KANSAS CITY, MO—The Stowers Institute for Medical Research clocks in among the top three institutions in the annual “Best Places to Work in Academia” survey by The Scientist magazine. The Stowers’ excellent research resources, as well as its management and policies, aimed to encourage an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment, were cited as key factors why scientists working at the institute not only love their work, but also their workplace.“Since we did not have a ready-made culture like MIT or Harvard we had to carefully craft our own. To complement our commitment to supporting outstanding science, we put a lot of emphasis on collegiality, since interdisciplinary research requires people to work well together to create the necessary synergy to do pioneering work,” said Scientific Director Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., who has helped shape the scientific vision of the institute since it opened in 2000. “The result of The Scientist-survey is a welcome endorsement of the goals we hoped to achieve.”
In addition to its founding principles of collaboration and collegiality, the Stowers Institute prides itself on providing its research labs with a first-rate scientific infrastructure and easy access to experts in cutting edge technologies.
“The core facilities and technology centers at the Stowers Institute are among the most technically advanced available for biomedical research in the world,” said Jeffrey Haug, B.S., who manages the Cytometry Center at the institute, “but they are not just high-tech laundromats. They function as transient extensions of the labs giving core scientists a stake in the outcome of experiments and the intellectual satisfaction that comes with contributing to world-class science.”
The high-level engagement particularly benefits the research and training of postdoctoral researchers, who carry out the bulk of everyday research activities and form the main conduit between research labs and core facilities. As a direct result, Stowers postdocs voted the Stowers Institute in a similar survey sponsored by The Scientist into the top 10 Best Places to Work for Postdocs.
About the survey
For the “Best Places to Work in Academia”- survey, The Scientist posted a Web-based questionnaire and invited those who identified themselves as life scientists with a permanent position in an academic, hospital, government or research organization. The survey included factors such as job satisfaction, peers, infrastructure and environment, research resources, pay, management and policies, teaching and mentoring, tenure and promotion.
More than 1,000 full-time life scientists working in academic or noncommercial research institutions responded to this year’s survey. The full survey results and methodology are detailed in the article “Best Places to Work in Academia, 2012,” appearing in The Scientist’s August issue and online at www.the-scientist.com.
About the Stowers Institute for Medical Research
The Stowers Institute for Medical Research is a non-profit, basic biomedical research organization dedicated to improving human health by studying the fundamental processes of life. Jim Stowers, founder of American Century Investments, and his wife Virginia opened the Institute in 2000. Since then, the Institute has spent over 900 million dollars in pursuit of its mission.
Currently the Institute is home to over 500 researchers and support personnel; over 20 independent research programs; and more than a dozen technology development and core facilities