The Salk Institute

  www.salk.edu
  www.salk.edu
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The Salk Institute Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
35 Reviews
3.6
35 Reviews
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The Salk Institute President William Brody
William Brody
14 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Gage Lab is great!

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

    I have been working at The Salk Institute as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    The people in the lab are very friendly and helpful which makes it easy to ask questions and learn from them. The building is situated in a very nice part of San Diego!

    Cons

    Although the price is very reasonable, there is only a small cafeteria which offers a limited selection of food. It would be nice to have more ethnic choices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Nice place to work

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

    I have been working at The Salk Institute full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

    low salary, poor treatment for postdoc

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Working at the Gage Lab was a phenomenal experience.

    Former Employee - Volunteer  in  San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Volunteer in San Diego, CA

    I worked at The Salk Institute as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    The people are smart, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the discussions are engaging.

    Cons

    Maybe that every intern starts off as a volunteer without pay.

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  5.  

    Nice place to do research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Assistant  in  La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in La Jolla, CA

    I worked at The Salk Institute as an intern for 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.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    The view was nice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The Salk Institute part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Salk is a good place to learn, if you are willing to put in the effort you have the opportunity to learn a lot. There are lots of great people with reputations to follow.

    Cons

    The biggest complaint is the fact that they don't pay much. Considering where the institute is located it may be a good idea to compensate the employees better.

    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Overall great place

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

    I worked at The Salk Institute full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great people, inclusive, near the ocean...

    Cons

    Disconnect between researchers and management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ask for more input from researchers

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to work, if only they can be more open and transparent, and focus more on the science than making money

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

    I have been working at The Salk Institute

    Pros

    Lots of talented people, great work atmosphere, top quality science

    Cons

    too much orientation towards science that will bring in money. Concentrate more on basic science

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Concentrate on people and talent and how to best nurture this talent

    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Heaven and Hell.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - CS (Computer and IT Services)  in  La Jolla, CA
    Former Employee - CS (Computer and IT Services) in La Jolla, CA

    I worked at The Salk Institute full-time for 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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Salk is great, your job will be great or not, depending on your specific PI.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow  in  La Jolla, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in La Jolla, CA

    I have been working at The Salk Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice campus, right on the cliffs. Friendly administrators, top notch support staff. Great seminars and social events. Free parking. Decent cafeteria (after a lot of trouble with that).

    Cons

    no paid paternity leave, unless your hhmi.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    For a post-doc, it's a great place to work in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate  in  San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at The Salk Institute full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Collaborative environment
    Top notch science being done there.
    All kinds of core facilities available (although at a charge, but accessible and there).
    Excellent speakers for seminars (noble laureates continuously come to speak).
    Has a Society for Research Fellows that organizes some nice events and aids newcomers.

    Cons

    If you go in asa post-doc, there's a glass ceiling, and if you go for a faculty position, there's a lot of politics involved. (Might be like other institutes..)
    As always, must be careful what PI you choose to work with.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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