US Naval Research Laboratory Reviews

Updated 23 Apr 2021

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3.9
81%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
US Naval Research Laboratory Commanding Officer Scott D Moran
Scott D Moran
14 Ratings
Pros
  • "At NRL you have great access to resources and mentors(in 16 reviews)

  • "Knowledgeable coworkers, interesting projects, good work life balance(in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "One of the worst parts of working at NRL is the infrastructure(in 18 reviews)

  • "Somewhat bureaucratic, lots of red tape but that's expected(in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "Excellent place for self motivated engineers and scientists"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Electrical Engineer 
    Recommends

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Lots of opportunities to work on new and exciting projects/technologies

    Cons

    Typical downsides of being a govt employee: lower salary (typically), restrictions on conference attendance, etc

  2. "Great place to work"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Astrophysicist in Washington, DC

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere and good people

    Cons

    Location is not great and it smells due to the water treatment plant next door.


  3. "Flexible work, great colleagues, fantastic resources, awful infrastructure"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Scientist in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    The research atmosphere at the laboratory is exciting and I'm always encouraged to learn new things as I build and grow my laboratory and research program. The flexibility I have is excellent and I feel challenged, both by my own research as well as by my colleagues and their interests.

    Cons

    One of the worst parts of working at NRL is the infrastructure. We have state-of-the-art technologies in decrepit, unacceptably run-down buildings. Another problem is the lack of diversity in our organization -- very few BIPOC scientists and engineers.

  4. "Great place to pursue reaearch"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mechanical Engineer in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    -work with lots of intelligent people - flexible work hours - great benefits

    Cons

    - Not a lot of room for growth - pace can be slow

    Continue reading
  5. "Good starting point"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Financial Specialist 

    I worked at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time

    Pros

    Good to get your foot in the government door.

    Cons

    Promotions are hard to come by.

  6. "Perfect place for science"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in Stennis Ctr, MS
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Ideal atmosphere for research, secure funding

    Cons

    Lack of younger generation employees

  7. "Great Intellectual environment for scientists"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mehcanical Engineer in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Get to propose and work on problems that interest you. Great work life balance.

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity for growth. Pace can be very slow

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Not for the faint of heart"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Employees are paid well for non-private-sector scientists - Washington DC is a nice place to live - Has potential as a springboard to other jobs in the government

    Cons

    - Facilities are so poor they border on dangerous. There are insects everywhere, all of the buildings are dirty and old, power outages are common, temperature control is non-existent, and even drinking water is lacking (which is somewhat ironic, considering the next item in this list) - Campus smells terrible because it is next to the local water treatment plant - Administrative processes are convoluted and endlessly frustrating (e.g. it takes months to obtain orders, which makes doing good science virtually impossible, and the budgeting process is so opaque and aggravating that at best it is simply a joke among personnel and at worst has driven staff to psychological crises) - The worst aspect of the job is that the funding situation that scientists are placed in is untenable. One is expected to obtain grants that cover 100% of their salary along with an additional 125% + overhead. This would be absurd in nearly any situation, but the NRL manages to make it worse: its scientists are barred from obtaining grants from any traditional funding agency (NIH, NSF). What happens in practice is that people often get funded by knowing program managers in other agencies in the Department of Defense who are in charge of laughable amounts of money and send that money to friends at the NRL that write "grant applications," written in quotations here because they are only that in name only. The result is a classic old boys club setup where people with no connections are at the complete mercy of their supervisors to get paid, kept in the dark about it, and constantly worried about their job status. The most stressful place I could ever conceive of working in and it very nearly drove me out of science.

  9. "Important work good work/life balance"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Chemist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Important work, flexible hours, benefits

    Cons

    Commute, ERP (purchasing system) is a nightmare when buying new things for lab

  10. "Excellent opportunity"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Excell. chance to work with worldwide experts

    Cons

    Limited research topics to deal with

Viewing 1 - 10 of 122 Reviews

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