The Salk Institute
3.6 of 5 34 reviews
www.salk.edu San Diego, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

The Salk Institute Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.6 34 reviews

                             

57% Approve of the CEO

The Salk Institute President William Brody

William Brody

(14 ratings)

68% of employees recommend this company to a friend
34 Employee Reviews
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    Gage Lab is great!

    Anonymous (Current Employee)

    ProsThe 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!

    ConsAlthough 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Working at the Gage Lab was a phenomenal experience.

    Volunteer (Former Employee)
    San Diego, CA

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

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

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    The view was nice

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsSalk 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.

    ConsThe 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.

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    Nice place to do research

    Research Assistant (Former Employee)
    La Jolla, CA

    ProsClose 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.

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

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Overall great place

    Research Assistant I (Former Employee)
    La Jolla, CA

    ProsGreat people, inclusive, near the ocean...

    ConsDisconnect between researchers and management

    Advice to Senior ManagementAsk for more input from researchers

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

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

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

    Advice to Senior ManagementConcentrate on people and talent and how to best nurture this talent

    – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    Postdoctoral Fellow (Current Employee)
    La Jolla, CA

    ProsNice 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).

    Consno paid paternity leave, unless your hhmi.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Heaven and Hell.

    CS (Computer and IT Services) (Former Employee)
    La Jolla, CA

    ProsBeautiful 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.

    ConsHuge 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 Senior ManagementIf 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    Postdoctoral Research Associate (Current Employee)
    San Diego, CA

    ProsCollaborative 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.

    ConsIf 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.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Good collaborative environment

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCutting edge research, lots of resources, collaborative environment

    Conslow salary, sometimes unstable positions

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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