By Valerie Tucker
San Francisco's J. David Gladstone Institutes is once again ranked as the best place for postdoctoral fellows to work in the United States. In the annual survey, published by The Scientist magazine, Gladstone received high marks for its strong infrastructure and networking opportunities, and was recognized for its consistently high rankings over the last 4 years.
As competition on the survey increases each year, Gladstone has continued to lead other top research organizations such as the Whitehead Institute, the Mayo Clinic, and the Fox Chase Cancer Center, many of which were new to the list this year. Genentech and UCSF were the only other California organizations to make the list, ranking 6 and 31, respectively.
"In the current tight science funding environment, institutions must find creative ways to improve postdoc benefits and foster a thriving scientific atmosphere," The Scientist editors noted, "Top-ranked Gladstone has kept a high profile, regaining the top spot in 2008, having ranked 2nd in 2007 and 1st in 2006."
Gladstone postdocs cited attentive advisors and the opportunity to work with high-caliber scientists across the institutes as the factors that set Gladstone apart as a great place to work. "Being around good scientists really elevates your game," said Matt Hirschey, a postdoc at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology.
"Our postdoctoral fellows are among the best and the brightest in the world," said Gladstone president, Dr. Robert Mahley. "We are especially committed to ensuring that our work environment meets and exceeds their expectations for scientific excellence and career development opportunities."
Mahley noted that the San Francisco Bay Area continues to be a challenging one for recruitment and retention. "The competition is intense. Operating alongside larger institutions in an area with a high cost of living requires that we constantly evaluate our programs and benefits. We can never take our eye off the ball," he said.
As an example, Gladstone has recently added a childcare assistance program to its benefits mix to assist postdocs who are starting a family while pursuing a demanding career. "We don't want to have young scientists have to make a choice between career and family," Mahley added.
The full survey results including rankings of the top 45 global institutions and methodology can be found in the March issue of The Scientist
About the Gladstone Institutes
The J. David Gladstone Institutes, affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is dedicated to the health and welfare of humankind through research into the causes and prevention of some of the world's most devastating diseases. Gladstone is composed of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. More information can be found here
The 2008 Top 15 US Institutions
- 1. The J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA
- 2. The National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver,
- 3. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM
- 4. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
- 5. University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston,
- 6. Genentech, Inc. South San Francisco, CA 7. Fox Chase
Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
- 8. The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK
- 9. The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME
- 10. Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA
- 11. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Research
- 12. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA
- 13. Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA
- 14. Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge,
- 15. Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge,