University of Chicago Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

University of Chicago Chicago Reviews

Updated October 18, 2017
129 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

3.0
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Robert J. Zimmer
25 Ratings

129 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Graduate students don't have any way to ensure good work-life balance (in 24 reviews)

  • Obscenely low pay made it difficult to find a good out-of-work life (in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting place to work but has it's challenges"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    The Lab is doing cutting edge research and provided great hands-on experience in experimental research design for an aspiring researcher. I had a lot of autonomy to problem solve. During times when the lab was not busy, I had the opportunity to pursue research ideas and create new projects. I had exposure to just about every aspect of research operations so I left feeling very equipped for my next career steps in academic research.

    Although I was able to learn a lot, the challenges of the job could outweigh the positives, depending what a person wants to get out of the position (see cons). I cautioned the person who came after me before they accepted the job to know what they were getting into. My advice is go in eyes wide open.

    Cons

    The Lab's leaders are busy with other responsibilities so there were often delays in communication and decision-making. Sometimes the leaders forgot the decisions they had made in the past, requiring that we rehash discussions we'd had weeks or months before. At times those rehashed discussions led to new decisions, requiring a change of direction and the feeling that time was wasted and work was not appreciated or valued. This was especially stressful when we were working under tight deadlines.


  2. "Some great aspects, some not so great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Professor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Professor in Chicago, IL
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at University of Chicago full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fabulous colleagues, intellectually stimulating, super students, supportive of exciting and (some) innovative projects. “Life of the mind” means great opportunities for developing projects and engaging colleagues within and beyond institution.

    Cons

    Can be stodgy, slow to support pursuits that are not within known and well trod rubrics ie those that expand their “life of the mind” rhetoric. Salaries not kept on par with cost of living or based on merit rather must get outside offer to see any increase.

    Advice to Management

    ‘’Tis true universities are corporations and as such, need to treat well those within so as to build positive working environment, loyalty, and strong energy.

  3. "Good but not great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Graduate Research Assistant in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at University of Chicago (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Stipend is competitive

    Research can be top tier depending on group

    Research tend to be small and allow you to get personalized attention from adviser

    Cons

    Unversity seems to not care about student quality of life - they do not provide benefits like a free UPass which all other universities in the area do.

    Core facilities are mid-tier

    Health insurance is mediocre and does not include dental and vision


  4. "3 stars sounds about right"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Tech in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Lab Tech in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours, often I can decide what hours I will come in, as long as I put in the appropriate amount of work

    Cons

    Unsafe neighborhood, we frequently get email alerts about recent thefts and mugging. Crime generally goes up in summer so even during daytime you don't feel very safe if you're walking to your car (if you are parked off campus)

    Advice to Management

    NA


  5. "Research Assistant"

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

    I have been working at University of Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Learn from bright scholars, independence, good for getting reference letters.

    Cons

    Low payment and informality. No benefits.


  6. "Over all"

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

    I worked at University of Chicago full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefit, Flexible schedule, great working enviroment

    Cons

    they expect A LOT from you. Sometimes you end up working during weekend or evening if you have to but you don't get paid overtime.

    Advice to Management

    all good.


  7. "Bioinformatics programmer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bioinformatics Programmer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Bioinformatics Programmer in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Amazing job! I worked in a population genetics focussed research lab in the dept of human genetics. I published 5 papers in a single year, two with first author focus. I enjoyed collaborating with graduate students and postdocs, and implementing software pipelines for others, or the ones I conceived myself for the few first author projects

    Cons

    Had no work-life balance. Mostly worked all the time. But the pay was great. I also loved doing research, so definitely enjoyed the publications coming through.

    Advice to Management

    Slow paper work processing, especially for new hires.

  8. "why is a title required?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    good work life balance for the most part

    Cons

    the work culture is sort of strange


  9. "Good, collaborative environment."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Scholar in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    A great environment where good work where is prized and collaboration is highly encouraged. The administrative and technical support personnel are, as a rule, exemplary, and the pay is above market.

    Cons

    A high focus on advertising and selling science distracts from research. Very little supervisor investment in continued education or job placement kills prospects after these positions.

    Advice to Management

    Engage supervisors in training about effective mentoring and advising. Either allow retirement vesting for temporary employees or do not offer matching 403B contributions.


  10. "Staff scientist at U of C"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Professional in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Research Professional in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Decent benefits, terrific microscope facilities

    Cons

    Low salaries, dental and vision benefits could be better.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people well enough so they can make a meaningful commitment to the institution.


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