Seattle Biomedical Research Institute Reviews
Pros – Some very good scientists.
Great employer contribution to 401K.
Good medical and dental benifits and some other perks like free Orca cards for public trasportation.
Cons – Strong academic culture is not very conducive to developing vaccines and drugs.
Inefficient decision making process where everyone has to be involved in all decisions all the time.
General lack of trust and respect for the admisnistraive side of the institute by the science side.
Primarily soft money funded science and operations.
Pros – Great team of scientist, very collaborative and supportive. It's a non profit organization with a great mission. They have a lot of scientific seminars
Cons – too much politics, hard to maintain life-work balance, the compensation and benefits are not that great. Inefficient administrative structure.
Pros – Seattle BioMed has a great mission and many scientists at the Institute are very passionate and fun to work with. There are some great perks - you get a free orca card and the SLU area is a fun location to work.
Cons – Seattle BioMed unfortunately has a large and inefficient administrative structure. There is a lot of focus on capturing full indirect costs. This can negatively impact scientists.
Advice to Senior Management – If the Manager wants to hire someone, hire them. Don't waste employee time with interviewing so you can say you are transparent.
Employees talk, discrepancies in pay are noted.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
Pros – Nice people, great location, fun atmosphere
Cons – more parking for contract employees
Advice to Senior Management – keep it up!
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – Free orca card for commute
Cons – Whining manager, overworked, and underpaid.
Advice to Senior Management – Stop the ridiculous/unnecessary advice for my future career.
Pros – Seattle Biomed is a place where you can work and believe without any reservations that your efforts are going to make the world a better place. The people who work here are dedicated, helpful, and happy to collaborate; that helps create a very positive research environment. There are plenty of computational resources available as is necessary to apply systems biology to infectious diseases.
Cons – The last few years have been very difficult as far as funding for the sciences. This has strained Seattle Biomed as it has strained every research institution that I'm familiar with. At Seattle Biomed, some labs have left and the administration folks were particularly hard hit.
Advice to Senior Management – The formal systems for reviews and feedback is weak. That hurts morale. Even if the funding situation is too tight for raises, it would really help for employees to know how they're doing.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend
Pros – The mission of Seattle BioMed is highly respectable focusing on infectious diseases, particularly HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, which perfectly aligns with funding opportunities from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Basic and translational research exist side-by-side at the institute, and different labs work on vaccine development for these diseases. I interacted with and knew many of the staff here, whether IT, facilities or EH&S, everyone is really helpful and professional. Booking the shared equipment is easy, and although sometimes heavily used, the facilities staff are very helpful training scientists and resolve any problems. The building is about 10 years old and many of the labs are really well equipped, particularly the BSL-3 facilities. Importantly, there are lots of seminars from the best researchers in the World, and I saw many of the scientists in my field speak, without having to travel. Opportunities for collaborations exist, but it depends on the PIs, but researchers are generally helpful and this supports peer-to-peer knowledge transfer. There are also regular social events on and off site which are aimed at building a team atmosphere. The systems biology approach to infectious disease research seems to be paying off, now $16 million funding has been awarded for a new project. Professional development events have been growing in recent years, and there is more support from above for such events. Finally, the BioQuest academy introduces high-school kids to real research - and any scientist can get involved in these programs should they wish - a truly exceptional experience for teenagers interested in science as well as scientists interested in education.
Cons – Apart from the big 3 infectious diseases described above, less research is dedicated to the Neglected Tropical Diseases, and in the next 5-10 years, the number of these labs will undoubtedly shrink. Also, a lot of the shared equipment is old and needs more investment, with the exception of the flow cytometry core. Despite all the positives, the research scientists and staff seem undervalued and given recent funding problems due to sequestration, numerous people have been treated rather poorly before being let go. This is undoubtedly a result of the contracts for researchers, with no set duration, and a degree of dishonesty about the financial health of labs, so researchers can come from the other side of the World to find 6 months later that funding is not sufficient to keep them, and cannot achieve anything publishable. Also there seems to be next to no mentoring of research scientists by PIs in almost any lab I can think of, this can make it very difficult for new researchers to develop to the next stage in their career. Finally, although social events are good for morale, ultimately they do not make researchers happy, if they do not have time to go to to them - I usually felt pressured with work and stayed late in the lab instead.
Advice to Senior Management – Researchers scientists are an asset, and investment in them will pay off in the future, so be honest about funding and offer better contracts to new employees.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
1 person found this helpful
Pros – This is a very dysfunctional place to work. I realize there is always dysfunction, but this place takes it to a whole new level. I am speaking to the non-scientific side of things. I am not a scientist, so I can not give an opinion on that side of the tracks. Management is seriously failing. In the past year there has been a complete turn over in the finance and grants departments, which has turned the institute on it’s ear. The new leader is as clueless as a hair on a donkey, as is the hr department. I wish I had positive things to say, because the mission seems really true to heart. Moral is really low, people dislike coming to work, and have little motivation to do a good job. Trust in the institute is greatly lacking. I don’t think it is as dire as the Gates Foundation, but it is catching up, fast.
Just know what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
Cons – Great location, south lake union is hopping. Scientific studies seem worthwhile.
Advice to Senior Management – Get a clue.
2 people found this helpful
“Seems great and exciting at first, but once you sign on, it is all downhill..........................”
Pros – Great location, free leftovers from meetings
Cons – No money, Layoffs, Upper management is not transparent
Advice to Senior Management – People talk - we know more than you think
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
2 people found this helpful
Pros – The overall mission of the institute is a good one. There are many very talented and dedicated people who truly want to change the world for the better, and it's rewarding to get to work with those people.
Cons – The founder of the institute left the role of President on January 1, 2012. Since then it's been a steady slide downhill. The new President seems incapable of leading and tends to make things more about himself than the science (and science is the reason for the institute's existence). There used to be excellent communication from the leadership to "the troops"; that has dried up. It doesn't feel that there is a direction to the institute at this point, and the "leadership" is not inspiring confidence in anyone other than themselves. Their core competency is apparently generating-corporate speak to explain why they aren't at fault for the economic issues the institute is having (all while spending as much as they want on themselves and on new upper-level staff).
Advice to Senior Management – My advice to management is that they need to realize several things:
1. Making you happy is not the mission of the Institute.
2. The employees are looking for a direction, and are expecting a leader to provide it. We don't care who is in charge, as long as they do a good a job. In other words, we don't care about you personally but want someone to step up and lead.
3. Leaders inspire, and you are not inspiring anyone.
My advice to the Board of Trustees is to talk to the non-management employees and learn what is really going on inside the institute. The current President is not trustworthy and the Board needs a different perspective on things.