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Reader's Survey: Best Places to Work in Academia 2005

(Philadelphia, PA - November 7, 2005) The Scientist magazine announced today the winners of its third annual Best Places to Work in Academia survey. Topping the list in the 2005 survey of US Institutions is Clemson University, located in Clemson, South Carolina. The top 3 US Institutions are rounded out by the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, NY and the J. David Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, CA. Internationally, Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science earned top honors, followed by the

The Scientist Staff

(Philadelphia, PA - November 7, 2005) The Scientist magazine announced today the winners of its third annual Best Places to Work in Academia survey. Topping the list in the 2005 survey of US Institutions is Clemson University, located in Clemson, South Carolina. The top 3 US Institutions are rounded out by the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, NY and the J. David Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, CA. Internationally, Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science earned top honors, followed by the University of Toronto, and the University of Alberta.

"What makes the results of this survey so valuable is that professionals are providing unfiltered insight into their workplace," said Richard Gallagher, publisher of The Scientist. "Our participants feel free to express their true opinions about their employers, and that's what's so significant. You know that the responses are really genuine, especially when it comes to the top ranked institutions. People...

The more than 2,600 academics who responded to this year's survey rated relationships with their peers, a sense of accomplishment in their work, and access to research resources as the ingredients that make for a great workplace.

Twenty of this year's top 30 institutions have previously ranked in The Scientist's Best Places to Work survey series; however, neither of the No.1-ranked institutions-Clemson University and the Weizmann Institute of Science-placed in the top 15 before this year. Institutions in Canada and the United Kingdom occupy nine of the top 15 slots for non-US institutions.

"We're very excited to achieve this ranking in The Scientist's Best Places survey," said Chris Przirembel, Vice President of Research and Economic Development at Clemson. "It's a reflection of our efforts to build Clemson into a leading public research university, and to have that success broadcast in a publication like The Scientist is a great honor for everyone here."

This year's survey suggests a correlation between job satisfaction among academic scientists and the size of the city in which their institution is located: of the top 15 universities in the United States, nine are located in cities with a population of less than 200,000-six in cities of less than 50,000. Seven schools are in metropolitan areas where the overall cost of living index is below the national average.

More than 40,000 survey invitations were e-mailed to readers of The Scientist and registrants on The Scientist web site who identified themselves as tenured or tenure-track life scientists working at non-commercial research institutions in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or Israel. Respondents were asked to assess their working conditions and environments by indicating their level of agreement with 41 criteria in eight different areas. The magazine received 2,603 valid responses representing 135 individual institutions. Overall, The Scientist evaluated the 91 US institutions and 44 non-US institutions that had five or more responses.

The top 15 US institutions are:
1. Clemson University, Clemson, SC
2. Trudeau Institute, Saranac Lake, NY
3. J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA
4. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
5. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
6. University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI
7. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
8. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
9. Wadsworth Center, Albany, NY
10. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
11. University of Delaware, Newark, DE
12. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
13. University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
14. Buck Institute for Age Research, Novato, CA
15. Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

The top 15 International institutions are:
1. Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
2. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3. University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
4. University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
5. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
6. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
7. Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
8. Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
9. Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
10. Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
11. McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
12. Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
13. Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
14. University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
15. University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Most Important Factors (US Rank, International Rank)

  • My work gives me great personal satisfaction (1, 1)
  • My institution provides adequate health care coverage for me and my family (2, 20)
  • I maintain good working relationships with my peers (3, 2)
  • The tenure review process has been applied fairly to different faculty members (4, 11)
  • The tenure system at my institution is clearly laid out for the faculty (5, 12)
  • The criteria laid out are/were applied throughout the tenure process (6, 17)
  • My institution provides adequate core facilities (7, 3)
  • My institution provides an adequate research funding package for new faculty members (8, 5)
  • My peers are excellent scientists (9, 4)
  • My institution has the resources to supply basic research infrastructure needs not covered by grants (10, 7)
  • My institution has an excellent information technology infrastructure (12, 6)
  • My teaching activities are valued by my students (14, 8)
  • My institution has a well stocked and well maintained library (17, 9)
  • My institution has an excellent reputation (25, 10)

The full text of the article and survey methodology is available online to The Scientist subscribers. Members of the press who would like access to the full text should contact pr@the-scientist.com. For more information about The Scientist's Best Places to Work surveys, visit us online at http://www.the-scientist.com/bptw/bptw_home.

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