Institutions that nurture postdocs' scientific development dominated this year's Best Places for Postdocs survey. Participants ranked five federally funded research facilities among the top 15 institutions, all of which earned high marks for scientific development and resources.

US government labs have become fertile greenhouses for some of the country's best and brightest researchers. Because government labs also dole out grants to institutions and scholars, they have become exemplars for other centers and are highly sought after. " [Our postdocs] really value the scientific and technical vitality of the institution, and the long-term tradition ... of interdisciplinary research," says Laura Gillian, director of the university relations program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and a postdoc advisory committee member. LLNL, ranked seventh in the United States, and the Naval Research Lab, ranked 13th, both focus on the physical sciences, so their life-sciences postdocs can explore biophysics and related multidisciplinary work. At...

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