Argonne National Laboratory Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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3.9
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Recommend to a friend
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Argonne National Laboratory Director Peter B. Littlewood
Peter B. Littlewood
14 Ratings

Pros
  • Great work life balance and great salary for a post doc (in 7 reviews)

  • Good benefits and great medical team (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • You will never see red tape like this (in 4 reviews)

  • Also there is not nearly enough support staff to address their work load (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

121 Employee Reviews

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  1. Asst. Computatioanl Biologist

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Pay is great as are benefits

    Cons

    administrate hierarchy, political bs, overhead

    Advice to Management

    what they don;t know (most things), they will never learn


  2. Graduate research assistant

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

    I worked at Argonne National Laboratory

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good environment... nice people... very good experience

    Cons

    Very Slow process... too much walking between buildings!


  3. Good Intern Experience

    Former Employee - Intern in Lemont, IL
    Former Employee - Intern in Lemont, IL

    I worked at Argonne National Laboratory (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    The intern program was very well structured. While sometimes I felt like I did not have the most work to do, my mentor was helpful and kept me engaged in the project. I lived in the housing at the lab, which was comfortable.

    Cons

    The location is very remote, not much to do immediately nearby the lab campus. However, Chicago is not too far!


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  5. Helpful (2)

    No Future?

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, good pay, and a relaxing place to work if you aren't too ambitious or committed to quality work, and aren't bothered by low-key but unbelievably stupid and inept managers/supervisors. Good place to be a post-doc, but don't stay very long!

    Cons

    Lacks a mission, identity, vision, values, leadership, and energy. The Illinois congressional delegation is indifferent or hostile to the Laboratory, which will not help its future. While some good science and engineering is still done here, it is on a sharp decline. The Laboratory is now mostly a very expensive and bureaucracy-ladened "Beltway Bandit", mostly providing (sometimes silly) support services to the federal government at exorbitant prices. With a long history of being appalling badly managed at all levels (even for a quasi-government institution), the Laboratory shows no apparent ability to proactively counter the ongoing death spiral, or to deal with its outrageous cost of doing business Not very female-friendly despite some things that superficially look positive.

    Advice to Management

    I wouldn't even bother to waste my breath.


  6. Postdoctoral Appointee

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Argonne has the most advance characterization techniques which make research exciting and collaborations are encouraged.

    Cons

    Like other labs being funded by the US DOE, there is not security in funding. There are also other sources of funding but it can be competitive.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Good and Bad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Lemont, IL
    Current Employee - Engineer in Lemont, IL

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Pay is good, Vacation for older staff is great. Cool toys and interesting projects. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    Safety runs the place. The WPC system is a mess. They think filling out complex forms makes one safe. It does not. In fact, it hinders safety.. Is there a problem? Make a new safety class! Vacation cut back for younger staff. Management does not listen as far as how to spend capital. Promotions seem political. Not enough opportunities for women.

    Advice to Management

    Get out of the office and meetings and get back in the lab and learn what the staff have to put up with.


  8. PhD-level research scientist

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Highly collaborative
    Unique, exciting research environment
    Good compensation compared to academia
    Super-smart, motivated colleagues
    Opportunities for health and wellness via many clubs and groups - running club, gardening club, craft club, etc.

    Cons

    Sky-high overhead rates makes funding difficult to secure
    Older infrastructure needs updating
    Strategy is not communicated well to employees who must develop and implement it


  9. Research Aide (Intership)

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory

    Pros

    Great research facility and atomosphere

    Cons

    I don't know what cons are in ANL


  10. Helpful (4)

    Excellent at start or end of career. Difficult in the middle. Declining federal funding for science hurts.

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory full-time (More than 8 years)

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

    Pros

    There are many excellent scientific programs and a lot a nice people here. Total compensation package is quite good, although you have to factor in the vacation and 401K match as compensation is not all money up front. Because of this, Argonne is a great place for experienced scientific/technical personnel. Due to the basic research quality, this is also a great place to go as a post-doc or co-op. Hours are flexible. Work pace, although sometimes frantic, is overall somewhat leisurely.

    Cons

    Vacation is not as liberal as it once was. No chance to be promoted into management, although promotion to higher grade within your classification is possible. Way too much academic politics results in a lot of work for no apparent reason coupled with arbitrary and capricious deadlines. Organizational structure of laboratory makes it essentially impossible to utilize resources in other divisions. Insane overhead costs. Technical staff are expected to put in large amounts of uncompensated overtime, and there is no "comp time". Much better place for a scientist than an engineer, programmer or technician. Opportunities for training are nonexistent. Continuous decline in overall government funding year on year plus shifted priorities has cut out all the fat and is not slicing into meat and bone, to the detriment of some groups. This has resulted in some sections of the institution doing very well and being able to retain talent, whereas other sections are imploding. The same job title can be wonderful in one division, terrible in another.

    Advice to Management

    Break down the inter-divisional arbitrary walls. Remove arbitrary overhead charges that make shared projects impossible. Strengthen privacy considerations so that employees feel they can apply for internal transfers without fear of repercussions. Develop alternate costing structures to make internal resources at least occasionally cost-competitive relative to using outside contractors.


  11. Postdoctoral appointee

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

    I have been working at Argonne National Laboratory full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    good to do good research with synchrotron x-ray source.

    Cons

    safety is really serious to slow down research.....



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