National Institute of Standards and Technology

  www.nist.gov
  www.nist.gov

National Institute of Standards and Technology Reviews

Updated December 14, 2014
Updated December 14, 2014
78 Reviews
3.7
78 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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 7 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Excellent work environment

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

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good work environment. Managers are very understanding with the persons they are in charge of.

    Cons

    Still using some old equipment.

  2.  

    decent compnay

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at National Institute of Standards and Technology

    Pros

    company is good gives indepence to work on problems you like

    Cons

    they are handling only few projects currently

  3.  

    I interned at NIST once and considered it a rewarding experience, but can depend on your mentor/project you get.

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

    I worked at National Institute of Standards and Technology as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    You are surrounded by very intelligent people who can offer you advice to steer you a good direction if you are planning to enter a graduate program. The research facilities have state of the art equipment and provide the basis to conduct great research limited only by your ideas. Working there can also provide good networking opportunities with NIST staff and other interns.

    Cons

    When working with things such as lasers or other equipment that may be considered potentially dangerous the intern might not be allowed to directly conduct the research but only assist. There were some interns that did not consider their projects interesting although what I was assigned was good.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    A challenging environment with dedicated staff resources

    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Hagerstown, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Hagerstown, MD

    I worked at National Institute of Standards and Technology as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good opportunities for challenging assignments with a flexible work schedule environment. Staff are dedicated resources always willing to offer project assistance and support.

    Cons

    Training is not as robust as it could be. Politics and bureaucratic red tape add substantial time to project timelines. Commute from Virginia is horrendous.

  6.  

    Probably great for some, not so great for others.

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

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

    Pros

    semi-academic environment
    casual atmosphere
    availability of scientific seminars

    Cons

    multitudes of red tape
    not very flexible work hours
    difficulty interacting with other agencies

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    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 (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
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (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
  9.  

    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 (more than an 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
  10.  

    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 (more than an 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
  11.  

    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 (more than an 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

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