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Oxford University Research Assistant Reviews

Updated 8 September 2017
21 reviews

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Research Assistant

3.1
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Oxford University Chancellor Christopher Francis Patten
Christopher Francis Patten
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work/Life Balance might suffer, depending on how much a publication record you want to build (in 18 reviews)

  • Expensive to live -- almost the same as London although with less pay (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. 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).


  2. "Administration back-log"

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

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

    Pros

    The name/university brand, opportunities to attend talks from world experts, networking.

    Cons

    Very little training. HR is overworked/understaffed so there was a really long delay in sorting out visa arrangements. Providing information about resources and accommodations for individuals with learning disabilities are not well organized.

    Advice to Management

    More training opportunity and structure to the training. You can't expect everyone with diverse learning to just pick things up and know what to do. Also, more clear help for people with learning disabilities.


  3. "A prison with no roof"

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

    I worked at Oxford University as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    It was ranked the best university in the world

    Cons

    All the work you do is actually alone


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  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. "research assistant"

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

    Pros

    Good HR, life and work balance.

    Cons

    segregation of employees based on job title and responsibilities


  8. "Researcher"

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

    I have been working at Oxford University part-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Very good professor who is my boss so procedures and policies are quick and efficient

    Cons

    Some don't have any ideas of what they are doing


  9. "NDPH"

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

    Pros

    Access to networks, continued learning classes, good benefits, interesting colleagues. There are a lot of opportunities in your reach if you actively try to seek them out.

    Cons

    Career advancement and salaries are challenging. Lots of change happening in the organisation of the department.

    Advice to Management

    Work towards investing in employees more.


  10. 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.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Better than the dole."

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

    I have been working at Oxford University full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Incremental salary. Eighteen words worth of blather to hide the fact that frankly that's about it. It really is that bad.

    Cons

    Annual salary increments mean that while you stay it seems rosy, but the moment you come to look for work outside no-one will match that salary and you end up losing out through being too expensive to employ. Management structure appears to date from 12th century. Changing anything takes centuries if not millenia. Senior scientists are untouchable because they bring money in so however big a bully they are no-one will do anything about them. Far too many have risen to the top not like cream but like the lumps in a septic tank (look it up). Total lack of career structure for technical staff means you may well find yourself unemployable if you stay for more than a few years.

    Advice to Management

    Forget the rubbish about history and create a structure where staff have career progression, and the sphincters can be culled from the senior staff genepool.