EPFL Reviews

Updated August 13, 2015
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4.1
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EPFL President Patrick Aebischer
Patrick Aebischer
35 Ratings

Pros
  • Good salary but not career opportunities (in 8 reviews)

  • EPFL has therefore the necessity to import students from all over the world creating a very rich and international environment (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • EPFL is still quite far away from the reality and market (in 3 reviews)

  • No real deadline, no stress, which is quite good but it does not prepare oneself to the outside academia rhythms (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

96 Employee Reviews

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  1. Postdoctoral Research Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at EPFL (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great working conditions and salary.

    Cons

    There are not really any cons.

    Advice to Management

    EPFL is a great place to do research.


  2. Good facilities

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Contractor - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at EPFL as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    High quality research facilities available High quality lectures from top scientists Located in a beautiful setting and in a country with a high quality of life

    Cons

    Postdoc contracts are year-by-year so it means that there is some uncertainty in employment, though the standard contract length is four years


  3. PhD student

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - PhD Student in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    -Very international environment -Great facilities -Salary (arount 50.000 CHF net) is very good (even if in Swizerland is considered a low salary, none of my collegues ever complained and usually everybody manages to save lots of money)

    Cons

    - as in any Phd the actual situation depends on your professor, so even if you sign a contract stating that you have to work a certain amount of time and have the right to 25 days of holyday, well... it is not always the case -over all, I was very happy with my professor, nevertheess I had other collegues that were in terrible conditions:some of them managed to get help from the administration while other didn't, I guess it also depends on the importance of the professor in the institute. -you have teaching assistant duties, depending on how many courses you professor teaches you can either be overcharged or barely not doing it at all (the system is not very balanced)

    Advice to Management

    - Lately there in evaluating prospective PhD students putting lots of impotance on the name o the institution were they come from, which i guess is a quick way of filtering the large amount of requests, but I don't feel it is always the best choice.


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  5. Reputated University, gives you advantage.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at EPFL part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Being at EPFL normally gives you quite a lot of freedom both in terms of daily schedule and research topics. Plenty of projects in collaboration with industry. Close interaction with companies based in the on-campus Scientific Park. EPFL is a well reputated research institute, which gives you an advantage when participating in international projects, for instance, and a great line in your CV when applying later on to industry/academy. They provide good support for Startups: creation, courses, networking, etc. and also during the patent-filing process.

    Cons

    Very often, the high ranks lose the vision of important underlying aspects of the projects, and also can not dedicate enough quality time to their team of researchers, transmitting the image that they only care about the "visible results", and not the quality of the process. Salary is low compared to average (qualified jobs) in Switzerland. Makes sense if you want to end up in academia.

    Advice to Management

    In your fight for ascension in the management ladder, try to stay closer to your team and, from time to time, "look down" instead of always looking up, to upper-ranked people. It is your team which makes you big.


  6. Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Scientist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Scientist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at EPFL full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    EPFL is very well funded so access to equipment is a breeze. Facilities like IT are amazing. Restaurants etc. on campus are good too.

    Cons

    Finding an apartment in Lausanne can take up to 3 months in intensive, depressing search. You can sometimes expect a little help from EPFL, but DO NOT RELY ON IT!

    Advice to Management

    It would be great if temporary housing could be found so that employees don't waste several hours a day in their first three months looking for housing.


  7. Research Assistant Job at EPFL

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at EPFL full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Very good working conditions: a rich environment with both experienced and young researchers, publishing papers on many international conferences, first class research

    Cons

    I can not think of any bad things about working at EPFL. Only the weather is not very nice and the search for an appartment can be very difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Everything is very well organized. Keep doing the good job. Organizing help for beginners for the apartment search.


  8. Good for PhD students

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Lausanne (Switzerland)

    I have been working at EPFL full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    EPFL provides a good salary for PhD students as compared to what you can get in other european countries. It is easy to live in Lausanne even without learning French.

    Cons

    It is hard to tell general cons, it really depends ultimately on the research group you end up working with.


  9. Doctoral Assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    One of the best Universities in Europe as well as in the world in the field of Engineering disciplines. A highly international environment, many experts in different fields are present allowing strong collaboration opportunities.

    Cons

    May not be well known outside of European Union.

    Advice to Management

    None.


  10. Engineer in material science

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at EPFL full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Active and friendly environment. Learn and grow.

    Cons

    Research sometimes far from the real world.

    Advice to Management

    Incentive the internships in companies outside academia.


  11. good place to work for a while

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Scientist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Scientist in Lausanne (Switzerland)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Talented people, decent support, pretty collaborative spirit. Lausanne is a nice city to live in. Salary is generally high to account for high cost of living.

    Cons

    Strict maximum on # of years employed which is something to consider for post-docs. The depth of undergraduate's technical knowledge is mixed, but "lab-immersion" type projects are mandated - can be frustrating.

    Advice to Management

    Please provide more space for labs, people are crammed into tiny spaces, sharing desks, fighting over equipment time.



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