US Naval Research Laboratory Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

US Naval Research Laboratory Reviews

Updated Nov 24, 2019

To filter reviews, or .

4.0
81%
Recommend to a Friend
87%
Approve of CEO
US Naval Research Laboratory Commanding Officer Scott D Moran
Scott D Moran
5 Ratings
Pros
  • "At NRL you have great access to resources and mentors(in 16 reviews)

  • "there is a great work-life balance(in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • "With all the good said, I have to focus on the fact that I don't find the NRL to be family friendly at all(in 16 reviews)

  • "Somewhat bureaucratic, lots of red tape but that's expected(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Military Research"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Engineering Intern 

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Prestigious name of the organization lives up mostly to its reputation. The environment is similar to most defense oriented spaces, but much more research focused.

    Cons

    The pay could be better, but its a trade off for the government status security and prestige.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-11-25
  2. "Good place to work if there is funding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work life balance, competitive salary and benefits

    Cons

    Facilities, never ending search for funding

    Advice to Management

    Improve collaboration between branches

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-09-25
  3. "Great place to invent future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Scientist 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Innovation and technology is unrivalled

    Cons

    Work life balance and bureaucracy

    Advice to Management

    Keep the good work !

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-07-31
  4. "Cozy job with good benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer(Internship) in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits, pay, and a quiet work environment.

    Cons

    It can stink occasionally and the facilities aren't the best.

    Advice to Management

    Update the facilities.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-07-22
  5. Helpful (1)

    "One of the best commands in the Navy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
     
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory

    Pros

    The pay system. Flexibility, innovation and agility

    Cons

    Physical location and condition of facilities

    Advice to Management

    Recapitalization of facilities

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-07-17
  6. "Bad place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    None that I can recall.

    Cons

    The place is more about bringing in money than research. If you want to be a great power point engineer, but accomplish nothing in your life, this is the place to be. Better opportunities elsewhere. There are not alot of room for advancement. Most employees follow the golden handcuff rule and stay until they die. So unless they go, there are no chances to move up. Compensations and benefits are standard for... government employees. Work +25 years and get a pension and health benefits (golden handcuffs). There are better ways to make money without sacrificing your life I learned after I left. I feel like there was alot of pressure by management to present at conference, write papers, and bring in money. As a research organization, they were trying to put metrics on results that are not always tangible. And depending on how much your manager liked you, these metrics were flexible. As for values, the people there seem nice, but they'll stab you in the back to get the next bonus. I lost count of the number of people that were married and had multiple mistresses or doing some sort of shady financial activity. Others went to nude bars during lunch breaks. I remember one employee who was hospitalized with cancer or other serious illness and the management sent him work at the hospital. Then they laughed at how much fun it was to abuse this employee.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    I don't know if anything could salvage this place.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-07-11
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Stable work but not family friendly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Research Physical Scientist in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The work is very stable and it's easy to make a career here. It's not uncommon to meet scientists who have been working on the same research for 30+ years. A lot of scientists here are from ivy league schools with impressive pedigrees and dozens of publications in top tier journals. My coworkers and Section Head were fantastic and I loved being surrounded by intelligent people. Despite the dilapidated buildings,... there is some state-of-the-art technology to help with your research. The majority of research groups have base funding and don't have to constantly beg for money. My experience here added enough to my resume that I was able to accept a job offering DOUBLE my current pay. Even having the words "Naval Research Lab" on your resume gets you a lot of attention.

    Show More

    Cons

    With all the good said, I have to focus on the fact that I don't find the NRL to be family friendly at all. There is no parental leave, child care through JBAB has a 2+ year waiting list, and while schedules are largely flexible, my Division Head looked at me like I had two heads when I told him I have to leave by 3 to pick up my daughter from the bus stop. Many people here don't even have families and, as a result..., don't understand when you need a day off here or there due to school closings and child care hiccups. I understand that a career in research isn't family friendly to begin with, as taking any kind of extended leave ruins research timelines and screws any collaborators, but the NRL doesn't even try to mitigate this inherent obstacle. I was on the waiting list for a raise for almost 3 years before I decided to look for new employment. I just didn't feel like there was enough opportunity for advancement or broadening my area of research, and that the management didn't understand that there's more to life than conducting research. Looking back on my career, the lack of advancement and stagnated pay make me feel like I was taken advantage of. I wish I had looked for employment elsewhere sooner. It is a shame that these failings make it so appealing to leave an otherwise amazing laboratory.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Get with the times. If you're going to attract new graduates to your outdated facility the buildings all need to be renovated and you need to offer things like shuttles to and from the metro, a decent coffee place, paid parental leave, and in-building community gathering places/lounges so we don't have to walk outside in heavy rain to get to an empty building with 1 table and 4 chairs just to eat lunch.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-06-14
  8. "This place is a relic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Physical Scientist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Truly ground breaking science happening here. Good benefits, history of success.

    Cons

    At least in the chemistry division, things are very stressful. There is no internal funding so half your research time will be used begging for money. The grounds and buildings are basically antiques. A lot of people get "stuck" here.

    Advice to Management

    Please do some renovations. It's hard to get work done when the HVAC system goes down weekly and using an instrument can trigger a breaker and cut off power to a quarter of the floor.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-05-24
  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great research opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Physicist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Freedom to pursue areas of interest and the opportunity to take advantage of internal funding as well as ties to other DOD funding agencies. Cooperation among different research groups is usually encouraged. For the most part, the employment is stable and cut throat competition is not the norm. The support personnel are helpful and hard working and realize that their primary goal is to enable and support the... scientific research.

    Show More

    Cons

    Although better than most DOD labs, there are still many counterproductive rules - computer security is increasingly intruding into ability to carry out research. There is subtle agism and favoritism in some advancement decisions - group managers are powerless to provide financial incentives. Since all promotions are tied to levels of management, one is stuck with the very poor personnel skills one would expect... from manager-scientists with no management training. Quality of life is mediocre. Nice view of the Potomac River plus the odiferous reminder of the Blue Plains sewer treatment plant next door. A once active health club is barely maintained and underutilized. Food service is mediocre and not health promoting - Subway and a cafeteria. Thankfully food trucks are now allowed. Under the FERS retirement system one is at the mercy of the stock market and government contributions are not as attractive as company 401K's

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Read my review

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-04-18
  10. "NRL Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Administrative 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    People, Flexibility of Hours, Guarded entrance

    Cons

    No growth opportunities unless you know who's who. Unless you are a researcher pay is not good.

    Advice to Management

    There is great talent in those who want to excel.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2019-03-05
Found 96 reviews