Salk Institute Reviews

Updated August 4, 2015
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3.8
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Salk Institute President William Brody
William Brody
14 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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  1. Where cures begin

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Researcher in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Researcher in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Salk Institute full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Very strong in cancer biology, neurosciences, stem cell and plant research. Good environment for both sciences and arts. people are all very smart and friendly here.

    Cons

    I don't think there is any big Cons here.


  2. Postdoc at Salk

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Salk Institute (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful view, top-notch research, diverse scientific research going on here.

    Cons

    No real benefits, but this is the same for all postdoc positions anywhere in the US.

    Advice to Management

    Provide support for families. Must provide daycare options! As of now, it is impossible to obtain daycare at nearby institutes, the waitlist is outrageous.


  3. Lab Technician

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Lab Technician in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great atmosphere. I love the flexibility of my schedule and the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of tasks. All of m supervisors have been amazing and the HR here are relatively helpful.

    Cons

    The pay is a little low but other than that there are so many great benefits.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    Great academic institution

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Salk Institute (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    State of the art great research environment always leading the any field of research

    Cons

    Pay less well but for an academic fine


  6. The work is challenging, but the pay is low

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Salk Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to start your career

    Cons

    Pay Retirement doesn't match until 2 yr


  7. Research at Salk

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Salk Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Highly collaborative team-work environment, plenty of resources including several core facilities, lots of talented scientists and postdocs, and perfect seaside view. Scientific events and seminars provide great learning opportunities. Free parking.

    Cons

    Poor treatment for postdocs with low pay for long-hours work. Longer average postdoc length: 5 years at least. Living expense in San Diego area is relatively high for the postdoc salary.


  8. Nice place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Salk Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    good research, nice environment, lots of good people to work with

    Cons

    low salary, poor treatment for postdoc


  9. Nice place to do research

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Research Assistant in La Jolla, CA
    Former Intern - Research Assistant in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Salk Institute as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    Close to UCSD and Scripps makes Salk Institute a unique place for doing biological research. People are open-minded and easygoing there. You can run on the black beach down the hill, which is very nice.

    Cons

    Salary is quite low compared with the high living expense in that area.


  10. Overall great place

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant I in La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant I in La Jolla, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Salk Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people, inclusive, near the ocean...

    Cons

    Disconnect between researchers and management

    Advice to Management

    Ask for more input from researchers


  11. Helpful (4)

    Heaven and Hell.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - CS (Computer and IT Services) in La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - CS (Computer and IT Services) in La Jolla, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Salk Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful topside architecture. World-class scientific community. If you are a scientist, you may find yourself rewarded and among a wonderful culture of hard-working people. Ocean-view, sunset celebrations ensue when a paper is published within a lab. The Heaven: standing on the edge of the earth every morning, looking out into the Pacific Ocean. Salk was built with a land grant onto one of the most beautiful locations on the planet.

    Cons

    Huge chasm between faculty and administration causing a major communication breakdown. Also a breakdown from lab to lab. Labs maintain a tremendous deal of autonomy, so the person in charge of a lab may demonstrate relentless hostility toward anyone in a staff position if they feel dissatisfied with staff. Many of the faculty have worked here between 20 and 40 years, and they feel a sense of ownership with the institute and its buildings. There are also veteran staff employees as well, some of whom have never had another job in their entire lives. Say what you will about job security, but I think some diversity would behoove both the work environment and the employee. There ought to be encouragement and career-path plans for employees to move and grow. This is not the Navy (example: try getting a job at the graphic art department there, where 5 employees have warmed the chairs for a total of 85 years). Little to no accountability in a given department. Gross dichotomy in cultures among departments. Many departments will offer work-from-home (a PRO), whereas others will shun the idea. This creates a hugely unfair perception among employees. The Hell: Whereas 3 floors of this magnificent community are built above ground, looking over the big blue sea, 3 are completely underground. Employees who work in these spaces never see the light of day during their work hours. Animal resources and Central IT are completely underground, and those who work these spaces appear to be in anti-social climates. Salk is funded almost entirely on grant money, and many of the staff feed off of the stress that comes with the approval process. This can make anybody's job at Salk a stressful one. Also, there are almost NO choices for food vending within walking distance. You have: the Salk Cafe, the little lunch place at the Glider Port, and Ventanas (a student/faculty cafeteria) across at UCSD. One must drive two miles over to LJV Square for other choices, or trek deep into the UCSD campus for the Price Center. In summary, the Salk culture is extremely fragmented and full-up with disgruntled management. The bar needs to be raised insofar as "positive culture" for the Institute as a whole. Perhaps they've done that in the past 4 years, but as I talk to those who have worked there, or are still working there, the experience still seems to be traumatic, confounding, or simply negative for many.

    Advice to Management

    If there WERE a type of strong management in place... I would suggest a stronger administration model. As it stood, P.I.s and lab managers ran each of their labs like it was their castle, and they were warring among each other. This place really needs to get its work-life model off the ground. Salk clearly has decades of bad behavior to overcome.



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