Postdocs pick: Center among 'Best Places to Work'

Center continues its eight-year run as one of the top 20 U.S. research institutions in annual survey by The Scientist
Dr. Shibani Mukherjee
Dr. Shibani Mukherjee is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Roberts Lab. Photo by Lillian Furlong

When it comes to the best U.S. institutions for a postdoctoral researcher to work, the Hutchinson Center consistently ranks in the top tier. This year, The Scientist’s ninth annual “Best Places to Work Postdocs” survey put the Center in the No. 9 spot among the top 15 U.S. research institutions. The survey results were released March 1.

"While our exact ranking might not be statistically informative due to how the survey is conducted, what we can celebrate is how we've consistently placed in the top 20 on the list since 2004,” said Dr. Karen Peterson, director of the Office of Scientific Career Development. “This is a great accomplishment that only a few other institutions in the world can match, and it is a testament to the stellar research, support and facilities at the Hutchinson Center that help our postdocs succeed.”

The Scientist invited readers who identified themselves as nontenured life scientists working in academia, industry, or noncommercial research institutions to take part in this Web-based survey. The survey received 2,881 responses and a total of 93 institutes were ranked. Respondents were asked to assess their work environment and experience by indicating their level of agreement with 38 criteria in nine different areas. The results were collated and compiled to show rankings for the best U.S. and international institutes.

"The postdoctoral years are extremely important in helping young scientists mature into competent lab leaders," said The Scientist's associate editor Jef Akst, who oversees the “Best Places” surveys. “Our survey provides information about both the strengths and the weaknesses of institutions in training Ph.D.s for that transition—straight from the postdocs themselves.”

The top-three-ranked U.S. institutions were the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich. The top three international institutions were University College London, Novartis International and the Biotechnology Center of the TU (Technische Universitat) Dresden.

This year's postdoc respondents said they value creative freedom and individualism when rating the working environment at their institutions.

[Adapted from a news release from The Scientist]

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