Brown University

  www.brown.edu
  www.brown.edu

Brown University Reviews in Rhode Island

Updated December 5, 2014
Updated December 5, 2014
125 Reviews
4.3
125 Reviews
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Brown University President Christina Paxson
Christina Paxson
33 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great benefits and professional development opportunities (in 9 reviews)

  • Very close to Boston and New York (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • some times graduate students can feel isolated, Brown is geared towards undergraduates (in 3 reviews)

  • Long hours best describe a graduate student's life, but this is true anywhere (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

69 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Strong graduate program in molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PhD Graduate Student in Providence, RI
    Current Employee - PhD Graduate Student in Providence, RI

    I have been working at Brown University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The graduate program is rigorous and very useful.
    There's a limited number of classes to take and you're usually done by your second or third year.
    You only have to TA a single semester-- and this is also completed in your second year
    Your qualifying exam is based on your thesis project and is more of a research proposal, this is finished in the second year.
    Graduate students and NOT postdocs are the focus.
    Professors and PIs really care about their students

    Cons

    Although the avg graduate time is 5.5 years, a number of students take longer (6-7 years) to graduate

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    Teaching Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in Providence, RI
    Current Employee - Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in Providence, RI

    I have been working at Brown University part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Brown is a great environment to work, people are supportive and the compensation for being a TA was reasonable. The student quality is also very high and makes teaching courses that much more valuable.

    Cons

    Some cons are while the vast majority are of great quality, sometimes student effort was not very high. However, this may have been an anomaly with the courses I was assigned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No real advice to give for upper management.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Demanding workplace with a collaborative and supportive environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Providence, RI
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Providence, RI

    I have been working at Brown University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Mine is a prestigious department with very high expectations for graduate students, but I've never felt like i was on my own trying to achieve it all. The faculty and staff are incredibly supportive; I have always felt like I have a whole team behind me who are invested in my success. Guaranteed funding makes for a strong sense of security, too.

    Cons

    Teaching is not really a priority of many of the departments here, and the teaching certificate program the university offers is very fluffy. It would be better to have teacher training more integrated with the TA experience, more of a mentorship.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Fair but bureaucratic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Consultant/Undergraduate TA in Providence, RI
    Current Employee - IT Consultant/Undergraduate TA in Providence, RI

    I have been working at Brown University part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There are great opportunities to give back to the TA programs that run many departments here, convenient to work on campus, and it's a great way to make a bit of money during the year

    Cons

    It's really hard to be a TA, people don't show up to office hours with help but rather with anger and frustration for you, low pay, and "raises" are only $0.10 per semester.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great place to study.

    Current Employee - PhD Student in Providence, RI
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Providence, RI

    I have been working at Brown University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to study physics.

    Cons

    No particular cons to mention.

  7.  

    Very good place for undergraduates

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Providence, RI
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Providence, RI

    I have been working at Brown University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good location, close to boston and new york city and Providence is a beautiful city. People here are nice. Salary is above average level for graduate students

    Cons

    campus is small and kind of crowd. Parking place is very needed. graduate students are less concerned than undergraduate

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Research Assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Providence, RI
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Providence, RI

    I have been working at Brown University full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very Relaxed place, University gives lot of freedom to choose courses , projects etc from different department.

    Great community, great city to be. Very close to Boston and New York.

    Cons

    That would depend on the adviser, my adviser is very easy going. I never had any issue

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Terrible Organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Providence, RI
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Providence, RI

    I worked at Brown University full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits, hours, and environment. It is great being a part of academia and getting all the benefits - bus passes, gym membership, use of facilities, etc.

    Cons

    My office had terrible organization and oversight. Befuddling that an ivy league institution would have such madness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure each office has professional management and oversight.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    There are a lot of great people at Brown, and the city of Providence is an outstanding place to live and work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Athletic Communications in Providence, RI
    Former Employee - Athletic Communications in Providence, RI

    I worked at Brown University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There are a lot of dedicated and intelligent people working there. The location is great, with terrific food and culture for such a small city. Some nights and weekends, but overall a good work/life balance is encouraged - we had a fairly flexible schedule as long as you finished your work.

    Cons

    It is difficult to advance unless people retire or move to different positions; compensation in academic world not great compared to what you might receive in private sector. At the time that I was there it was difficult economically - wage/hiring freezes led to some poor morale, although that may have improved since.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Depends on the department

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Providence, RI
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Providence, RI

    I worked at Brown University full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It's nice to be working for one of the main employers in the city and state. I like that the Brown ID card gets you free rides on public transportation across the state. And, depending on what department or center you are working with, it can be a great experience.

    Cons

    I've worked a couple of different jobs here and in one case I was very happy, and in the other, not happy at all. It really depends on the department, center or group you are working with. There's not a lot of cross-department or cross-center community. Also, with people who were having conflicts at my previous job (where I was happy) and with me at my current not-so-great job, I observed that Human Resources was not very supportive or helpful. You're really on your own here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps for faculty positions it is different, but for staff this is a pretty boring place to work. The mission of the university is around education and research, and it does those well. But based on my experiences and observations, it's not a particularly inspiring or gratifying place to work. Maybe this is okay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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