There are newer employer reviews for Physical Sciences

 

Great company for a young scientist to learn to develop and manage programs.

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

I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time for more than 10 years

Pros

Plenty of opportunity to work across a broad range of technologies and to learn new skills. Ph.D. scientists are encouraged to develop their own technical programs, usually based on their doctoral or postdoctoral work. Career advancement is achieved by winning significant numbers of contracts, hiring new staff, and eventually building a business area. The company is employee-owned so benefits are excellent. Most contracts are funded by the Federal government, many through the SBIR program. Management has significantly increased internal investment in promising technologies in recent years.

Cons

If government funding priorities change it may be necessary to reinvent yourself technically. It can be very difficult to transition technologies to commercial products.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Accelerate investment in commercialization activities for promising technologies.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

9 Other Employee Reviews for Physical Sciences (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Ph.D. physicist who worked at PSI for 4.5 years

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

    I worked at Physical Sciences full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you can write a research proposal that gets funded, you can work on it and hire people to help you. Bringing in new business and successfully completing research projects will predictably result in promotion-- it worked for me. This organization is about as close to a meritocracy as I have ever experienced (this statement includes academia). The diversity of early-stage research is inspiring and the staff are, with only a few exceptions, first-rate. Even though I don't work there anymore, I remain on excellent terms with former co-workers at PSI and returned to do some consulting work. For what it's worth, PSI was pivotal in transitioning my career from physics to electrical engineering as a result of the research opportunities I had while working there.

    Unlike my at my current company, gender bias is a non-issue at PSI. Although there is a dearth of women in senior technical roles (alas, the status quo at tech companies), it is not for lack of awareness of the issue by management or because the work environment is hostile to women. However, don't expect special treatment as a woman or a minority-- a true meritocracy is just that-- a level playing field. In short, PSI is what you make of it. It is definitely possible to spend your entire career there, although I chose not to.

    Cons

    Technology transfer from government-funded SBIR contracts to actual commercial products is not PSI's strong suit. Observations (did not apply to me personally): 1) Academic pedigree is perhaps weighted a bit too heavily in the hiring process. 2) Opportunities for advancement without a Ph.D. in science & engineering are somewhat limited.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The primary reason that I left the company is that I'm unconvinced that the business model (significant fraction of revenue from SBIR contracts) is viable in the long term. Additional efforts to win corporate R&D business might also help with commercialization effectiveness.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great company to work for to build a lot of skills in a short-time!

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

    I have been working at Physical Sciences full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - You get to be the PI and program manager on government contracts.
    - You get to meet your sponsors and talk to them directly.
    - You get to craft your own little area of applied R&D.
    - If you don't want to work on a program, then don't. Period.
    - Flexible time. You get to work from home.
    - You get to work with the smartest people in the world. Your peers or managers do not feel insecure since they know that they are as good as you.
    - Great health care/dental benefits, 401K matching funds, stock options, discounted red sox tickets, discounted movie tickets, free drinks, free food sometimes, free aquarium and science center tickets, etc...
    - Pay is proportional to how much money you bring to the company (can be good or bad!)

    The first 4 bullet points is what distinguishes PSI from the rest of the world. In a large corporate or other companies, you need to be high up in the food chain to be able to do that. This is not the case at PSI. Even a fresh PhD holder can take a stab at writing proposals and get to do his/her own things.

    Cons

    - Not a lot of promotional opportunities. Unfortunately, if your group leader or area manager doesn't leave or retire, you can't be promoted! And because it's such a comfortable environment, the managers tend to stick around until they die. So prepare for the long haul.
    - If you don't win grants for a period of time, prepare yourself mentally and financially to get fired. This is not a joke. If you keep winning, then stay coz you'll be rewarded big time (big raise, CEO congratulating you, etc...). If you keep losing, consider other options fast before they let you go. You'll know when doom's day is coming.
    - Can be tiring. You are expected to do a lot of things on your own time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Younger staff are working for a couple of years and then leaving because there are no promotional opportunities. You folks spend time and resources training us for a couple of years to then realize that we're having better opportunities elsewhere.

    Because you've trained us so well, we are sought by your competitors. So my advice is for you to notice the brain drain and do something about it!!!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
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