American Institutes for Research Reviews | Glassdoor

American Institutes for Research Reviews

Updated April 12, 2017
73 reviews

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4.0
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American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
David Myers
31 Ratings

73 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Some sections of the organization struggle with work-life balance (in 29 reviews)

  • SVPs are generally hard-charging and unwilling to compromise with their direct reports and the management-level staff actually leading the work (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Depends on which part of the company you work for..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Communications Specialist in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Communications Specialist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, wonderful team culture, genuinely nice colleagues.

    Cons

    Some sections of the organization struggle with work-life balance.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Headed in the Right Direction!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    AIR offers flexibility, impactful initiatives around diversity and inclusion programs, great pay and meaningful / engagning Work

    Cons

    There is still a bit of antiquated thinking among leadership regarding visibility, telecommuting, and work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to pay closer attention to trends in feedback from employees in order to better guide next steps.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Remote work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Principal Project Specialist in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Principal Project Specialist in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Has one of the most progressive approaches to teleworking with options to work in different locations or work from home. Have great systems to support employees to work from home.

    Cons

    Some staff didn't like having tracking software on their phones and laptops - but I think it was a great for keeping everyone accountable about their remote work hours.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Research Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC

    I worked at American Institutes for Research (More than a year)

    Pros

    Depending on the size of the program and the team you work with, the projects can be quite interesting. I was in a smaller program and the researchers on the team did not micromanage the RAs. Tasks were given, but there was a steep learning curve, which I enjoyed having, and that independence helped me grow as an RA. I learned a lot from the researchers as well as other RAs I was surrounded with.

    Cons

    The programs are fairly independent from each other. AIR is a big company, but you don't interact with others outside of your program, even if you work on the same floor. There wasn't really a chance to get to know others outside of the program.

    Advice to Management

    Pay RAs more similarly to other nonprofits, such as Urban Institute or Brookings. Our pay as RAs was lower, until something happened where the base pay was raised to match other similar firms.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Program Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I was surrounded by people who really valued my ideas even though I was in a lower position. They also really care about your professional growth within the company. I enjoyed working with people who cared about what they did and shared their knowledge with others.

    Cons

    I noticed that in order to get promoted, you HAVE to have a master's degree and you have to write a significant amount of grants. I think this is very common in the nonprofit space in DC, but I definitely see it as a con. Grant writing often takes away from the actual work that you want to do and needs to get done.

    Advice to Management

    We should have professional grant writers for each department to lighten the load on the experts trying to do the work.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Values driven company struggling with growth"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    You'll work with great, smart colleagues. You might have the ability to work on many diverse projects. Many offices across the nation.

    Cons

    There has been a reorganization that was not quite ready for prime time when it was rolled out, causing lots of stress. You have to find projects to cover your time and it isn't easy to find 20% time (for example) on someone else's project.


  8. "Overall great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Developer Associate in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Web Developer Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at American Institutes for Research (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with and a great place to grow.

    Cons

    Health benefits and overall benefits were not as good at the time of this review and had been starting to decline in the last two years.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Good Experience Overall"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    They have great benefits. If you're lucky, there are some amazing project directors, and or research teams to work with too.

    Cons

    A little too bureaucratic at times. If you get stuck with a bad staff manager your life can be a living hell unfortunately.

    Advice to Management

    I think they should choose their staff managers more carefully. There should also be a formal review of staff managers by their managees.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to start"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Test Developer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Test Developer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    AIR is a good place to build your skills, and it offers a lot of opportunities to gain experience in project management. I started at an entry-level position and quickly earned responsibilities that you might be barred from in other organizations (like representing the organization and facilitating meetings with state agencies). As long as you have the ambition, you can take ownership of projects that have a great impact.

    I was a part of the assessment division. The work was interesting and varied day-to-day. If you are personally more interested in coding or writing/reviewing or project management or meeting facilitation, you can easily find yourself in these roles as long as you actively pursue it and voice your preference. The staff were very supportive, and if you want to learn something, you need only to ask or drop by someone's office.

    Some great perks include a casual dress code, coffee, juice, and soda machines, flexible work schedule and the ability to work remotely (with permission), drawings for baseball tickets (the seats are right behind Nats dugout), tuition reimbursement, and great healthcare and dental plans.

    Cons

    I mentioned that you can take ownership of projects as long as you have ambition. Unfortunately, there are some staff members who "fly under the radar," and it can be exhausting to motivate or rely on them. The staff who take a lot of initiative and do a good job are often rewarded/punished by having more work assigned to them. Additionally, there are quite a few staff members who have mastered the art of seeming busy. You may find yourself having to rely on them and then doing their work for which they will receive credit. I suppose that is typical anywhere, but it doesn't make it less frustrating.

    The deadlines can be crushing. Sometimes you are told at the end of the day to have something completed by the next morning.

    If you make a bad first impression with a few senior managers, it can be very difficult to change their perception. It may cause your career to become stalled.

    Towards the end of my time at AIR, I found that communication among teams started to become restricted. We were told that meetings among certain colleagues were forbidden. I believe this was upper management's attempt to minimize gossip and rumors, but it made getting information, collaborating, and project planning difficult.

    The range of salary for each position is alarmingly wide. It's quite possible to be managing staff that are making much more than you at positions you occupied years ago.

    Advice to Management

    I would definitely start by encouraging your content development teams to communicate more with project management. I was personally able to do this because I managed projects where I was given more autonomy than others, and I quickly realized that I knew more about how things work and why we do this-and-that than my peers. It made problem-solving, delegating, meeting deadlines, and finding resources so much easier.


  11. "great place to expose your self to different things"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tier II Network Support in Reston, VA
    Current Employee - Tier II Network Support in Reston, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    great working environment, free bagel and coffee (what ever floats your boat)

    Cons

    none at the moment that i can think of.

    Advice to Management

    keep up the good work


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