Schill and Britta Siegmund re-elected

Professor Dr. Johannes Grave

Professor Dr. Johannes Grave

© DFG / David Ausserhofer

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has a new Vice President: at its session on Wednesday, 28 June 2023 as part of the DFG annual meeting, the DFG’s General Assembly elected art historian Professor Dr. Johannes Grave to the Executive Committee of the largest research funding organisation and central self-governing organisation for science and the humanities in Germany. In addition to the election of the new Vice President, computer scientist Professor Dr. Kerstin Schill and medical scientist Professor Dr. Britta Siegmund were confirmed as Vice Presidents for a second term. Literary scholar Professor Dr. Julika Griem resign from the Executive Committee.

The newly elected Vice President Johannes Grave holds the professorship for Modern Art History at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. His research focuses on European Romanticism, Italian and French painting, and image theory, with research topics including the examination of buildings in paintings of the Quattrocento, as well as the work of Caspar David Friedrich and the oeuvre of Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini. Grave has been associated with the DFG since 2018 as a member of the Senate and Grants Committee for Collaborative Research Centres (CRC). Previously, he was also involved as deputy spokesperson of the Bielefeld CRC “Practices of Comparison”. He is also one of the founding members of the Research Centre for European Classicism in Weimar and has been chair of the scientific advisory board of Klassik Stiftung Weimar since 2021. Grave was awarded the DFG’s Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2020.

Re-elected Vice President Kerstin Schill is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bremen, where she is the head of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroinformatics. Since 2018, she has also been the rector of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Delmenhorst. In her first term of office, she was particularly concerned with the impact of the digital transformation on science and the humanities and the challenges and opportunities this gave rise to for the various disciplines. For example, she was involved in setting up the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) in Germany and contributed her expertise as chair of the NFDI Expert Committee. She is also a member of the DFG Sustainability Commission.

The other Vice President to be confirmed in office was Britta Siegmund, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Medical Clinic for Gastroenterology, Infectiology and Rheumatology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. During her first term, Siegmund was particularly involved in the DFG’s Interdisciplinary Commission for Pandemic Research as well as in the Senate Working Group on the Challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic related to Research Activities, Individual Career Paths and Funding Activities. As Chair of the Permanent Senate Commission on Key Questions in Clinical Research, she was also committed to further structural development of university medicine.

After the elections, DFG President Katja Becker bid farewell to outgoing Vice President Julika Griem, a member of the Executive Committee since 2016, to great applause. Becker thanked Griem her for her significant and lasting commitment to the Executive Committee over the past seven years. An English literature scholar and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen, Griem had been particularly dedicated in supporting the concerns of the humanities and social sciences in the DFG, said the President. Among other things, said Becker, Griem had contributed her particular interest in science communication and its further development as chair of the jury for the Communicator Award, a distinction conferred jointly by the Stifterverband and the DFG every year. Griem had also supported German-Japanese and German-Israeli project cooperation, said Becker.

Together with DFG President Becker, who was elected for a second term, the new Vice President Grave and the re-elected Vice Presidents Schill and Siegmund, the Executive Committee of the DFG includes legal scholar Professor Dr. Marietta Auer, microbiologist Professor Dr. Axel A. Brakhage, engineering scientist Professor Dr.-Ing. Hans Hasse, physicist Professor Dr. Karin Jacobs, sociologist Professor Dr. Matthias Koenig and chemist Professor Dr. Peter H. Seeberger. The President of the Stifterverband is a member of the Executive Committee in an advisory capacity by virtue of their office. The DFG Secretary General likewise participates in the meetings of the Executive Committee in an advisory capacity.

Further information

Media contact:

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For further information about DFG Executive Committee members, see:

All press releases relating to the 2023 annual meeting are also available in a digital press folder which is supplemented on an ongoing basis at: