Oxford University Postdoctoral Research Assistant Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Oxford University Postdoctoral Research Assistant Reviews

Updated 17 September 2018
7 reviews

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Postdoctoral Research Assistant

3.7
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Oxford University Chancellor Christopher Francis Patten
Christopher Francis Patten
3 Ratings

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Reasonable salary, good head, fantastic team, Above average holidays

    Cons

    Too expensive living cost in Oxford.

    Advice to Management

    Should consider living cost in Oxford.


  2. "Not so many opportunities for career progression"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The job can be relatively stable but it depends very much on the line manager and their funding. The department has the right to employ people from outside the EU, and are usually quite helpful when it comes to relocation and covering visa costs (super expensive in the UK and getting worse every year). Standard amount of paid annual leave plus bank holidays. Some get-together events are organised. Generally other researchers can be helpful and it is possible to acquire new skills. Lots of talks and seminars to choose from.

    Cons

    Too much bureaucracy, some types of experiments are essentially undoable because of that. Very slow processing of paperwork, poor contacts with other departments. Too inefficient even for such a big organisation... Very complex purchasing system, also as a professional scientist you should not be expected to deal with it but at Oxford you do - I had to become proficient in EU and UK taxation codes because I needed to buy lab consumables. Brexit is already affecting funding opportunities as EU grants are becoming less available (now it is about 50% of total funding) and regulatory bodies (essential for clinical research) are leaving the UK. Almost no career progression, or pay rise, except for shuffling between different departments until you are too old and/or expensive to go anywhere else. If you are happy with this and don't have issues at work, they will give you preferential treatment if you apply for other similar positions at Oxford. Working culture can be too relaxed in appearance, like one hour long coffee breaks, but you are "naturally" expected to do late hours and weekends instead, to show your dedication. Bullying is common but not much is done about it, despite campaigns against it. Money is OK but Oxford is virtually the most expensive city in the UK, maybe after London, and postdoc salary is pretty much the same throughout the country, so you are worse off in Oxford than elsewhere. For example, you basically have to live with flatmates (alone is too expensive), which for a 30 yo with a supposedly prestigious social status and a PhD and all is a bit tough I think.

  3. "Challenging work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Oxford University (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work is interesting and challenging. Access to the frontier of the knowledge is relatively easy. Competent supervisor and colleagues.

    Cons

    The pay is small compared to the living cost in the city.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "2 Year Postdoc at Oxford University"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England

    Pros

    - Get to work with clever people
    - Access to state-of-the-art facilities
    - Beautiful location

    Cons

    - University administration is not very supportive of young researchers (especially postdocs)
    - Postdocs are not members of a college by default, which to an extent prevents them from integrating into the academic community at Oxford
    - Job uncertainty

    Advice to Management

    Oxford University should be more supportive of postdoctoral researchers, create more career development opportunities for them, and be more willing to contribute to research fellowships that do not pay full economic costs (FEC).


  5. Helpful (1)

    "so-so"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant
    Recommends

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    attracts lots of brilliant students and researchers, lots of academic and industry opportunities, great brand name

    Cons

    overall management leaves a lot to be desired


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Beware of choosing a bad lab in the JR hospital!!!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Perform good research if you are in a good lab

    Cons

    There are some labs that are not doing proper research but just politics. These are what my PIs are:

    1) PIs have poor knowledge of their research, they even ask you what journals should submit to.
    2) Differential treatment - they bully some members to work for other senior members.
    3) The PIs don't care about your feeling, dead or alive. They will sacrifice you to get what they want.
    4) They praise you in front of you but they said bad thing about you in front of another colleague to make that colleague better.
    5) Force you to try many new projects that are not likely to work to waste money and time.

    I am sure many labs here are good, but some are really substandard. Beware of those labs that are managed by more than one PIs, suggesting managerial problems. If they are not in the city center but isolated in a hospital like JR hospital and within a small departmemt (NDXXX), this reflects poor research support. Just like mine one.

    Advice to Management

    Please stop abusive PIs from bullying submssive staff. They are clever and just picked foreigners to bully and abuse because they won't complaints. This should not be allowed!


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great work culture!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Oxford, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    --Flexible work hours
    --Work with the smartest minds in the area of research
    --Excellent brand recognition

    Cons

    --Being an academic institution salaries are not comparable with the industry