Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

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Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Reviews

Updated August 7, 2015
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3.3
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Director Charles Alcock
Charles Alcock
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1. SAO is full of dedicated smart people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Physic Ist in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Physic Ist in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    World-class colleagues. Access to good facilities.

    Cons

    Increasingly bureaucratic with administrative considerations given more weight than the needs of scientists.

    Advice to Management

    Provide company credit cards (not P-cards) for those needing to make lots of small (under $1000) purchases.


  2. Awful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    TIAA-CREF, I guess. Nothing exceptional.

    Cons

    This place is... horrible. Bigotry, inappropriate language, and favoritism are rampant. Complaints are treated with reprisals. Management has a hierarchy that prevents openness and cooperation. Yearly reviews are biased and capable people who are not part of the special cliques are disregarded. Awful educational benefits for an institution connected to Harvard. The yearly surveys are ignored. Boston is an expensive place to live. SAO salaries are well-below averages. This place is in desperate need of new management.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your people.


  3. Good place to do astrophysics.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    One of the largest concentrations of astrophysicists in the world.

    Cons

    No new large projects; money is tight.


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  5. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Astronomer in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Astronomer in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends

    Pros

    - great place for research - great team working opportunities - relaxed and professional work atmosphere - excellent community environment (Harvard & MIT nearby)

    Cons

    - off-site from main Smithsonian location in Washington - limited access to Smithsonian resources - limited access to Harvard resources - limited funding/professional development opportunities

    Advice to Management

    - better collaboration between Smithsonian in Washington and the Harvard SMithsonian Center for Astrophysics, e.g. a bi-annual Smithsonian conference - improved options for professional development within the Harvard community



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