National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)

  www.nrao.edu
  www.nrao.edu
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National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
13 Reviews
3.9
13 Reviews
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National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Director Anthony (Tony) Beasley
Anthony (Tony) Beasley
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Pre doc Fellow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Reber Fellowship  in  Socorro, NM
    Current Employee - Reber Fellowship in Socorro, NM

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Everyone is super friendly. Great work environment. Access to everything I need to finish up my phd

    Cons

    The only con is that it is located in Socorro, NM. The town is very small and not much here.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Top of the line engineering for science

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

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time

    Pros

    Good work environment and challenging innovative technology projects. Result-oriented culture, which allows for office hours flexibilities. Not the kind of job for someone who likes to be told what to do.
    Get to travel frequently to the observatory sites.
    Decent compensation and benefits in the research industry.

    Cons

    Project-driven NSF budget, and there are no new large radio-astronomy project in sight. Staff average age is increasing and few new people are getting hired. Salaries have been frozen for most of the last 5 years.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great workplace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Division Manager  in  Charlottesville, VA
    Former Employee - Division Manager in Charlottesville, VA

    I worked at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Very professional atmosphere, challenging work, supportive colleagues.

    Cons

    Limited movement into alternative career paths.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    World-class mission and excellent facilities that are being squeezed into mediocrity by inadequate funding

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

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    One of a kind US astronomy facility that has diverse facilities and adequate (yet diminishing) benefits. Access to interesting projects and opportunities for technical staff.

    Cons

    Salaries have stagnated for last few years and benefits (part of justification of salary vs. industry) are being cut a bit each year. There are three 'classes' of staff: Scientists, headquarters, everyone else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on mission, not bureaucracy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Vanilla at best.

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

    I worked at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Interesting science. Strong technology. 8-5 hours. Great vacation and holiday policy.

    Cons

    Socially challenged co-workers, Nepotism. Pay for IT staff is pretty sad. Benefits are eroding.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At some point your IT staff will leave, or at least the good ones. You'll keep the duds forever.

    Astronomers are kind of stuck for places they can go. IT staff are pretty mobile and one day they will get tired of being 20-35% underpaid compared to their peers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    The most interesting work I have ever done.

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

    I worked at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    These people are testing the boundaries of the known universe and they are doing it every day.

    Cons

    Use of public money creates a lot of audits pressure to ensure compliance. This process can interfere with the work and does not always add to the value creation process the NRAO is executing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wouldn't dare to presume.....

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good place with some drawbacks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Charlottesville, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Charlottesville, VA

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Normally, it's a low stress friendly place to work. Vacation and retirement plans are very good. Work-life balance and flexibility for taking time off are very good. If the budget ever improves, I'll give 5 stars.

    Cons

    The observatory budget has been an overarching negative issue for the past several years. A couple of years ago, this resulted in letting several people go. Last year it resulted in a change (much for the worse) of medical insurance. We were also furloughed for two weeks during the federal government shutdown. In the past 3 years, there has been a single salary increase of 2%. The director is ever hopeful that the budget situation will improve, but that might be as much for show to mitigate morale decreases than anything else.

    Some people, mainly on science staff, need to go through a Manners 101 class to learn how to interact and play nicely with others. Fortunately, that's a minority of employees.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great Intern Experiance

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

    I worked at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) as an intern

    Pros

    Your surrounded by very intelligent people who are always willing to help.
    Management provides the necessary tools without micromanaging .
    Always something to learn with periodic science talks.

    Cons

    Nothing bad to say. I wish the company received more funding.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Low salary, too much ego around.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Charlottesville, VA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Charlottesville, VA

    I have been working at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Work day ends at 5pm. Astronomy it's always interesting.

    Cons

    Very low salary. RHEL for users?... really?.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Very positive and beneficial internship experience

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) as an intern

    Pros

    Interesting and relevant projects, challenging work environment, very helpful staff scientists, weekly presentations, good pay for an internship experience

    Cons

    Location is remote and temporary housing somewhat hard to find. That is really the only downside to the office in Socorro.

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