US Naval Research Laboratory "nrl" Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

US Naval Research Laboratory Employee Reviews about "nrl"

Updated 17 Jul 2019

To filter reviews, or .

Found 92 reviews

3.9
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
78%
Recommend to a Friend
87%
Approve of CEO
US Naval Research Laboratory CEO Scott D Moran
Scott D Moran
4 Ratings
Pros
  • "Working at NRL allows you to work on excellent research projects with a quality team of people(in 14 reviews)

  • "there is a great work-life balance(in 9 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

Reviews about "nrl"

Return to all Reviews
  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...

    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...

    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 If you're going to attract new graduates to your outdated facility the buildings all need to be renovated and you need to offer things like shuttles to and from the metro, a decent coffee place, paid parental leave,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
  2. "Great work/life balance and research opportunities"

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

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

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, good community of people and work culture. Fairly good reputation in certain fields. Postdoc positions often lead to staff offers.

    Cons

    Since postdoc positions at NRL are so cheap, they try and keep you a postdoc for as long as possible. Staff position pay after conversion is significantly under industry but benefits and security offset some of this.

    Advice to Management

    Make it easier to convert postdocs to staff, or you will continue to get your talent poached by industry.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2018-04-27
  3. "Great resources poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Materials Research Engineer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    NRL has some of the leading researchers in their field and the latest and greatest equipment. The potential to collaborate and work between disciplines is good.

    Cons

    Management direct as a whole changes frequently and is brutal for entry level scientists look to move up. The moral is low and work expectation are extremely high.

    Advice to Management

    Employee moral is extremely low, and that can be better achieved through support on the scientific programming and career development and less on the fluff.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2018-02-15
  4. Helpful (2)

    "Can be terrible or could be great, based on the team you work with."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    -Flexible hours -Very relaxed atmosphere -A few very talented people -Some teams are excellent to work with -Hard to get fired

    Cons

    Unfortunately a lot of the pros lend themselves to the cons as well. While there are some very talented people who work at the NRL, there are only a few that stay for a long period of time. What you're left with are smart people who become lazy and disinterested with time and a lot of people not qualified for their job. On a side note I worked there for years and only spoke...

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Get off the friends hiring friends system and have some meetings.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2017-11-16
  5. "Interesting and educational place to work"

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

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory

    Pros

    NRL is a very friendly place with a lot of smart people. I've interned for two different departments and never had a bad manager. Almost everyone there is highly educated and technical. It has a very academic atmosphere.

    Cons

    Government bureaucracy can cause some annoying slow downs and issues. Pay is also not as good as other companies, but has a lot of benefits.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2016-12-31
  6. "Shadwell (Mobile, AL)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Mechanical Engineering Intern in Mobile, AL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    The interns have a great boss who is flexible with student work schedules and understanding of the physically taxing work you are doing.

    Cons

    This isn't necessarily a con, but you should know that working aboard the Shadwell is hazardous and it isn't easy work. You can go for a couple months without much to do, but once a testing series starts you have to get to it. It's extremely hot and hard work sometimes. It isn't anything you can't handle if you've ever worked construction in the summer down south though. One thing that is a bummer about the internship...

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    I don't really have any, other than that the supervising engineer aboard the Shadwell deserves way more money than you are probably paying him. He never takes vacations and often works 60-80 hour work weeks with no overtime compensation.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2016-07-07
  7. "Senior Aerospace Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    #1 - autonomy. NRL accepts long-term research project proposals from its employees. The process of getting funding is very rigorous and will weed out bad ideas (and good ones that are not well presented). If successful, you can lead a project with ~$500K/year funding for several years to explore an important new area. #2 - Other NRL employees. Most people at NRL are extremely intelligent, accomplished, well educated...

    Show More

    Cons

    #1 - The long and time-consuming list of management approvals required for travel, procurements, and publications can make it difficult to accomplish anything efficiently. #2 - Pay is limited - not bad for a researcher but considerably less than one can make in the private sector. #3 - if you don't keep management informed of what you're doing, you can be forgotten. Definite lack of rigor in understanding the contributions...

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Try to address "cons" listed above; keep up the good work on "pro" areas. What else can I say?

    US Naval Research Laboratory2016-04-27
  8. "Great research, low pay for a PhD, slow work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Computer Scientist in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Not only does groundbreaking research happen at NRL but it also gets transitioned to real-world systems. You can be a part of the entire cycle from basic to applied research and then eventually to transition. The work-life balance is amazing and it's a very low-stress environment.

    Cons

    The pay for a PhD in an equivalent field (for me) is almost twice as much in the private sector. Upward mobility is nearly non-existant. Things often move at an extremely slow pace.

    Advice to Management

    streamline the acquisition of materials & support, facilitate leadership development, promote from within, and offer better base pay.

    US Naval Research Laboratory2016-01-24
  9. Helpful (8)

    "Terrible advising for postdocs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Good facilities for some fields (nanotechnology). Great pay for postdocs, when compared to universities.

    Cons

    Terrible facilities for other fields (combustion). I keep asking for an exhaust system to be installed so I wouldn’t poison myself, but nothing ever happened. It’s very clear that the decision makers don’t care about employee morale, otherwise the facilities wouldn’t be so old, and things like bike racks wouldn’t be so difficult to come by. Advising can be a real crapshoot. Federal employees have to take on postdocs...

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Just because someone is an accomplished researcher does not mean they can manage other researchers. Don’t rush to promote to fill vacancies, make sure you’re promoting the right person for the job. Also, treat postdocs a little better. Set some real leave and expected work hours policies instead of leaving it up to the advisors, they don’t know what they’re doing. Provide some incentive for taking public transit for...

    Show More
    US Naval Research Laboratory2016-02-02
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Software Engineer"

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

    I have been working at US Naval Research Laboratory

    Pros

    Great flexibility in what you are allowed to do if you have the initiative. I saw various problems that needed to be fixed / improved in my organization and I did it. No BS. The improvements made has improved the quality of life for my development team. Management is supportive of career development. I've never been denied training etc. due to schedule or budget pressure. We try to get on-site training for new tools...

    Show More

    Cons

    Well the lab is part of the federal government and with that comes a lot of baggage. The purchasing department is insane. It takes 6 - 8 months for something ordered to come in and that is after you fill out all kinds of paperwork. While NRL is a large organization each team / project is run like an individual business unit. Which means that each team / project has to develop...

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Provide more support to development teams. Have the lab overall purchase software licenses, equipment and then individual teams can "rent" them or something from the lab. This solves a few problems, purchasing is ungodly slow, if there is a short 12 month project and it takes 8 months to get the equipment that I need to perform on it that is terrible. If the lab owned the equipment then teams can just borrow / rent...

    Show More
    US Naval Research Laboratory2015-08-20
Found 92 reviews