Stimulating R&D environment; subject to abrupt scope changes
Research Scientist, Idaho Falls, ID - November 5, 2015
As a multi-purpose laboratory supporting the US Dept of Energy the Laboratory attracts many highly skilled and driven scientists and engineers, which provides a dynamic environment where multi-disciplinary groups can work together to solve complex problems--that's the intent. On the other hand, while several larger programs have consistent funding and clear direction, smaller groups are often used sporadically to solve specific problems and later left to secure funding as it is available from outside sources. This leads to rapid scope changes depending on the current external funding opportunities and an apparent lack of internal direction for these supporting organizations. These changes make it difficult for staff to acquire depth in these disciplines relative to researchers in an academic or commercial R&D environment. For many, this provides an opportunity to practice a diverse set of skills and can be a stimulating and rewarding technical challenge. However as a result of these frequent changes, many competent and driven staff members have left to pursue careers where they can focus more intensely on their chosen technical fields.