Science magazine names U of A a top employer

(Edmonton) If you’re an academic, the grass may be greener on the University of Alberta’s side of the fence.

The Scientist, a magazine of the life sciences, announced July 4 that the U of A is the eighth best institution of higher learning to work outside the United States, as part of the publication’s ninth annual “Best Places to Work in Academia” survey.

“We are always proud to be recognized as one of the top university workplaces,” said President Indira Samarasekera. “This acknowledgement speaks not only to our efforts to build a world-class research and teaching institute that attracts some of the top talent in the world, but also to the culture of collegiality and collaboration that our staff and faculty have worked very hard to create.” 

Surveyors asked respondents to assess their work environment and experience by indicating their level of agreement with 37 criteria in eight different areas, ranging from job satisfaction to teaching and mentoring, as well as ranking statements relating to personal satisfaction and value of work.

The U of A scored particularly high in areas of how the respondents felt about their peers, pay, management and policies, and tenure and promotion. As well, the magazine said a productive research environment and a fun, casual atmosphere is a commonly cited trait of the study’s top institutions, as was collaboration.

“It’s clear that scientists value the accessibility of fruitful partnerships to enhance their research,” said The Scientist editor Jef Akst.

Readers ranked The J. David Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, California, as the top institution in the United States, and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, as the top international academic institution.

The Scientist, the award-winning magazine of the life sciences, has informed and entertained life science professionals around the world for the past 25 years. It provides innovative print and online coverage of the latest developments in the life sciences including trends in research, new technology, news, business and careers.