Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Reviews

Updated February 20, 2017
270 reviews

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3.9
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Laurie H. Glimcher
1 Rating

270 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Additionally, there is little to no room for growth in entry-level Research Assistant/CRC jobs (in 7 reviews)

  • Relatively low pay, weak benefits; low respect for research fellows (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "experience depends on lab"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    good salary, surrounded by top-notch research, access to facilities

    Cons

    individual labs can seem isolated from one another

    Advice to Management

    retirement benefits would be nice


  2. "Company Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern
    Former Employee - Intern

    I worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Less than a year)

    Pros

    As an intern, enjoyed working at DFCI because people are very friendly and willing to teach you. The researchers are very passionate about their work on cancer.

    Cons

    Commuting can be an inconvenience. It is better to just take the train/bus.


  3. "Medical Oncology"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute full-time

    Pros

    Great non profit experience, lots of collaboration

    Cons

    Difficult to grow without going back to school


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Clinical Dietitian"

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

    I have been working at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute part-time

    Pros

    I absolutely love working in this facility.

    Cons

    There are not many full time opportunities here.


  6. "Great work, great mission, poor structure"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute full-time

    Pros

    DF is an amazing place and life-changing research is being conducted every day. Physicians are committed to their patients.

    Cons

    Unless you are a practitioner here, good luck trying to grow your career. Dead-end positions abound. There is also a lack of willingness for change and innovation within the clinical research departments. Status quo remains, despite amazing talent who could contribute much more.


  7. "Research Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Metuchen, NJ
    Former Employee - Research Assistant in Metuchen, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Tons of interesting research going on and opportunities to attend seminars from some of the smartest oncologists in the industry. Depending on what research program/physician you work for, you may have the opportunity to work on some phenomenal research projects.

    Good benefits package if you aren't an expecting mother (no paid family leave for non-physician staff which frankly is deplorable coming out of a Harvard Medical School affiliate).

    Cons

    Maybe it's because of DFCI's affiliation with Harvard Medical School or this is just a general issue across academic medicine, but many of the physicians I worked with were incredibly arrogant. Research Assistants/Administrative Assistants are rarely asked to contribute ideas in meetings and are seen as clerks that push paperwork through the huge bureaucracy of DFCI. Additionally, the workplace culture does not encourage any camaraderie around anything including the work that you do. One of my study teams threw a Christmas party and none of the MDs that worked on the study showed up OR responded to the invitation stating that they wouldn't make it. From my experience, the MDs at DFCI do not care about the staff that work below them and only view them as a means to an end. If you're looking for a workplace where upper-manamgent sees you as something more than a list of job functions I suggest you look beyond Dana-Farber.

    Additionally, there is little to no room for growth in entry-level Research Assistant/CRC jobs. The pay is abysmal- especially when compared to the salaries of the higher-ups. I was explicitly told in my interview that I would not be able to advance from my role to a higher role without having a Master's degree. Many, many of my colleagues were told this as well. This attitude makes it so that everyone at DFCI puts an expiration date on their employment. I performed worse and did not feel inspired to go the extra mile because I knew that my extra efforts would not be rewarded with promotions and/or a significant raise.

    Lastly, the management structure is significantly outdated. People do not interact face-to-face on anything other than in meetings, which many physicians blow off, leave early, or are only partially present because they have so many other things going on. Other staff easily excuse the behaviors of the physicians, however I did not find their excuses to be acceptable. People would work remotely and not let their subordinates aware of their absence from the office. My simple questions would go unanswered for weeks to months at times. Then I would get reprimanded for not having the answer to the question that I had posed multiple times. DFCI needs to look to other peer-institutions and more innovative healthcare companies to think about better ways to manage their research support staff.

    Advice to Management

    Get up to speed with industry standards in compensation, workplace culture, and management for your entry-level staff. Invest in them and you won't have so much turnover. If someone is told in an interview that there is not room for growth at an organization, they immediately start to think about their next steps after this position. This has a trickle down effect that makes staff feel undervalued and unappreciated.


  8. "Summer Intern"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    I worked in a lab with post-docs. It was a great collegiate, collaborative environment. All post-docs were willing to provide career insight and extend help on projects.

    Cons

    Really nothing to complain about.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Amazing place for patients, but not for non-clinical employees"

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

    I worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work was inspiring and rewarding. Everyone is working toward the mission, not a big paycheck. Medical/dental/visual insurance was very good. Standard 40-our work week with very little expected on nights/weekends. Clinical staff & researchers all seem to love their jobs and be very satisfied.

    Cons

    No room for growth - it is rare for anyone in their 20s or 30s to stay more than 3 years. No promotions, no market value raises, no opportunities to move up into more senior roles. Very outdated style of management.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in young talent. Get rid of dead weight at the top, and create opportunities for growth. No one comes to Dana-Farber for a big paycheck, so treat your employees with respect and remember they are likely making half of what their peers at a for-profit or agency are making, so the work/life balance needs to compensate for that.


  10. "CRM review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Being with people who really care to make a difference

    Cons

    job can be demanding; it's not as easy to balance life with work


  11. "Good first job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - New Patient Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - New Patient Coordinator in Boston, MA

    I worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This was my first "professional" job experience after graduating college. I worked in the administrative sector of the hospital, scheduling new patients. The pay was good and I enjoyed learning about the specific diseases that my patients had.

    Cons

    The job itself was incredibly dull. My office was a tiny windowless room that I shared with 2 other people, within a slightly larger room that was shared by 5 others. I often felt like clinicians talked down to my colleagues and I, but hey-- that's administrative jobs, I guess.



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