Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

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Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research Reviews

Updated August 20, 2014
Updated August 20, 2014
77 Reviews

3.8
77 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research CEO Joseph Jimenez
Joseph Jimenez
26 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Wonderful work-life balance; CEO is doing a fantastic job (in 9 reviews)

  • Lots of talents and very matrix working environment (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • It is such a large company it can be overwhelming (in 5 reviews)

  • Big company is beaurocratic, difficult to move around in, competitive (in 2 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    excellent

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

    Pros

    flexibility for the work schedule

    Cons

    office culture for small groups

  2.  

    Unethical bureaucratic manipulative management. Frequent layoffs. Lack of accountability.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientist  in  Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Scientist in Dallas, TX

    I worked at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Pay and benefits. Experience there will look good on your resume (which I suggest you update frequently since you will probably have a career of 5 years on avg there)

    Cons

    Management manipulative and alters Performance to reflect personal opinion of employees character rather than fact based reporting. Complete bureaucracy. Management will support each other knowingly manipulating performance reviews with the backing of HR. Policy and values not adhered to by management. Double standard. Unopen to ideas from non management personnel. Totalitarian style management. You never feel secure in your career. At best you have 5 years there. Unstable. 3 large layoffs per year should be expected. This company utilizes annual performance reviews to rid people due to personal Co flick rather than compromise to reach resolve.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop manipulating your way through challenges like a weasel. Listen to your employees. Stop using employees as scapegoats for management deficiencies. Follow your own policy. Allow HR to operate independent of management rather than being a tool for management to use to inflict blame on others and be part of your manipuation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to learn and work on cutting edge research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Investigator II  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Research Investigator II in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    People are very receptive to new idea, great colleagues and management

    Cons

    Well, so far so good

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management can have more face time with employees through town hall etc., instead of written/polished blogs

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great place to do research at the best level.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Director  in  Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Associate Director in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The people here are excellent, and the resources available are amazing. The senior management and organization has been much more stable than other pharmas, and has maintained an impressive commitment to discovery research. The scientific leadership, in particular, are top-notch and have kept Novartis a vibrant workplace with excellent connections to the outside world. Compensation is competitive, and benefits are solid.

    Cons

    Very large organization with annoying bureaucracy. As in all big pharma, your experience depends strongly on your immediate management, and changes can occur without good reason. It is very important to stay engaged with the outside world to prevent such events turning into crises.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Your Experience will be very different based on whether or not you have a PhD and who your manager is

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

    I worked at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits, decently competitive salary. They do have resources in the extreme for some great science, IF you can gain access to them.

    Cons

    Non-PhDs are second class citizens. Associates are frequently disrespected to their face and in front of others. PhD's can get away with grossly unprofessional behavior and not worry about repercussions unless it is done to another PhD.

    There is no respect for the work done unless it gives answers that management wants to see. If it says otherwise, you did something wrong. That isn't how science is supposed to work.

    Various lab heads have ongoing feuds that prevent associates from easily working with neighboring benches, let alone neighboring labs.

    You are often worked long hours with no compensation or comp time, depending on your manager. If you have a problem with management, no matter how severe, HR will not help you. The more severe the problem, the less help you can expect. If you are lucky enough to get a good manager, this will probably not matter, but they don't fire PhD's very often at Novartis, and bad managers are in equal numbers to good ones.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You built your management foundation on hiring PhDs with little or no management experience. It should be no surprise when they treat their junior colleagues like they were treated as grad students.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Terrible culture of high ego academics, lack of science/data driven decisions, and dysfunctional group dynamics.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Scientific Associate II  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Scientific Associate II in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are good. Money is there for equipment and resources, although the sharing of them is somewhat siloed.

    Cons

    Unless you get one of the rare PIs, you will not be allowed to participate in most of the corporate culture benefits like shorter fridays, socials, and training. Management is terrible and HR seems to spend most of it's time on recruiting to fill gaps brought about by poor employee retention. Upper mobility is near impossible as the PIs are not trained to develop staff and have no incentives to do so. My personal experience involved very verbally abusive, unprofessional, and intimidating PIs. This behavior is well known and rampant here. If the PI or project group doesn't like the result, the associate is blamed and work is redone almost until the result wanted is found, if at all possible. This is a place that is going downhill in it's science and management. There are very intelligent people here but it's not enough to make a good company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Single strike for any and all lab or vivarium mistakes is and will continue to erode the science culture. People are already afraid to speak up and report issues to anyone. The single strike policy developed by IACUC will continue to create a culture of fraud and injuries. Lack of science employee development is shameful. Most PIs don't take the reviews seriously and politics, drama, and in-fighting dictates resource allocation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Novartis is a great place to hone your research skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow  in  Basel (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in Basel (Switzerland)

    I have been working at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good opportunity to do research. plenty of opportunity for broadening and diversifying your research skills. it also offer sufficient opportunities to develop your management and communication skills.

    Cons

    Very few postdocs in one department make your scientific interactions difficult. Collaborations within the company is possible but treated with least priority.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    NIBRI is a great place to get exposure to diverse science

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Scientist I  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Scientist I in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    NIBRI offers competitive pay compared to other places in the surrounding area. NIBRI is a large and stable company which can lead to long careers at the same company.

    Cons

    As with any large company politics can sometimes get in the way of progress. Some groups can be slow to change.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    best pharma in boston

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

    Pros

    good working culture. good benefit. a lot of training and resources available. open mind. very diversified and inclusive. a lot of social activities.

    Cons

    the staff turn over rate is very high. it is difficult to get promoted. Ph.D. and non Ph.D are in two different tracks.

  11.  

    Co-op student NEU

    Current Employee - Research Assistant
    Current Employee - Research Assistant

    I have been working at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Great science work
    great staff
    expect to work overtime time without pay

    Cons

    mangement does not communicate well
    long training

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    n/a

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