Seattle Biomedical Research Institute

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A Great Place to Work on Neglected Diseases

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Bioinformatics Scientist  in  Seattle, WA
Current Employee - Bioinformatics Scientist in Seattle, WA

Pros

Seattle Biomed is a place where you can work and believe without any reservations that your efforts are going to make the world a better place. The people who work here are dedicated, helpful, and happy to collaborate; that helps create a very positive research environment. There are plenty of computational resources available as is necessary to apply systems biology to infectious diseases.

Cons

The last few years have been very difficult as far as funding for the sciences. This has strained Seattle Biomed as it has strained every research institution that I'm familiar with. At Seattle Biomed, some labs have left and the administration folks were particularly hard hit.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

The formal systems for reviews and feedback is weak. That hurts morale. Even if the funding situation is too tight for raises, it would really help for employees to know how they're doing.

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

Other reviews for Seattle Biomedical Research Institute

  1.  

    Good Mission, great staff, nice facilities, lively research culture,but PIs undervalue employees

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

    Pros

    The mission of Seattle BioMed is highly respectable focusing on infectious diseases, particularly HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, which perfectly aligns with funding opportunities from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Basic and translational research exist side-by-side at the institute, and different labs work on vaccine development for these diseases. I interacted with and knew many of the staff here, whether IT, facilities or EH&S, everyone is really helpful and professional. Booking the shared equipment is easy, and although sometimes heavily used, the facilities staff are very helpful training scientists and resolve any problems. The building is about 10 years old and many of the labs are really well equipped, particularly the BSL-3 facilities. Importantly, there are lots of seminars from the best researchers in the World, and I saw many of the scientists in my field speak, without having to travel. Opportunities for collaborations exist, but it depends on the PIs, but researchers are generally helpful and this supports peer-to-peer knowledge transfer. There are also regular social events on and off site which are aimed at building a team atmosphere. The systems biology approach to infectious disease research seems to be paying off, now $16 million funding has been awarded for a new project. Professional development events have been growing in recent years, and there is more support from above for such events. Finally, the BioQuest academy introduces high-school kids to real research - and any scientist can get involved in these programs should they wish - a truly exceptional experience for teenagers interested in science as well as scientists interested in education.

    Cons

    Apart from the big 3 infectious diseases described above, less research is dedicated to the Neglected Tropical Diseases, and in the next 5-10 years, the number of these labs will undoubtedly shrink. Also, a lot of the shared equipment is old and needs more investment, with the exception of the flow cytometry core. Despite all the positives, the research scientists and staff seem undervalued and given recent funding problems due to sequestration, numerous people have been treated rather poorly before being let go. This is undoubtedly a result of the contracts for researchers, with no set duration, and a degree of dishonesty about the financial health of labs, so researchers can come from the other side of the World to find 6 months later that funding is not sufficient to keep them, and cannot achieve anything publishable. Also there seems to be next to no mentoring of research scientists by PIs in almost any lab I can think of, this can make it very difficult for new researchers to develop to the next stage in their career. Finally, although social events are good for morale, ultimately they do not make researchers happy, if they do not have time to go to to them - I usually felt pressured with work and stayed late in the lab instead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Researchers scientists are an asset, and investment in them will pay off in the future, so be honest about funding and offer better contracts to new employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Beware, it is not as it seems....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Management  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Management in Seattle, WA

    Pros

    This is a very dysfunctional place to work. I realize there is always dysfunction, but this place takes it to a whole new level. I am speaking to the non-scientific side of things. I am not a scientist, so I can not give an opinion on that side of the tracks. Management is seriously failing. In the past year there has been a complete turn over in the finance and grants departments, which has turned the institute on it’s ear. The new leader is as clueless as a hair on a donkey, as is the hr department. I wish I had positive things to say, because the mission seems really true to heart. Moral is really low, people dislike coming to work, and have little motivation to do a good job. Trust in the institute is greatly lacking. I don’t think it is as dire as the Gates Foundation, but it is catching up, fast.
    Just know what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line.

    Cons

    Great location, south lake union is hopping. Scientific studies seem worthwhile.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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