Jackson Laboratory Reviews

Updated October 13, 2014
Updated October 13, 2014
47 Reviews
3.0
47 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
Jackson Laboratory President & CEO Dr. Edison T. Liu
Dr. Edison T. Liu
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I interned there during the summer and enjoyed the experience.

    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Intern in Bar Harbor, ME
    Former Employee - Intern in Bar Harbor, ME

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    I, along with other summer students, was provided with housing, food, and stipend. It's located in a small beautiful town and if you like going to the beach and hiking, then you'll enjoy it, especially during the summer. The lab also provides a shuttle for workers throughout the year, if I am not mistaken. There are also free buses for everyone around town, only in the summer because the town receives a lot of tourists during this time.

    Cons

    Unless you own a car, transportation around Bar Harbor can be difficult during winter and spring. The shuttles provided by the lab are only during morning to transport workers to and from work.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    A need for change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - In Vivo Lab Technician II (RA II) in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - In Vivo Lab Technician II (RA II) in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Learned a lot of techniques in a short period of time, by a really great trainer. The techs are the smartest/ambitious/social/friendly people I have ever met. Just the best group I have been around.

    As long as things can stay balanced between home and work you will learn techniques that are very unique and in a short period of time.

    Free lunches often from various catering.

    Bar Harbor staff VERY friendly and approachable.

    Cons

    The only training program is for beginning techs, which is great, but there are other positions in the lab too that should have some sort of training program in place.

    Expecting techs to work 50+ hours a week is unreasonable. There is nothing in the job descriptions about mandatory overtime, yet the techs are expected to stay.

    Be ready for your schedule to change daily.

    Responsibility is often shifted from one person to the next, and when the ball falls, the last one holding it is the one to blame.

    All the other cons from the other reviews I stand by. I came into this job, knowing the reviews, but also knowing I love science. Until the head of the leadership changes, do not work here. It doesn't matter how optimistic you are, how much you love research, how much you love to work, this job (as it stands now) will suck the life out of you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be reasonable. For a company that is non-profit, you sure do focus on the "revenue" side of things. Bringing in as many projects as possible, as many procedures as possible without the thought of the quality/work environment. Do not set processes in place and expect them to only be followed as long as it does not screw up what you are trying to get done.

    Also, have better communication with those who are on probation periods. Don't cancel their 1:1's for weeks and weeks at time. To potential employees: make sure while you are on probation to have great communication with your recruiter, this is as much a benefit to them as it is to you, and have clear written instructions what will lead to you either being hired or not.

    Have training programs for all positions that are in the lab.

    There needs to be change in leadership. The pressure of revenue and lack of presence in the lab, alongside the techs, has caused nothing but problems. Techs leave often before two years, and the techs remaining often explain why everyone is leaving and what needs to change. Yet nothing changes or if there is change it is too late. I believe the reason why Bar Harbor receives such high marks is because of the compassion the employers have for their employees. Anytime I worked with anyone from Bar Harbor they were very understanding and reasonable. If some training could be done between the two management teams, I think it would be very beneficial. It is just time for change in leadership, before no one is left.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Never work here

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Animal Care Trainee II in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Animal Care Trainee II in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It was a job that paid money.

    Cons

    Treated like a machine. If you like killing many animals on a daily basis, this job is for you!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please quit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Nothing ever changes at JAX West

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - In Vivo Technician (RA) in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - In Vivo Technician (RA) in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Great coworkers in In Vivo. Excellent experience for young tech's out of college.

    Cons

    Managment keeps saying that things will change for the better, however, it usually changes for the worst. No follow up to any issues that the eployees have. Promises are not kept by upper managment. "Lab operational supervisors" hide out all day in an office with out supervising anything. NO upward mobilty.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managment keeps asking WHY so many people are unhappy and leaving, the answers are in front of you, you just need to follow up. There are opportunites in sacramento other than JAX; people will continue to leave until you value them. Stop blaming the workers for the faults of the managment.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Jackson Lab West

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - In Vivo Lab Technician II (RA II) in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - In Vivo Lab Technician II (RA II) in Sacramento, CA

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is a strong connection between coworkers.

    Cons

    The working conditions at Jax West are poor. The management does not care about the employees or the mice they are working with. This is different than Jax East, which seems like a good place to work and i have no idea why there is this disconnect between the two. There is little to no understanding of how science works. Jax West In Vivo group is the worst lab I have ever work at. I have never worked with a more stressed out, disorganized, demoralized group in my life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Money is not the only thing that matters in life. There are many labs, both professional and educational, that find a way to do research while keeping their employees satisfied with their work. If you could improve morale and separate the housekeeping from the actual science work, you could reduce turnover. When one of our coworkers leaves Jax, we all celebrate like someone just got out of jail. How is it that you don't understand how unhappy your employees are?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great Employee Focus!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative I in Bar Harbor, ME
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative I in Bar Harbor, ME

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The Lab does a great job of really creating an employee first atmosphere. One of the best benefits packages in the area. Between JAX fit, 403b contributions and a generous vacation plan, the lab has got to be one of the best places to work!

    Cons

    Location - Bar Harbor is in the middle of nowhere and housing is a real challenge. Depsite this, it is in a beautiful location. Otherwise, there really aren't a lot of cons to the organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    RSI injuries are very widespread and animals are subjected to very abrupt handling by technicians rushing to quotas.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Animal Room Operations Technologist II in Bar Harbor, ME
    Former Employee - Animal Room Operations Technologist II in Bar Harbor, ME

    I worked at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    A great place to learn interesting aspects of laboratory animal production in a highly technical and extremely fast paced environment. Compensation is in line with similar production facilities in the country. Almost unlimited amount of overtime hours are available and one of the best 403b retirement plans out there.

    Cons

    Animal productions and operations management team is a critical weak link in the chain of much needed improvement in every process toward correcting the conditions that persists. Conditions of unrealistic work loads, time constraints in acquiring materials needed to carry out assigned work, availability of labor required to accomplish timely animal welfare activities related to length of time between animal dirty cage changes and overly abrupt handling of live animals as a result of last minute ditch efforts to get all animals into clean cages at the end of scheduled work weak.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All managers need to successfully be able to perform all aspects of animal husbandry on a consistent basis during every anticipated problem that impacts animal care technicians experienced in the course of a typical thirty day period twice a year with one period encompassing a typical holiday weak, also known as a short weak. Further, if any manager is not able to perform a fully expected work load that will reflect no more or less than what is required of all technicians, then that manager must be removed from the management team and may be replaced by one who is capable of and familiar with the requirements of the work load expectations.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overall, great, but my group poorly managed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Bar Harbor, ME
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Bar Harbor, ME

    I have been working at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    Acadia National Park surrounds the attractive campus and small-town life means no gangs, few drugs, low crime rate, etc. Fantastic place to raise kids and to enjoy outdoor activities. Some nice benefits like a turkey, ham, or fruit basket (or donate same to charity) for every employee at Xmas. Some (rare) managers are truly fantastic.

    Cons

    Management skills are frequently sorely lacking as most senior and junior managers are people with Ph.D. in science with no management training or natural skills. Professional development is nonexistent for software employees.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    JAX West is like waking up in a nightmare 5, 6, or sometimes 7 days of the week.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Sacramento, CA

    I have been working at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    You get the technical skills and experience you need quickly, through the daily demands of an insane work schedule, to attain a real career position at a real company.

    Cons

    A regular work week is 10 hours/day M-F and then your weekend is coming in for 6 hours here, or 4 hours there depending on the demands from being short staffed. Work-life balance is non- existent. If you have plans outside of work supervisors will expect you to cancel them to stay late while they leave early. There is too much work for too little people in In Vivo and this is known by upper management yet ignored to meet the bottom line and accomplish their yearly bonus incentives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decrease the workload expected out of technicians to maintain a reasonable work week of 45-50hrs. Increase employee compensation and show appreciation for all that they accomplish for you on a daily basis. Finally, expect from your employees what you expect out of yourself; it's utterly ridiculous that technicians are required to put their lives on hold to stay late and come in on weekends while other members of the "team" are out the door or home already.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great people doing good work at a beautiful, albeit expensive, location

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bar Harbor, ME
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bar Harbor, ME

    I have been working at Jackson Laboratory

    Pros

    Great research happening here. Very academic atmosphere, exciting to hear about all the great advances coming from the scientists. Largest employer in Hancock County, one of the biggest in Maine. Your co-workers and peers are great, as are the scientists at all levels. Management and administration, not so much.

    Cons

    Housing costs in Bar Harbor/MDI are very high so odds are you'll need to commute from Trenton, Lamoine or Ellsworth. Commuting in the summer can take a long time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    JaxFit makes me sad. Having to bring our 'passport' to places and get 'stamped' in order to decrease our health insurance deductible is insulting, degrading and humiliating. We are not grade schoolers, show some respect and trust in your employees.

    No opinion of CEO

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