Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Reviews | Glassdoor

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Reviews

Updated June 26, 2017
33 reviews

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4.3
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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution President & Director Susan K. Avery
Susan K. Avery
11 Ratings

33 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer II in Woods Hole, MA
    Current Employee - Engineer II in Woods Hole, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Best work atmosphere imaginable. You can bring your dog to work. Surrounded by brilliant people. If you have a question about something and ask around, chances are you will find somebody who is an expert of that subject, regardless what it is.

    Cons

    Funding instability. The experience varies completely depending on what group you are with, as there is very little consistency. Every hour you work needs to be billable to a project, so your total hours per week needs to equal 40 on the dot. If you come up short, you are supposed to either take PTO, unpaid leave, or drop down to 3/4 or 1/2 time. To prevent this, you generally need to take on more projects, which often pushes the work week beyond 40 hours (no extra pay).


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Pick a good one"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Research Assistant in Woods Hole, MA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student Research Assistant in Woods Hole, MA

    Pros

    Generally work is pretty flexible with the potential to telecommute depending on your research field. It's a relaxed atmosphere and most scientists are friendly and very helpful.

    Cons

    If you aren't a full time scientist, work-life balance can be challenging. As a graduate student research assistant you are at your manager's beck and call. If you have a nice and understanding manager, things can be very easy. If not....

  3. "Good environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Woods Hole, MA
    Current Employee - Graduate Student in Woods Hole, MA

    I have been working at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    A lot of interdisciplinary work.

    Cons

    Sometimes hard to get the chance to participate in things other than science.


  4. "Good Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Falmouth, MA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Falmouth, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There were passionate people. There was interesting research. The science is cutting edge. Overall a great place to work. Good times.

    Cons

    The usual cons of academia. Some competitiveness but probably better than most prestigious institutions. Location is not particularly interesting. Cape Cod year round is not necessarily ideal.

    Advice to Management

    Keep working against climate change. As much as possible try not to do research for oil. Hopefully you can increase salaries to be competitive


  5. "Wonderful Experience to have, especially for students"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Assistant in East Falmouth, MA
    Former Employee - Lab Assistant in East Falmouth, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice relaxed atmosphere, with a lot of the scientists being veterans and knowing their stuff. Willing to help out a new employee and in a nice location, especially in the summer.

    Cons

    Can get rote and repetitive, especially the rather dreary buildings and campus.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Weak management and poor job security"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Falmouth, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Falmouth, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There is no unified Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, there are just projects. If you are on an interesting project with a reasonable team then you can have a good experience.

    Cons

    Interestingly if you read these reviews, most of them positive, the instability due to the funding model as well as the extremely poor management are consistent themes throughout. I do not think that an institution with week job security and management deserves 4 or 5 stars. I would go further and add that the soft money model creates a toxic atmosphere where some engineers hold onto two or three times as much funding as they can possibly use in a year, for fear that one or more of their projects may be canceled, while others are forced to leave for lack of funding. Management does virtually nothing to regulate who gets funding or to help people when funding runs out. Funding always runs out at the end of the project when deadlines are looming and there is lots of work, leaving little time to look for new opportunities, yet soon after the funding is gone employees are shown the door. While the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution provides support to scientists, little or no support is available for engineers and furthermore severance or other packages outside of those required by law are not provided when one is terminated. Add to these that, except for three or four months of the year, the Cape region is dead, and one begins to see why the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has become so stagnant and seems unable to retain talented engineers.

    Advice to Management

    Have a real mechanism for evaluating engineers and make employment commitments that are beyond a single projects funding.
    Generate communication and idea sharing that is both within a department and between the various departments and labs and not have everything be project centric.
    Start recognizing that a lot of WHOI’s achievements are based on engineering and stop only recognizing scientists as valuable members of the community.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Senior Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Woods Hole, MA
    Current Employee - Engineer in Woods Hole, MA
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Total autonomy. Interesting research work of your own choosing. No formal "working hours". Access to academic library. Great colleagues.

    Cons

    Total responsibility to bring in all funding for your position. Absolutely no "job security" or carry over if funding runs out. Institution confiscates 2/3 of all funding as "overhead".

    Advice to Management

    Extend same bridge funding to engineers as that awarded to scientists. Offer services to aid in grant writing and solicitation of funding.

  8. "Hard to Pull off on Soft Money"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woods Hole, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Woods Hole, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The Woods Hole Community is amazing with lots of possibility for scientific interactions. Researchers are cutting edge.

    Cons

    Money is always in short supply. Being on soft-money it's not hard to fund yourself for six months or even nine, but trying to cobble together funds for all 12 months is a pain.

    Advice to Management

    The institution needs to be on a better financial footing without having to resort to taking petroleum funding.


  9. "Great place to work if your looking for a relaxed environment full of brilliant people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Assistant III in Woods Hole, MA
    Current Employee - Engineering Assistant III in Woods Hole, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Relaxed Environment, Great Vacation/Sick time policy
    Very interesting place to work

    Cons

    Funding can be hit or miss


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Woods Hole, MA
    Current Employee - Research Engineer in Woods Hole, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Family life . . .

    Cons

    Salary . . . .

    Advice to Management

    .


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