Great place to start a career, but little room for advancement
Postdoctoral Researcher Majorana Experiment Group (Current Employee) – Berkeley, CA – July 15, 2016
I moved to the Bay Area for a postdoc position at LBNL. I love working there and have good colleagues, but the culture of LBNL is different from most other national labs in that there isn't a well-defined track for advancement. You either get one of the rare staff scientist positions, or your out looking for jobs in 2-5 years. Overall, it was a positive experience, but I would have liked more stability.
Great colleagues, excellent research experience
Limited healthcare for postdocs, little room for advancement
Fleet/Site Services Coordinator (Former Employee) – Berkeley, CA – April 24, 2016
I worked on the Administration side of LBNL and unless you're a scientist, they don't really value you as an employee. After being employed for a administrator position, I was relegated to a storeroom issued parts for 90% of my time. My manager did a poor job of training me for the duties listed in the job description, pawning me off on other employees from time to time. While this may sound normal, during the interview process I was told that I would be working closely with my supervisor, attending meetings and shadowing him to learn both his position and mine.
HR Administrative Assistant III (Former Employee) – Berkeley, CA – April 13, 2016
Although there as a contract employee, this company is a great place to work. The company is diversified and everyone you work with is pleasant. Each of the persons in different departments supported HR and worked together as a team to ensure each Department at the lab were supported and each employee and student received the information needed to be a success.
Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) – Berkeley, CA – April 3, 2016
The Berkeley Lab is managed more like a university than other national laboratories, likely because of its proximity to UC Berkeley. This has some of the benefits of a university-like feel, but sometimes makes it difficult to execute large/ambitious projects that (a) require coordination between different departments/divisions, and (b) require some legwork before being able to publish results.
If you're interested in building new capabilities instead of making slides about all that cool stuff you're going to do with your grant money, you might want to look elsewhere.
Neat science problems, smart people
Disorganization, micromanagement, lack of stable funding
Research oriented, dynamic, challenging environment for the advancement of science.
Student Assistant (Current Employee) – Berkeley, CA – March 25, 2016
I have been working with the scientists who work real hard to advance the current knowledge state of science to the next level. I am really inspired and motivated by seeing their motivation for the good cause of humanity. Typical job day includes a lot of computational work including scientific programming, simulation, data analysis, visualization, and above all sharing these information with the fellow scientists and colleagues. Also, there are a lots of enlightening seminars almost every day where we can learn the new knowledge of a research area. The work culture here is excellent and the people are very helpful and supportive. The most enjoyable part is how knowledgeable the people working here yet so humble. Hardest part is to keep publishing of cutting edge research papers which sometime takes years.
RESEARCH ASSISTANT (Current Employee) – Berkeley, CA – March 2, 2016
love working as a Research Assistant at the Center for Research and Education on Aging Lab (CREA) in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory division of Physical Biosciences. I'm part of a very interesting research were we are Investigating the causes and processes of aging through caloric restriction with the objective of improving and extending the human health span. Helped create an interactive map of the aging process based on thousands of published primary academic research.
Materials Postdoctoral Fellow (Former Employee) – Berkeley, CA – October 20, 2015
Tons of available resources, nice work environment and location. The work/life balance is pretty good. The research setting is very nice, and the environment I worked in is collaborative, and interactions are generally constructive.
Chemist Postdoctoral Fellow - Energy Technologies (Current Employee) – berkeley – October 17, 2015
Excellent and productive research environment, dynamic and truly international atmosphere. It is a good place to do science with exceptional research facilities. LBNL is a world-class institution, I would strongly recommend this place to anyone who like to carry out top notch science.
flexible timings, gorgeous location and excellent benefits
Administrative Assistant III (Former Employee) – Berkeley, CA – August 5, 2015
The best part about working at LBNL is the beautiful location. The lab is located in the Berkeley hills surrounded by nature with a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay. The most enjoyable part of the job was serving new employees, taking their photos for their badges and interacting with them. The hardest part of the job was dealing with bureaucracy. Overall working at the lab was enjoyable.
Physicist Research Fellow (Current Employee) – Berkeley, CA – July 28, 2015
It is a good place to do science. Sometimes can be very bucrocratic. As a postdoc you can't apply to have independent funding which makes the transition to staff quite harsh. Very relaxed environment but the salary is to low for the area.
Lead Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) – Berkeley, CA – June 11, 2015
A typical day at work for me was pushing paperwork. I worked in the proposals department where I had to obtain signatures of scientist and then submit the proposal for funding. I learned the structure of a proposal and how to submit it for funding for different projects. Management and co-workers were very helpful and always worked together. The hardest part of the job was making sure I paid attention to detail because if one thing was incomplete or wrong on the proposal you would have to start all over because the proposal would get rejected. The most enjoyable part of the job was when our proposal were granted.
Fun and exciting place to work
Seeing all the animals that were used for testing purposes.
Requires Dedication, but is Satisfying and Important Work
Research Affiliate-Plasma Applications Group (Former Employee) – Berkeley, CA – May 7, 2015
Every work place has it's quirks. Berkeley, pinnacle of innovation though it may be, is no exception. It is a community of people dedicated to scientific advancement and global progress. Though often times the demands of innovation require longer (and sometimes uncompensated) work days if you are a scientist, those who burn the midnight oil do so because it is a labor of love. The support staff at LBNL is wonderful, and always has kind words, warm smiles, and excellent nutrition and coffee available. The view from the laboratory is beautiful, my small desk in a trailer had a perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge. You meet people from countries you have only seen on maps, from Nobel Laureates to High School interns to Shop Technicians.
Unfortunately, many of the more specialized and theoretical areas of science, my former employers included, your ability to carry out the science you love is entirely dependent on funding. The saying may be "Publish or Perish," but even my Principal Investigator who published over 52 papers in one year, was unable to convince the powers that be to continue the funding of his research.
Though there is a strong sense of camaraderie at LBNL, many scientists are in a perpetual struggle for funding, something that many forget. Berkeley is a world-class institution, and though the lab is expanding, space is limited. I would definitely recommend this place to any scientist I come across, but with a word of encouragement to make the best of your time here. Progress waits for no one.
Beautiful Campus, Excellent Cafeteria and Location, Tolerant Environment
Rigorous Work Load, Lots of Required Training, Occasional Mountain Lions
HR Assistant III (Current Employee) – Berkeley, CA – April 28, 2015
"In the world of science, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.
Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 200-acre site in the hills above the UC Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 4,200 scientists, engineers, support staff and students."
Fun place to work, great people and benefits, amazing science and spectacular views!