Most Important Factors and Least Important Factors

FEATUREBest Places to Work 2006: Postdocs Most Important Factors Rank in North America in 2006 Rank in the US in 2005 Factor Category Rank outside North America in 2006 Rank outside the US in 2005 1 1 The training and experience I receive as a postdoc will be valuable to me in my future career. Value of the Po

Mar 1, 2006
The Scientist Staff

FEATURE
Best Places to Work 2006: Postdocs


Most Important Factors
Rank in
North America
in 2006
Rank in the
US in 2005
Factor
Category
Rank outside
North America
in 2006
Rank outside
the US in 2005
1
1
The training and experience I receive as a postdoc will be valuable to me in my future career.
Value of the Postdoc Experience
3
3
2
2
I have access to the books and journals I need for my research.
Quality of Facilities and Infastructure
1
1
3
4
My institution provides the equipment and supplies I need for my research.
Quality of Facilities and Infastructure
2
2
4
6
My institution provides full medical insurance for me and my family at an affordable rate.
Benefits
40
28
5
3
My principal investigator takes time to discuss the science behind the experiments and other work that I do.
Quality of Training and Mentoring
4
4
6
5
My principal investigator makes time available to discuss issues that arise in my research
Quality of Communication
5
5
7
7
I have learned much from my principal investigator about how to succeed as a scientist.
Quality of Training and Mentoring
23
15
8
13
The money I receive is adequate to cover my expenses and provide for reasonable leisure activities, considering the cost of living in my community.
Remuneration and Compensation
6
14
9
8
My principal investigator discusses my career outlook and available options and opportunities.
Career Development Opportunities
11
13
10
9
My principal investigator communicates expectations and feedback clearly.
Quality of Communication
19
7
25
34
There is no discrimination against postdocs based on their religious beliefs or ethnic background.
Equity
7
27
19
19
I can easily talk with other members of the lab about any problems that arise and they can talk with me.
Quality of Communication
8
17
23
-
I have opportunities to interact with high-quality researchers from other departments and institutions
Networking Opportunities
9
-
16
14
My institution supplies the technical support and services I need for my research.
Quality of Facilities and Infastructure
10
8

This year's survey respondents consider factors relating to the quality of facilities and infrastructure to be essential to their workplace satisfaction: three factors in that category rank among the most important. Quality of training and mentoring, especially relating to principal investigator, also ranks highly; however, factors relating to safety, while in the same category, fall among the least important. Respondents place emphasis on the quality of communication within the lab (two factors in the top 14), but consider communication in the larger institutional setting relatively unimportant (two factors in the bottom six). As in years past, medical insurance benefits-ranked 4th in North America-aren't as important to European scientists, and access to literature remains high on the list (see Editorial). However, fair treatment regardless of religion or ethnicity is significantly more important for European postdocs this year than in previous surveys.


Least Important Factors
Rank in
North America
in 2006
Rank in the
US in 2005
Factor
Category
Rank outside
North America
in 2006
Rank outside
the US in 2005
48
43
My institution enforces laboratory safety standards and provides adequate general safety training.
Quality of Training and Mentoring
45
38
47
-
My institution provides adequate safety training for working with select agents (potential bioterrorism toxins and organisms).
Quality of Training and Mentoring
48
-
46
-
My institution has adequate and clear procedures for resolving disputes with colleagues and supervisors.
Quality of Communication
47
-
45
-
The bureaucracy at my institution is transparent and easy to navigate.
Quality of Communication
43
-
44
-
I am not pressured to publish the results of my research.
Value of the Postdoc Experience
46
-
42
44
My institution has an effective postdoc office, association, or advisor.
Career Development Opportunities
44
45