Environmental Factor, April 2006, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Postdocs Rank NIEHS Fifth Best
NIEHS fell two slots from number 3 to number 5 on The Scientist's list of best places to work for postdocs. Last year, NIEHS ranked third on the list.
The "Best Places to Work 2006," as in preceding years, was based on feedback from postdocs. Each year, The Scientist posts an online web survey, inviting participation from readers and registrants of the site who identify themselves as non-tenured scientist working in academia or other non-commercial research organizations. The survey asks about working conditions and 46 different criteria in 11 different areas.
Results for the 2006 report were based on 2,983 usable responses from researchers in the United States, Canada and Western Europe.
According to survey results, postdocs want knowledgeable principal investigators and mentors with a genuine interest in the postdocs' research and personal development. They want clarity, with clearly defined and measurable goals, in their research program.
The report said government agencies often offer better pay and benefits to postdocs than academia or other non-profits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for instance, offers the same salaries for postdocs that it offers its regular employees.
The report said NIH recommends starting pay at about $20,000 less that the Department of Agriculture, however.
The J. David Gladstones Institute in San Francisco got the top spot this year, followed by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Emory University.