Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Reviews

Updated May 18, 2017
295 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.0
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Laurie H. Glimcher
9 Ratings

295 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Due to low pay, it's not a good place to stick around for good amount of time (in 15 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Student Researcher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Student Researcher in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Student Researcher in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Working at Dana Farber as a student researcher has been an amazing experience. Friendly environment, dedication to teaching and a love of science.

    Cons

    HR can be annoying and there is a lot of bureaucracy to get a valid ID as a student

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up


  2. "Admin Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Boston, MA

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

    Pros

    Hours, Money, Benefits, Area, Growth

    Cons

    Commute, Parking, Small Offices, No Maternity Leave, Expensive


  3. "Great ecosystem for a Research Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Research Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Diversity (talented coworkers from around the world), Flexibility to pursue graduate education, and the Benefits are Great!

    Cons

    Salary - Research Assistants/Associates do not make much money, but you do learn a lot.


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  5. "Love it here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, great morale, lots of room to move up

    Cons

    Grueling interview process, not a lot of direction


  6. "Clinical Administrative Support Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Clinical Administrative Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Clinical Administrative Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Discounted MBTA passes, discounts on bills including Verizon and ATT etc., some flexibility to work from , paid weekly

    Cons

    Time off accrues slowly - for new full time employees: 1.83 sick hours per week, 2.8 vacation hours per week, three standard floating holidays
    No institution-wide work from home policy, determined at discretion of manager
    Many administrative roles work 8.5 hour days


  7. "Nice place to do science"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Fellow in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Research Fellow in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    cutting-edge science. smart people all around you

    Cons

    low pay in terms of the education level. good place to gain background but not good place to stay too long. some people are rude.


  8. "post doctoral researcher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    world-class research, incredible scientific community, and very supportive HR

    Cons

    none! very good working environment


  9. "Not neefef"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - No Needed in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - No Needed in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    The illusion that you are helping a great cause.

    Cons

    The previous review of a cut throat culture is true, the turn-around is horrendous, they will blame you for their years of miss management, there is no advancement and very very low pay

    Advice to Management

    Management knows there are issues, all they care about is getting more money in their pockets, sad but very true.


  10. "An excellent organization truly devoted to patients and learning."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Clinical Research Coordinator in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    At DF I found talented and compassionate colleagues, positive work environment, opportunities within the organization for role changes and continued learning.

    Cons

    At DF no matter the area in which you work, patients are a presence on the campus. Their presence motivates your work day to day.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "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.


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