Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

  www.broad.mit.edu
  www.broad.mit.edu
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Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Reviews

Updated September 2, 2014
Updated September 2, 2014
48 Reviews
4.0
48 Reviews
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Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Director Eric Lander
Eric Lander
35 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A very unique Environment

    Former Employee - Automation Engineer  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Automation Engineer in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The lab culture is a mix of professional and laid-back, and each floor is different.
    Some of the brightest minds work here, and there are great resources, IF you can figure out how to best access them.
    Excellent benefits package

    Cons

    Fairly high turnover rate for employees.
    Sort of wasteful: not a lot of thought goes into reducing labware usage, carbon footprint, recycling, etc.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Great culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate II  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Process Development Associate II in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    It was a such a fun work environment because everyone I worked with was under 30 and liked to go out. The job was always evolving to the next technology, which was also a lot of fun, playing with new expensive robots and machines other places couldnt afford

    Cons

    There wasnt a lot of room for advancement. The pay was decent but not great. The politics were intense. Management was mostly hired internally so ppl didnt have the adequate experience to handle managing a team, esp of peers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Strong research institution

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

    I worked at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Interesting projects happening here. Great reputation. Balance of "academic curiosity" and "industry focus"

    Cons

    Funding changes and restructuring changes resulted in a loss of my position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Balance of curiosity and purpose is essential.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Broad Institute Intern

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

    Pros

    the people, the ideas, the atmosphere

    Cons

    How corporate is has become

  6.  

    Best job I ever had!

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

    I worked at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I worked in the sequencing group for a looong time, starting in 2002 towards the tail end of the human genome project. It was a very exciting, enjoyable time. We went through several technological revolutions over that time, so the challenges were unique and varied. It was fun to get to constantly learn new things.

    The people were excellent and it was a great culture.

    Cons

    The institute as a whole has grown 20x in size since I joined, as such it has become far more corporate in recent years.

    There's been a high rate of turnover at the highest levels and some of it wasn't done in the most friendly way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to do a better job training up and coming managers. Certainly in my new role I don't feel I was adequately prepared.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great people, vibrant atmosphere, awesome colleagues... but very bad management team.

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

    I worked at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Work is quite intense and very fulfilling. I was constantly exposed to brilliant people with great ideas. Overall, I'm very happy that I was part of the Broad. Fantastic experience overall, with very decent compensation for a non-profit environment.

    Cons

    A big caveat here: there is very little room for career progression as opportunities are almost non-existent. In response to this issue, my manager used to raise his shoulders. Another disappointing aspect: there is an intense feeling of absence of communication among groups dealing with similar projects, which was very frustrating at times. A lot of hand waiving, an abysmal lack of decisions, some projects going south and people staring at each other with no word coming out of their mouths... too bad, I'm going to miss my colleagues and friends there...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just wake up and stop pretending that things will fix themselves. Management is tactic, long-term planning. It's not hiding behind well-spoken words, in a formatted HR-language. It's about strategy development with the work force, not just among over-represented C-whatever-O.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great work/life balance and benefits

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

    I worked at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard full-time

    Pros

    The flexibility that was afforded to balance work and life was superb. The benefits were excellent and made up for the fact that compensation was likely to be less than seen in industry.

    Cons

    Personal growth and career advancement opportunities are not obvious, however this might be department-specific. Also, management is weak and does not know how to completely handle professional staff compared to the true academics (graduate students and postdocs).

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    High powered

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

    I have been working at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard full-time

    Pros

    Top notch institute, great work life culture and environment to learn basic sciences. Highly regarded senior management by external community. Young culture, relaxed atmosphere.

    Cons

    Very clichey environment. Takes a lot to be accepted into the culture. Extreme academic snobbery.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take accountability and deal with institutional issues. Hold people accountable, including senior management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Broad: fantastic core ideals, but be prepared to be disappointed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Scientist  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    As a bench-top researcher, my experience and feedback encompass primarily a laboratory based work environment. That being said:

    -The laboratories are, for the most part, top of the line. The size of the work space and quality of the equipment is impressive.

    -Cubicles are structured more openly, with plenty of sunlight - makes socializing easier, and gives a great view of Kendall square.

    -Many of the people who compose units / groups in a given laboratory are brilliant and hard-working individuals.

    -Many opportunities to work with diverse groups of scientists, ranging from entry level new recruits to M.D-PhDs.

    -Many of the ongoing experiments are innovative and considered by much of the scientific community as defining the frontier of scientific research.

    -Generous bonuses were actually given, at times.

    -The pay was quite good compared to many other hospital / academic based research facilities.

    Cons

    -Depending on your position within the hierarchy, the lower down the ladder you are, the more 'grunt' work you will do.

    -Feast to famine work environment, which I contribute to the waxing and waning of grants and funds.

    -Expectation by supervisors and managers to put in long hours and prioritize work over most everything else, because "everyone in the sciences puts in long hours". This tips the scales towards a more academic feel, while still maintaining a tight industrial 'high-throughput' environment where deadlines are constantly getting shortened, and work must be completed on time (if not early) because grant money is doomed to dry up soon. Work/life balance was a serious issue, when one was either faced with a seemingly never-ending and daunting amount of work, or no work at all.

    -Lack of managerial supervision. Although a given project may have its goals / milestones well defined, there was often a severe lack of managerial oversight. Thus, managerial and administrative responsibilities were often left to lower-level researchers. This created a chaotic and oftentimes inefficient work environment, where a lab tech would have to time- manage multiple people and aspects of a project rather than use that time to productively generate results and data for the assigned project - essentially adding on responsibilities and diverting precious time away from the task for which one was hired / specialized in. An ill-managed team often slowed or even halted the progress of the project, creating a negative cycle wherein poor management resulted in poor productivity, which in turn caused management to require lab techs to put in more hours. At points this caused exhausted employees to make serious mistakes to sensitive aspects of a project, and perpetuated a sense of frustration.

    -Unfortunately, I must agree with the majority of other Broad reviewers on this site - there was no sense of career advancement within the Broad. I encountered many brilliant and hard-working scientists who had worked within the Broad 5+ years while still holding the same title with which they were hired (e.g. Associate Scientist I, etc...). One could say an internal compromise had to be made - accept lower pay and lack of job advancement while reaping the intellectual and status benefits of working at a prestigious, incredibly well funded scientific organization.

    -Oftentimes it felt as if management would vie for more and more outside projects (with lofty grants) while simultaneously expressing the urgency for current projects to be completed on time. This seemed to dilute the manpower available, as one could find themselves split between projects or transferred from one to another without much warning. Not only was this a stressor for time-management, but it made the work environment feel more like a CRO than a stand-alone research institution.

    -The Broad fostered a micro-environment that seemed to shield its employees from some of the more stark realities of scientific research and funding. Layoffs would come in waves, and many employees would be startled, expressing the opinion that the Broad was so well funded as to be above the current economic realities. The Broad held multiple celebrations within my time there, celebrating large private donations (generally in amounts close to or over $100,000,000), which perpetuated this line of thought. It brings into question the efficacy of the Broad's internal spending and allocation of funds - if there is such a surplus of money, why are so many projects time-sensitive to NIH government funds, and layoffs so far-reaching?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -A serious increase in managerial presence in day to day laboratory activities. Active management could significantly improve productivity, which could provide higher quality data and lower material and personnel costs. A more structured system of guidance could exponentially improve work efficiency - managers spending much of their time in an outside office working instead on grants does not emphasize a collaborative environment.

    -Do not emphasize science as the priority above all things- at times there were safety concerns and general time-management issues that could have been easily resolved by experienced upper-management intervention.

    -I found that upper-level scientists did make some effort to involve and consider what lower-level researchers contributed to project and procedure designs. Keeping this up will foster a sense of respect and appreciation.

    -Provide incentives and opportunities for job growth - do not rely on the clout of the Broad's name and scientific resources to keep employees satisfied with lower pay and status within the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Highly motivated bioinformatics professional with 6+ years experience working in Genome Annotation group.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

    Pros

    Great working environment. Collaborative efforts.

    Cons

    Nothing that I can think of.

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