The Scientist

March 01, 2007 09:01 ET

2007 Results Announced: Best Places to Work for Postdocs

The Scientist, Magazine of the Life Sciences, Releases Results Today of Its 5th Annual Best Places to Work for Postdocs Survey

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(CCNMatthews - March 01, 2007) - The Scientist, magazine of the life sciences, announced today the winners of its 5th annual Best Places to Work for Postdocs survey. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, ranked as North America's top place for postdocs to work, followed by the J. David Gladstone Institutes, in San Francisco, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in Research Triangle Park. Among Canadian institutions, the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, took top honors; it ranked twelfth overall in North America.

The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center catapulted from 29th place in 2006 to first place this year. Opportunities for collaboration, superior mentorship, and research independence were among the characteristics cited by postdocs as setting M.D. Anderson apart from other research institutions as a great place to work.

Some institutions -- including the Gladstone Institutes, the EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Science in Research Triangle Park, Emory University in Atlanta, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle -- have repeatedly performed well over the past several years, maintaining their positions among the top 15 for 3-4 years. Others that had been lower in past rankings, like the University of Iowa, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the Mayo Clinic, jumped into the top 15 list for the first time this year. Many postdocs attribute the leaps to a growing recognition of the importance of postdocs on those campuses.

Acknowledging improvements on campuses is an important part of the continuing efforts to enhance the postdoctoral experience. "Postdocs are the lifeblood of academic science," says The Scientist editor Richard Gallagher. "Our survey is one of the few nationwide efforts to assess their needs and desires and to recognize excellence in postdoc programs."

The survey covered 11 categories in which respondents judged their respective institutions. Categories included the quality of mentoring, the level of communication, and opportunities for networking and career development. The most important factor cited was the quality of training and career preparation offered by an institution. The Scientist's March issue, available March 1st and released online at, will feature detailed survey results and rankings of the top 40 North American institutions.

The Top 15 Institutions in North America:
1. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
2. The J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA
3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC
4. Genentech, South San Francisco, CA
5. The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
6. National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO
7. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research
Triangle Park, NC
8. Emory University, Atlanta, GA
9. Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, NY
10. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
11. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA
12. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
13. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
14. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
15. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

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