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Fare thee well, Britta!

As of 1 December, Britta Küst has taken on a new position in the central administration of U Freiburg, more exactly in the Freiburg Research Services. This is to briefly remind all of us how grateful FRIAS can be for Britta's 12 years of exemplary and devoted service to the institute.
Fare thee well, Britta!


During FRIAS 1.0 (2008-14) Britta served as the scientific coordinator of the Schools of Life Sciences and Soft Matter Research. She collaborated closely with the directors of these two schools and established an excellent reputation in the relevant research communities at FRIAS and the university, both among senior staff and early career researchers. Among other things, it was since 2008 that the Nobel Laureate lectures (our Staudinger Lectures) formed part of her portfolio. She remained the mastermind and good spirit behind this unique and extremely successful lecture series until 2019, having welcomed until then a breathtaking total of 28 Nobel Laureates at FRIAS.

After the severe restructuring and downsizing of the institute (FRIAS 2.0), Britta maintained her importance within FRIAS as its scientific coordinator, serving as what one might call "minister of internal affairs". Britta oversaw the entire fellowship application process, including the peer review and selection processes, as well as the negotiations with the fellows selected by the Scientific Advisory Board. Moreover, she signed responsible for the immaculate "story boards" for the different kinds of FRIAS events. In many ways, Britta developed and continuously improved standard operating procedures at FRIAS, and thus set the high standards FRIAS is widely known for. At the same time she instilled a high degree of perfectionism in all of the relevant members of the FRIAS team.

Britta has always kept close contact with the fellows, and was an important part of the social life at FRIAS, especially during and after events like the monthly dinner speeches, the Freiburger Horizonte lectures, or the After Hours Conversations, whose programme she organized. She also planned all fellow retreats as well as many outings with the team or the various fellow generations. Overall, Britta has been an indispensible pillar of FRIAS, always there in case of need, loyal, committed, giving all she could, especially in times of crisis. For example, she did not shy away from serving as interim managing director between April 2018 and the end of 2019. Even when FRIAS 2.0 did not always develop in a direction she could support, this did not affect her commitment and identification with the institute.

It is thus with regret that FRIAS sees Britta leave the institute, moving to a unit just one block away from Albertstraße 19. FRIAS, the team of directors in particular, will always feel indebted to Britta for her untiring service to the institute, its team, and the members of altogether 12 fellow generations. Thank you, Britta, and please accept our very best wishes for a successful and fulfilling career in your new position!