National Institute of Standards and Technology

  www.nist.gov
  www.nist.gov
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contractor

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Contractor in Gaithersburg, MD
Current Employee - Contractor in Gaithersburg, MD

I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

good, flexible, nice environement, research strength

Cons

low pay, rather stiff management

Advice to ManagementAdvice

...

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

78 Other Employee Reviews for National Institute of Standards and Technology (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    More dysfunction than science or technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist - ITL in Gaithersburg, MD
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist - ITL in Gaithersburg, MD

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart co-workers
    Technical credibility based on Nobel winners in other labs
    Good cafeteria food
    Flexible hours and easy commute to Gaithersburg

    Cons

    Bad management at group and division levels favors loyalty over expertise or impact
    No accountability for administrative or scientific screw-ups. Bad people rise and cling to power.
    Us vs. them mentality around funding limits collaboration and sharing
    Dysfunction in all administrative processes - legal, contracting, grants management, even janitorial - results in long delays, re-work and problems conducting research
    Lack of strategic oversight means that there isn't a plan, except year-to-year or as long as funding from elsewhere holds out
    Good people leave; bad people stay
    Little or no funding for many people to travel and present (chosen few seem to have unlimited funds)
    Difficult to move from bad management to other groups
    Dirty, old and otherwise uninspiring offices and conference rooms.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your choices matter: Around the ethical climate, new overhead rates, who you put in management, what you tolerate in terms of dysfunction in administrative functions and even in the physical state of the Gaithersburg campus. There is widespread disengagement and malaise in some parts of the organization. But you don't seem to care.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunity, and a little paranoia

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Gaithersburg, MD
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Gaithersburg, MD

    I worked at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of opportunity for collaborations, looks smart on resume, and quaisi-academic atmosphere if you like conferences and publishing papers. If you're a really top notch scientist, you can accumulate some great resources.

    Cons

    Your career can be at the whim of your group leader / division chief, and paranoia pervades the staff because of that - but the probability of actually being "les-miserabled" by the management is pretty low. If you know you can jump ship, there's no problem. If your specialty becomes boring or out of favor for some reason, better learn something new. Although that's life anywhere, the uselessness of your discipline can happen overnight due to some new political wind.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow some lateral movement, say a 1 or 2 year "sabbatical" where the employee can work in another group and learn the art, without having them destroyed on their objectives for not publishing 5 papers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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