Oxford University Reviews in Oxford, England | Glassdoor

Oxford University Oxford Reviews

Updated March 25, 2017
164 reviews

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Oxford, England (UK)

164 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance is non existent for most science departments, but that is expected (in 17 reviews)

  • Oxford is very expensive to live in, particularly on a PhD stipend (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Post-doct in Physics"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Post Doctoral Fellow in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Post Doctoral Fellow in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing city and community. There are only a few places in the world that can claim to have a similar number of the smartest people in the world in one place.

    Cons

    Hard to survive, the best come and the second best leave! You will find people struggle to survive in Oxford for more than a few years.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing outside of maybe huge systemic issues regarding academia - though one place is hardly at fault.


  2. "Great place to work in IT"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Linux Administrator in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Linux Administrator in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University full-time

    Pros

    A federated organisation means decisions made at multiple levels or the organisation. It is possible to effect positive local change rapidly. This is the kind of change that makes a real difference to everyday life. You get to work with smart people, who question everything and are often willling to listen. Beautiful, active, safe and vibrant city with an incredibly diverse and forward thinking community city-wide. Wages are higher for an equivalent role than nearby uni reflecting the higher cost of living. This is a place for people who want to try new things in an environment where this is encouraged.

    Cons

    You also need to be able to consider every suggestion no matter how silly it may at first sound or how bad a day you might have had. The federated structure may seem inefficient and it takes a lot of time to understand the way the unique system works. This weights the system in favour of long term employees and academic staff. Once on grade 8 permanent contract one becomes immune from any chance to loose your job which means the organisation carries a lot of dead weight. Very very hard to write a glass door review about because the federated structure means every group of 100 or so staff will have a completely different experience to the next and budgets may be uncertain ( though I have not heard of staffing budget being cut before contract ends). This is not a place for support staff who need a fixed hierarchy and job description at least in the higher pay bracket.

    Advice to Management

    There is a systemic issue that management are taken from academics who don't tend to value typical managerial skills and training. This leads to opaque decision making and can lead to a really mixed experience.


  3. "Great research, more scholarships should be made available"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - DPhil Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - DPhil Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Beautiful place
    - High level research

    Cons

    - Salary doesn't match up to the expense of living in Oxford


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  5. "Oxford Uni review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lab Technician in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of staff benefits such as cheap access to gym and a good pension scheme.

    I's a prestigious name to have on your CV.

    Work-life balance was encouraged.

    Cons

    HR in my department were incompetent and regularly made mistakes including getting the holiday entitlement wrong.

    The contracts my colleagues and I were employed on were short fixed-term contracts so felt like I had no long-term job security.

    Management was lacking and their style was very negative.

     There was no room for career progression.

    Advice to Management

    To be open to new ideas, and to treat staff with more respect. Maybe re-evaluate the use of fixed-term contracts as the department has long-term funding, these are not necessary.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "A place I would go back"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Website Editor/Lodge Porter in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Website Editor/Lodge Porter in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Employment appreciation, friendly environment, various employment benefits

    Cons

    Limited sharing of each department's duties, lack of communication between higher management and lower management

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employment feedback.


  7. "Postdoc"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Researcher in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Brilliant people. Very helpful professors. Beautiful campus with parks everywhere. Great place to think deep.

    Cons

    Just don't be swayed away by tourists.

    Advice to Management

    They are already doing great


  8. "PhD student DTP"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - PhD Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great facilities for science and fantastic networking opportunities

    Cons

    Culture of arrogance and elitism pervades every aspect of the Uni.


  9. "Beware of choosing a bad lab in the JR hospital!!!!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Perform good research if you are in a good lab

    Cons

    There are some labs that are not doing proper research but just politics. These are what my PIs are:

    1) PIs have poor knowledge of their research, they even ask you what journals should submit to.
    2) Differential treatment - they bully some members to work for other senior members.
    3) The PIs don't care about your feeling, dead or alive. They will sacrifice you to get what they want.
    4) They praise you in front of you but they said bad thing about you in front of another colleague to make that colleague better.
    5) Force you to try many new projects that are not likely to work to waste money and time.

    I am sure many labs here are good, but some are really substandard. Beware of those labs that are managed by more than one PIs, suggesting managerial problems. If they are not in the city center but isolated in a hospital like JR hospital and within a small departmemt (NDXXX), this reflects poor research support. Just like mine one.

    Advice to Management

    Please stop abusive PIs from bullying submssive staff. They are clever and just picked foreigners to bully and abuse because they won't complaints. This should not be allowed!


  10. "The greatest university in the world, but from another age"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - DPhil Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - DPhil Student in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Unparalleled research opportunities and connections with some of the most cutting-edge thought. A beautiful city and a world class teaching environment.

    Cons

    Archaic course structure. Unpredictable employment and work load. Much of the teaching lacks in transferable usefulness. Lack of development opportunities if you don't have existing connections with tenured fellows.


  11. "Highest standard in every respect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Oxford University as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    The university has been around for centuries, and understandably everything is extremely well organised.
    Admin staff was very competent, and I was lucky to work with a very pro-active, enthusiastic PI.
    With that concentration of foreigner and highly skilled people in the city, it is also a great place to meet with interesting people outside your disciple.

    Cons

    Everything seems to happen as part of a college, club, team, etc. As a postdoc, you will mostly likely not be part of any particular group, and as an outsider, will irremediably be left out of the loop in many respects.



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