The Great Recession took its toll on academic institutions. Budget cuts were the norm and researchers had a difficult time securing funding for ongoing projects. The good news is that despite the financial troubles, there are still some fantastic places for scientists to find a great job. The Scientist magazine has released its 10th annual Best Places to Work in Academia, and a San Francisco organization holds the number one spot.


“Topping this year’s survey of academic researchers is the J. David Gladstone Institutes, a San Francisco-based nonprofit biomedical research organization with a focus on cardiovascular disease, virology and immunology, and neurodegenerative disorders that also won the top honors last year.”


J. David Gladstone Institutes employs 27 life science researchers, and strengths of the organization include tenure and promotion and job satisfaction. The Institutes have received $43.2 million in federal funding and scientists at the Institute have published 166 life sciences papers.


The next five organizations featured this year did not even make it to the Best Places to Work Academia 2011 list.


  • Sage Bionetworks – Seattle, Wash.
  • Stowers Institute for Medical Research – Kansas City, Mo.
  • Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – Vienna, Austria
  • Massachusetts General Hospital – Boston, Mass.
  • La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology – La Jolla, Calif.

Other institutions appearing on the list of the 25 best places for research scientists to work include several universities and children’s hospitals including the renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. St. Jude’s was number two last year but dropped to eight this year.


Learn more about the top 25 institutions and their strengths and weaknesses by downloading The Scientist Best Places to Work Academia 2012 (PDF).


The Scientist's best places to work
Magazine releases its 10th annual Best Places to Work Academia list.