Southern Research Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

Southern Research Institute Reviews

Updated February 14, 2017
49 reviews

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2.5
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Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D.
14 Ratings

49 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • flexible hours, great 401K, occasional free meals, interesting work, most employees are quite nice to be around (in 4 reviews)

  • Good Benefits, Team Environment, flexible working schedule (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Senior leadership in Life Sciences is out of touch with both the business and the science (in 3 reviews)

  • Just announced 40 person layoff (almost 10% of the company) (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Exceptional colleagues"

    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

    I have been working at Southern Research Institute full-time

    Pros

    The caliber of personnel in the research and development areas is exceptional.
    Support to pursue innovation is universal.
    Accommodation for flexible hours is high.

    Cons

    Turnover in the past couple of years has been extreme, resulting in a lack of continuity of system support.

    Advice to Management

    Focus some energy and resources on succession planning in the support areas so that the systems can be sustained when personnel leave!


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Good place to start"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southern Research Institute full-time

    Pros

    Great 401K. Flexible hours. Very supportive of continued education goals. Immediate coworkers are great and help you get through the day.

    Cons

    Good ol' boys mentality through and through. You'll notice immediately that men are groomed to grow and women are kept in lower positions. Forget about your personal career goals. Extremely high turn over. Everything is always in flux and morale is really low. Some employees are completely abused where as others have to practically beg to work.

    Advice to Management

    EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. Have superiors that care about your career development.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Top Heavy Company that needs revamping"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southern Research Institute full-time

    Pros

    Decent benefits, mediocre salary, great for a resume.

    Cons

    No one is held accountable for their actions,


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


  5. "Good Experiece"

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

    Pros

    As a co-op, exposed to a lot of interesting and cool research.

    Cons

    Could be monotonous day in and day out


  6. "Good Dynamics"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Riverside, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Riverside, IL

    I worked at Southern Research Institute (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great team environment working together on projects.

    Cons

    could do better on the planning side of things.


  7. "chemical engineer"

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

    Pros

    good co workers, good work environment

    Cons

    life and work cannot be balanced


  8. "Unique Employer in Birmingham"

    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 Southern Research Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    One of the few employers in Alabama that offers jobs in an R&D environment.

    Organization is gaining momentum as it modernizes and recruits talent. Seeing leaders build an organization is a good experience and creates a sense of revitalization for employees.

    Cons

    Challenging business model that puts constant pressure in personnel to deliver.

    Mismanagement in prior decades left the organization with large number of issues to be resolved, which limited growth.

    Advice to Management

    Keep at it! What you're doing to drive change is working but you have more to do. These changes should include major facility decisions, reduction in overheads including a reduction in administrative headcount. Make sure you have a plan so that the daily ups-and-downs don't cause you to be nearsighted - make decisions for the long term. Don't hire any more VPs!


  9. "Excellent long term career potential"

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

    Pros

    Interesting and challenging R&D projects
    Encouraged to pursue new areas of research
    Very competitive benefits
    Plenty of room for professional growth
    Current leadership welcomes staff input and ideas

    Cons

    Not for profit = no bonuses, salaries slightly below those of for profit businesses

    Advice to Management

    Listen to and reward your top performers


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Big mess for a long time"

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

    Pros

    Some of the smartest, hardest working, caring people I've ever worked with were at Southern when I arrived in 1998. They really cared about you when you were recruited to join the institute as a researcher, and wanted to see you succeed because it meant they succeeded.

    Cons

    They had several re-organizations, and then re-affiliated with UAB which led to major changes in management and mission due to competition from across the street. The SRI BOD was UAB focused, and they have systematically dismantled the once proud organization over the past almost 10 years. While I was consistently promoted, I left when it was clear that the decisions on what the labs would do were not being made at the lab level any longer. I miss the people there, and miss Birmingham as it was one of the nicest places I've ever lived.

    Advice to Management

    Become more independent, sell the southside campus to UAB and move the whole operation to ERC and that campus. Become a smaller, focused technology driver, and make bigger bets on fewer things. Get investment from local wealth to rekindle the love of R, not just D in R&D. I think that the leaders got the idea that they could all get rich off SRI innovations, and that became the focus rather than doing something good to answer a true need in the world. If you do that, you could get rich too, but if you don't try to do it that way, you will likely fail all around.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "No future"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Birmingham, AL
    Former Employee - Senior Scientist in Birmingham, AL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southern Research Institute full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There was a lot of good - salaries, benefits, retirement, vacation time, and professional culture

    Cons

    No all dissipated because of incompetence of new management. New corporate culture is "culture" below city sewer level

    Advice to Management

    Go away - you collected a lot for nice retirement



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