Lawrence Berkeley Lab Research Scientist Reviews | Glassdoor

Lawrence Berkeley Lab Research Scientist Reviews

Updated May 2, 2017
8 reviews

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Research Scientist

1.9
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Michael Witherell
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Pros
Cons
  • Also Cost of living and research overhead make it not such a great choice (in 8 reviews)

  • The cost of living in the bay area is incredibly expensive and the postdoc salaries do not reflect this particular fact (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "A DOE and UC employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist
    Current Employee - Research Scientist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Government employer. Job security. Benefit.

    Cons

    Located on Berkeley hill. Takes a while to get to downtown.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "A hostile place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work quality, access to world class facilities, freedom/flexibility in your projects, benefits. All the non-research staff is awesome and helpful.

    Cons

    The following are for the computational research division where I worked for 5.5 years.

    Many researchers are quite hostile creating an unpleasant work environment. Senior researchers do not communicate with each other if they are on the same project and all the misunderstandings and issues are pushed down to the younger researchers and get caught with all the bad effects of politics. These certain senior people are not even willing to communicate properly in order to clear the situation.

    Some researchers are also quite selfish in terms of getting work done to benefit their own projects and do not care about anything else, including any problems or issues others may have - professional or personal. No one offers to provide extra help unless their name is going in the resulting publications.

    There is absolutely no professional support for career development or to understand all the politics.

    It's a place where you are on your own and can survive if you are good at politics, are selfish, and don't have issues with exploiting others for your own advancement and to reach higher.

    Advice to Management

    Really need to teach the researchers and scientists to be friendly and helpful. Need a channel to report any issues anonymously as having your name associated with any negative feedback will have dire consequences for you.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great scientific environment. Exciting science going on, top class equipment.

    Cons

    Funding for projects depends mostly on political decisions, rather than scientific merit.
    They can get rid of you extremely easily if your project stops being supported, regardless of your performance.

    Advice to Management

    Management should encourage career development, specially in young talented scientists. Unfortunately this is not currently the case .


  4. "Friendly working environment and probably the Best place to work,"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Very friendly working environment, administrative always friendly

    Cons

    Mostly soft money institution and the labs are scattered

    Advice to Management

    More programme for life science research


  5. "Okay Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Lawrence Berkeley Lab full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to learn stuff

    Cons

    Stifling Bureaucracy; top heavy organization.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Not a good place to perform independent research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Berkeley, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good salary and reasonable benefits within a prestigious name institution. Vicinity to the prestigious UC Berkeley. Fantastic location on the Berkeley's hill. State of the art computer and research laboratories facilities.

    Cons

    Postdoctoral are treated very poorly and mainly considered as cheap labor. Logic of career advancement is contrived at best. In some Divisions of the Laboratory, Senior Management does not do a good job in advancing cutting edge science.

    Advice to Management

    Improve communication to employees concerning possibilities on obtaining independent funding to further the Laboratory goals. Create career paths for terminated postdocs.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "best for ones who pursuing an academic career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist
    Current Employee - Research Scientist
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    world class scientists in next door so you can find very high chance for collaboration in various reasearch topics. It provides nice view of San Francisco area and Golden Gate bridge.

    Cons

    It's hard to balance work/life hours. tight budget. And it has very limited spaces including offices, labs, and parking. There is only one cafeteria on site, and the price is not low even there are not many choices for lunch. Always it needs to find funding sources which it's very difficult in early career stage. Living cost is very high in bay area and single income is not enough to support all expenses specially there is a child(ren) in a family.

  8. "rewarding but too much politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist
    Current Employee - Research Scientist
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    intelligent people; great resources; great benefits

    Cons

    can be competitive and political

    Advice to Management

    more career development and mentoring opportunities;