European Bioinformatics Institute Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

European Bioinformatics Institute Reviews

Updated 11 Nov 2019

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4.1
81%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
European Bioinformatics Institute CEO Ewan Birney and  Rolf Apweiler (no image)
Ewan Birney and Rolf Apweiler
19 Ratings
Pros
  • "EBI has the ingredient to be world class as tech as well as science but a shakeup is needed for it to fulfil its potential(in 7 reviews)

  • "Work life balance is the best that a new parent can ask for(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Career progression could be improved(in 12 reviews)

  • "For most there is a nine-year limit for working at the EBI - only a lucky few will get to stay longer(in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Best place for science"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trainee in Hinxton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Meet brilliant people and live with an amazing science environnment

    Cons

    Away from Cambridge but there are bus to take you to the campus

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-11-11
  2. "Awesome place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Head of Web Production in Hinxton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    You work in a very dynamic, international environment, with leading experts in the fields of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, scientific computing experts, bioinformaticians and many more, supplemented by a strong HR, H&S and admin teams.

    Cons

    3x3 year contract maximum stay. Campus is far from the city of Cambridge. Transport is either by bus (free) or your own car.

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-10-12
  3. "Amazing place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist 

    I have been working at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great pay and benefits

    Cons

    Growing path is not clear.

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-10-23
  4. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Leader in Hinxton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Great environment. Great benefits. Lovely campus. Private healthcare. Paid international relocation

    Cons

    No clear career progression, you stay in the same role throughout your contract. Max 9 years employment.

    Advice to Management

    Transparency in terms of post 9 year extensions and permanent roles. Certain scientific areas lacking EBI wide focus

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-10-17
  5. "Good Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - IT Engineer in Cambridge, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Nice environmont Friendly people Best HR I have seen so far

    Cons

    Flat hierarchy Less career opportunities A bit far from city center

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-09-19
  6. "World leading services where life sciences meet computer sciences"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cloud Software Development Project Lead in Hinxton, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Flexi-time, friendly diverse campus, good pay package

    Cons

    Career progression limited unless you aim to lead a group

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-09-09
  7. "Excellent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Web Developer in Cambridge, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Friendly, clever, focused, and diverse people in a relaxed but professional environment. Good work-life balance. Beautiful campus with modern facilities. Excellent benefits for those with a family.

    Cons

    Career progression can be tricky and it's all to easy to stagnate. For most there is a nine-year limit for working at the EBI - only a lucky few will get to stay longer.

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-07-31
  8. "Amazing place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Cambridge, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work-life balance, benefits, work culture and ethics, management, projects

    Cons

    career growth is a bit slow

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-07-04
  9. Helpful (3)

    "All the right ingredients but not fully living up to its potential"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Hinxton, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Beautiful campus with great facilities, restaurant, gym, coffee shops etc. Free buses to campus and free tea/coffee and biscuits at 3 pm every day. It is that sort of place. Salaries are reasonable and generous benefits can make a very attractive package dependent on circumstances. Excellent health insurance and allowances for being married, having children and being recruited from outside the UK really can add... up. However, this does mean a person doing the same job as the person next to them can be paid as much as £1,000 per month more based on their family setup. It is very easy to get a good life balance as long as you are happy with zero career progression. For scientists, EBI is seen as a prestigious destination and a reward for years of hard work as a post-doc. There is plenty of holiday, sick days, child sick days, flexible working arrangements. If you have a family it is ideal. If you do want to progress it is very competitive and political with long hours and frequent travel the norm at higher levels. You will be competing against people who "get up at 4 am and think about science". EBI attracts great people from all over the world both smart and great to work with. EBI has the ingredient to be world class as tech as well as science but a shakeup is needed for it to fulfil its potential.

    Show More

    Cons

    Winning grants and publishing glowing papers are the only things group leaders are measured on. This means the delivery of services is often a secondary concern. Many projects run out of steam after 1-2 years and are slowly left to die as the PI chases the next thing. Many leaders, especially those who have been at EBI for over 9 years, have never worked outside of campus after university which means they live in... a bubble inside the bubble of Cambridge. This gives a very limited world view. As a result, mentoring and promotion is often limited to "people like me" who have a very similar background. Software developers are recruited at two grades 5 (junior) and 6 (senior). Higher grades are people and project management roles and nearly always require a scientific background. Grade at joining is often more to do with the budget of the project at hiring time rather than competency. Once recruited into a grade it is very hard to progress. Salaries and grades are out of line with other EMBL sites and do not take into account the high cost of accommodation in Cambridge. For example, an average software developer at EBI would expect to pay 35%+ of their salary on the rental of a modest apartment. In Heidelberg, this is more like 15% due to the difference in grading, exchange rates and cost of living. Training and development is limited as EMBL is set up for PhD scientists with all the skills they need rather than software where skills change all the time. Like many things, this seems mainly to be due to the centralised policy at Heidelberg rather than anything EBI management can control. This does mean that as a developer unless you have time to invest in your own skills development you are likely to see your skills rot during your time at EBI and may cause problems when your contract comes to an end.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Take control of training and development at EBI and fund it. Aim for EBI to be world class at tech, not just science. Values and support those that want to progress. Saying "EBI does not value deep tech skills" is not acceptable. Tech needs to work with science to release the full potential or the institute. Return to having three grade for software developers 5 (junior), 6 (mid) and 7 (senior) with only 8 being... a management level. Provide clearly defined requirements for each level and a career path for moving between them. Address discrepancies in salary and benefits between people with different family circumstances and between different EMBL sites. Take mental health seriously, support people that want to progress, continued frustration is damaging. Make the development of staff something that group leaders are accountable for and measured on. It is tragic to see the real damage caused to some of the smartest and most motivated people I have met as they wilted trapped in a gilded cage.

    Show More
    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-05-11
  10. "Great working environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bioinformatician in Cambridge, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at European Bioinformatics Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    It's a relax environment with plenty of collaboration opportunities. You can helping other scientists in your job especially lab scientists. There were opportunity to engage the public. Senior management was easy to talk to. A good place for work and life balance.

    Cons

    Not enough career advancement programmes.

    Advice to Management

    More career advancement training.

    European Bioinformatics Institute2019-04-12
Found 57 reviews