National Academy of Sciences Reviews | Glassdoor

National Academy of Sciences Reviews

Updated April 13, 2017
81 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.4
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Ralph J. Cicerone
24 Ratings

81 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The work/life balance is better than any place I've worked before (in 7 reviews)

  • Great benefits for a postdoc, including travel funds (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • Limited upward mobility without graduate degree (in 7 reviews)

  • Larger increases are bestowed on senior management (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great Mission, Difficult Administration"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Academy of Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The work is engaging, interesting, and meaningful. You have the ability to meet and work with some of the best minds in the country and to serve your community.

    Cons

    The staff management is lacking. Policies are not always clear and staff development is not a priority of the management. Some of this is a result of the soft money funding mechanism, but some of it is lack of fresh thinking in management.


  2. "Okay benefits with non-flexible work"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Academy of Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Depending on your unit and division, you will help with many diverse groups and intelligent individuals. Benefits are substantial. Office close to metros and downtown.

    Cons

    Telework is frowned upon based on your unit and division. Majority of organizations in the area have progressed with flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and compressed schedules. NAS offers telework and flexible schedules, but it's rare and up to the supervisor of the division. Generation gap is likely for the reason; millennials mindsets clashing with others. The lack of upward mobility is also a concern and many of the younger generation leave within a few years. Pay is lower than other organizations in area with little room for negotiation.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate with supervisors and new hires about flexible work schedules better. Allow for open mindedness. Strive for a better professional development program that would allow employees to go to outside conferences to learn more.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Old Meets New ... Hope for Potential"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at National Academy of Sciences full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Exciting projects
    Prestigious work
    Knowledgeable staff
    Talented and dedicated volunteers
    Good place to work for 1.5-2 years.

    Cons

    The leadership and senior staff are stuck in 1965-1970; things that were once normal are not normal in today's society - a great deal of unconscious (and conscious) sexism, nepotism, and ageism. There is a genuine interest in evolving the organizational culture, but the leadership really needs to higher an outside consultant to champion this and build a division to support change - it will take years.

    Advice to Management

    Hire a consultant to help manage the 4 generations in the office and provide a full scale division to create long-lasting change.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Not the greatest environment"

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

    I have been working at National Academy of Sciences (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Incredible way to build a network and connections with the global experts in any field.

    Cons

    The workplace environment is not very collegial or collaborative. Backstabbing is common as is territorial approach to work. There is also a culture of paranoia that someone is trying to steal your work or funding steams. Promotions and raises are hard to come by.

    Advice to Management

    Build up morale and develop better sense of job security among your employees


  6. "Great place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Laurel, MD
    Former Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Laurel, MD

    I worked at National Academy of Sciences (More than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent place to learn about science policy.

    Cons

    Nothing bad to report about the National Academies


  7. "Great place to work"

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

    I worked at National Academy of Sciences full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, supportive environment. Get to work with experts in the field of public health and social sciences. Great benefits package.

    Cons

    Salary is low. I would have given the place a 5 star if it weren't for the salary, and it's hard to get promoted.


  8. "Good people, good role in society."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at National Academy of Sciences (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Working at the NAS is work that matters. The people are intelligent and dedicated to the mission of providing solid, up-to-date, scientific, medical and engineering information to inform policy on the most challenging issues of our current world. Great location near metro, too!

    Cons

    Sometimes the work feels removed from what's happening "on the ground."


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to stay for way too long"

    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
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is, in many ways, a great place to work! My coworkers are all incredibly smart and motivated, as well as very nice to work with. The work is fairly interesting.

    Cons

    There's very little opportunity to move up or move around. You end up staying in the same roll for years. People become complacent and stay for 20, 30, 40 years. Pay is not competitive for the field.

    Advice to Management

    Come up with a more compelling business model that isn't based on congressionally funded reports that take a minimum of two years to complete. It's the information age and no one waits two years for information anymore.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Great Starting Point for Public Health Professional"

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

    I have been working at National Academy of Sciences full-time

    Pros

    Through the Health and Medicine Division, I have received privy access to experts and leaders in the field of public health. The Academies has a library staff that is incredibly helpful when researching a topic. Staff is well versed and schooled in their field and can write and speak incredibly well, even on subjects outside of their expertise.

    Cons

    Mentorship at the Academies is sub-par. Upon joining the Academies, you are assigned a mentor to help you with the position to which you applied, but not necessarily a career adviser. Supervisors at the Academies are often academics, but not always trained to be managers.

    Advice to Management

    Research best-practices in mentorship (Noblis for example). Provide clearer delineation of positions to give junior staff the chance to prepare goals. Multiple positions often share many similar duties, making it difficult to identify what is needed for advancement.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "NAS - Staff Make It a Good Place"

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

    I worked at National Academy of Sciences full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The fellow employees make this organization one to be a part. They offer guidance in getting started in the organization and provide information on the various departments operate. The benefits are good. The work schedule is 37.5 hours per week.

    Cons

    Upward mobility is limited to none at the NAS. Annual increases are minimal 2-2.5% for middle to lower level staff. This is the annual increase based on an outstanding performance review. Larger increases are bestowed on senior management.

    Advice to Management

    Remember the staff that performs much of the work.



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