The recipe for job satisfaction couldn't be simpler: Give scientists colleagues with whom they can collaborate, and the tools--both physical and financial--they need to do their own work well.

These ingredients are valued most by 2,210 full-time researchers who participated in The Scientist's survey, "Best Places to Work in Scientific Institutions." Whether at academic institutions or in private research centers, a majority of scientists in North America, Europe, and Israel ranked their relationships with colleagues as important, and this category garnered more votes than any of the 56 features of the scientific workplace discussed in the survey. "We are extremely collegial [and] collaborative, with a can-do attitude. I think that is extremely important," says Anthony Yeung, director of the Fannie E. Rippel Biochemistry and Biotechnology Facility at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, the top-ranked US institution in the survey.

The next priority for scientists is core facilities--the...

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