Heike Graßmann studied Business Administration at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, where she also worked as a research assistant. She initially worked for several years as a personal consultant to the management at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig and to the Chancellor of the University of Leipzig before heading the finance department of the UFZ. As Administrative Director of the UFZ she was responsible for the areas of Finance, Human Resources, Legal Affairs and Infrastructure from 2012 to September 2018.
Since 2015, she has been deputy chairwoman of the University Council of the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK). Since October 2015, she has also held an honorary professorship at the Leipzig State Academy of Studies of the Saxony University of Cooperative Education.
From 2017 to 2020 Heike Graßmann was the Administrative Vice-President and member of the executive committee of the Helmholtz Association.