National Institute of Standards and Technology

  www.nist.gov
  www.nist.gov
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National Institute of Standards and Technology Reviews

Updated September 19, 2014
Updated September 19, 2014
73 Reviews
3.8
73 Reviews
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National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Patrick D. Gallagher
Patrick D. Gallagher
17 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Really amazing research staff and a work-life balance that is whatever you need it be (in 6 reviews)

  • Cutting-edge basic research with a Nobel-winning reputation (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Sometimes there can be red tape (in 5 reviews)

  • It's the government, so it can be slow at times (in 2 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Precise fun

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

    I worked at National Institute of Standards and Technology as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Incredibly collegial atmosphere: co-workers always willing to lend their time and/or instruments for an experiment. (Much more so than at any university.)

    Cons

    Very flat payscale, middle management of variable quality, random acts of Congress.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    A nice place to do research if you can stand the red tape and politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer
    Current Employee - Chemical Engineer

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Consistent available funding for NIST priorities, barring governmental shutdown, good work-life balance culture, and an effective HR department.

    Cons

    Safety training and purchasing red-tape can be overwhelming, especially for chemistry-based research. Lack of intra-agency communication and cooperation renders some equipment unavailable for shared use.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider a "sharing required" approach to capital equipment. Specialized equipment is of course necessary occaisionally, but grants should require when possible that analysis equipment should be shared readily, somehow.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    nist-nih nrc fellow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate  in  Bethesda, MD
    Current Employee - NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate in Bethesda, MD

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good exposure to research and instrumentation facilities.

    Cons

    low salary, not permanent, too short

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    increase salary

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Post-Doc /Guest Researcher

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

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology as a contractor for more than 3 years

    Pros

    NIST is a great place to work. The environment, its physical location is great. I have never seen any organization where its employees love their job more than the ones at NIST. Even after retirement, many NIST retirees still come to work voluntarily, a clear testament that they love their job. Since NIST is funded by the US Government, there is always some money for research.

    Cons

    As a Post-Doc/ Guest Researcher, you do not get any of the benefits or privileges that the employees and NRC Post-Docs get. If your research idea leads to something remarkable and award worthy, the awards will only recognize NIST employees and not you. Even if it is the child-of-your-brain, because you are a "Guest Researcher".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Guest Researcher should be treated better. They should be made to feel as though that are legitimate part of the NIST workforce.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    NIST Assesment

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

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This position pays better than most postdoctoral appointments. Research funding and instrumentation resources are excellent. Work/life balance is good and managers tend to be easy going if not helpful. And one can see Nobel Prize winners walking around in the halls.

    Cons

    Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Groups and projects tend to be understaffed thus it is very difficult to take on difficult research topics, particularly given the typical 2 year appointment. The best strategy when landing a position is to try and get something published (anything actually) the first year then conduct a serious job search the second year of the appointment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Implement mandatory retirement to clear out the dead wood.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    wonderful place for scientists and fantastic research topics with a great team of experts and professionals

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

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

    Pros

    great research, wonderful management, fantastic research logistics, great internal paper review, high ethics

    Cons

    I do not have any

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep what you have been doing and NIST is simply a great place

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Not treated fairly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineering Technician
    Current Employee - Engineering Technician

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good place to work, plenty of benifits. They play their favorites. If you are not kissing bosses buts you will go NOWHERE

    Cons

    Do not get treated fairly. They move me around the shop and give me no good work even though I am one of people that has the most time in here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop micro managing this place. The division chief does not have to have his hands in everything that goes on in the shop. The supervisors are not manager material. They have NO experience in the field.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Freedom to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology

    Pros

    good balance of work and life

    Cons

    Just like one of government lab...

  10.  

    Each group can be a completely different experience. Your Group Leader really matters.

    • 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 for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Cutting-edge basic research with a Nobel-winning reputation. Really amazing research staff and a work-life balance that is whatever you need it be. Sometimes you just get jazzed on something and work all weekend just for the fun of it. Other times, you can take a break and enjoy a nice spring day. Good academic style environment with lots of young post-docs and grad students bringing fresh outlooks into the labs.

    Cons

    Procurement process is there to hold you back, not help you. Somehow, the Boulder labs avoid the worst of it. The lab overhead staff never has to write proposals and compete for funding - they just levy internal taxes and get their funding. Successful lab persons learn to live with the system because they love their work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a handle on the overhead-monster and do whatever is possible to streamline procurement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Guest foreign researcher

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

    I worked at National Institute of Standards and Technology full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good work environment; Freedom to do research and to particiate of different kind of projects.

    Cons

    Gaithersburg is an small city, even been too close of D.C.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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