Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Reviews

Updated February 23, 2015
Updated February 23, 2015
24 Reviews
3.0
24 Reviews
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Gary Gilliland
24 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Management strives to ensure employees have a good work life balance (in 12 reviews)

  • The benefits are great and the pay is on par with for-profits (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Sometimes difficult to move around (in 4 reviews)

  • Turnover here is below average therefore career advancement is limited (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

24 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1.  

    clinical research nurses

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    Pros

    very stimulating work, emotionally rewarding

    Cons

    need research team managers, not ask the doctors to manage teams

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    hire managers to supervise research teams

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's a great cause to fight for, but the effort doesn't pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Technician II in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Research Technician II in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great sick leave policy. Ok vacation policy. Amazing retirement benefits. Flexible work environment. Nice people to work with (depending on your group).

    Cons

    Each group is essentially run like their own entity, responsible for their own budgets and salaries. There's very little space to move up in responsibility (and especially pay) if you stay in the same position for the long term. There's very little cross training available to staff if they want to say move to another specialty or even add to their resume.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work with UW and provide employees with educational benefits, because in the long run it will only help the organization. Give the employees some incentive to stay and continue to grow at the Hutch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    good experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Statistician in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Statistician in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    people is nice to work with

    Cons

    some projects are not interesting

    Recommends
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  5.  

    depends on what group you are in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    Pros

    matched 403B benefit, good insurance coverage, decent pay for fresh grads

    Cons

    management has some problems and job assignment can be largely unfair

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fantastic science, non-science management less so, job security-severance nil.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Administrative Manager in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Whip-smart people (science end), doing something important, if you get the right supervisor/manager you can have a great career. If you get cancer, they treat you well.

    Cons

    When grant money runs out, you're out the door even after 20 years, 55+. No severance at all. There is favoritism & socializing outside of work can be more important for lay-offs. It's unspoken, but older women (non scientists) are less desirable despite skills, references, experience. How you're treated & paid depends on supervisor, some great, some lousy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Innovative science. Morale low due to poor leadership at the top.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time

    Pros

    Talented colleagues, brilliant scientists. A real gem in the community.

    Cons

    Leadership at the highest level is questionable.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Sliding downhill; needs to strive for better times.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Analyst/Programmer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Systems Analyst/Programmer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Acceptable salary and benefits, particularly for non-profit, and, with the right supervisor, it is very possible to achieve a good work-life balance here. Very friendly work community, with a diverse set of talent, both scientific and technical. The Center still conducts world-class research.

    Despite taking my star rating down a peg from a couple years ago, I still would recommend the Center to job-seekers. Although the list of "Cons" below is quite lengthy relative to the "Pros," hardly any of them apply to me or my position in particular. I enjoy my position, and the Center too, for the most part, but am aware that my situation may in some instances be the exception.

    Cons

    These have more to do with how the Center is managed as a whole, rather than day-to-day work experiences, with a couple of exceptions.

    Annual raises aren't what they used to be. When they are provided (usually less than 3%/year), they are often lost to increases in insurance premiums, cost hikes in the cafeteria (more on that later), and other employee-borne costs.

    Given the current funding crisis (due to NIH cuts and sequestration), the Center is perpetually on the brink of money starvation. During these times, Center leadership will often make some foolhardy fiscal choices, such as building a flashy skybridge across Eastlake while simultaneously conducting layoffs or cutting funding to vital research programs. The Center has stepped-up its fundraising efforts and, much to my chagrin, has undertaken the practice of continually pestering its own employees to donate through payroll deduction; this practice has left a very bad taste in the mouths of many here, including some at senior levels. In a way, may of us already donate the opportunity cost of a better compensation package elsewhere to the Center's noble research causes.

    The Center in recent years has also "off-shored" many campus services and amenities. Most notably, food service has been contracted out to an overpriced, out-of-town outfit. Lunch used to cost $5, now it's closer to $10 for less quality, smaller portions, and bad attitudes (undoubtedly the fault of inept food services management). Many of the employees are ex-Hutch food services staff, who I feel were ripped off in this transaction. The cafes are a sad place.

    Finally, and very importantly, your mileage at the Center will vary greatly depending on your principal investigator. The Center is a community of much smaller research groups. Most of the scientists here are great, but a handful verge on sociopathy. Be sure to ask very pointed questions during your interview, and try to "feel out" other members of the staff to see whether they're happy. Scientists here have carte blanche (HR policy, nor labor laws, nor sometimes even hard reality, can touch them), and can practically get away with anything, and Center human resources is entirely useless when it comes to resolving workplace issues, so it is of crucial importance to figure out whether a particular position is a good match.

    Final note, the Center often advertises positions that are actually based at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), its clinical partner. Do yourself a favor and steer a wide path around that place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get the fiscal house in order. Prioritize research and faculty/staff over silly "pet" projects. Put scientific and non-scientific staff at parity with regard to company policy. And, for Pete's sake, get somebody else to run the food service venues!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    Get rid of longtime admin employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant I in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant I in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working for a world renown institution. Good benefits. Good working conditions as far as the facilities. Ability to move up with the institution.

    Cons

    People who have been there for years in admin positions are often gotten rid of so they can be replaced by someone paid less.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value longtime admin staff and treat them better.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Program Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    Pros

    The Lake Union area is lovely - great restaurants, parks and cafes.

    Cons

    The culture has changed with the new leadership. No longer feels like "family."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Fantastic place to work for an institution that has a successful mission to fulfill

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Administrative Assistant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great community feel to all colleagues and staff members. Most are looking out for your advancement and personal goal achievements while still maintaing a high level of professionalism. Beautiful and secure campus located in the heart of downtown South Lake Union amidst waterfront and mountain views.

    Cons

    Parking is terribly crowded and almost impossible to get for a reasonable or reduced rate. Waiting list is extremely long and research staff tend to take priority over administrative staff, no matter the seniority. Senior management is a little disconnected from the rest of the institutition in the sense that they cannot identify with the needs of those support workers who help to run the day to day operations of a research center. There is also not a lot of room for growth above your hiring position that you came in under. This has seemingly been why a lot of people tend to leave the center after a few short years when they come to realize they can no longer further themselves in support roles.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management need to take time to listen to some of their support staff and lower management heads. They have great solutions to a lot of the problems in the center but have not been given enough autonomy and authority to handle those issues before they escalate up to the senior management. Upper management should also be aware that lower senior staff are also less technologically driven as those underneath of them...which has caused some issues before in the past when it comes to responsibilities and completion of tasks for all positions.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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