In its annual list of the “Best Places to Work in Academia,” The Scientist magazine ranked OMRF 10th among U.S. institutions.
The rankings, which appear in the July issue of The Scientist, were based on surveys that gathered thousands of responses from scientists across the country. Participants were asked to rate their institutions on 37 criteria in 8 different core areas and to rank which factors were more important to them.
OMRF scored particularly well in the categories of peers, which assesses the strength of the research staff, and compensation.
“At OMRF, we have worked very hard to create an atmosphere that encourages both free-thinking and camaraderie,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “Whether it’s building laboratories with open floor plans or hosting lectures, seminars and social events, we are focused on bringing our scientists together in ways that will spur new collaborations and ideas.”
With 81 full-time life scientists, OMRF is smaller than most of the other institutions ranked by The Scientist. But, said Prescott, OMRF’s size plays to its advantage in many ways.
“Because of our lean staffing, OMRF can be nimble in ways that large universities cannot,” says Prescott. “If science suddenly moves in a new direction or if our researchers find they need something unexpected, we can turn on a dime. At an independent research institute like OMRF, there’s not a lot of red tape to cut through.”
OMRF was one of three Oklahoma institutions to appear on this year’s list. Also in the top 15 were the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The Oklahoma institutions topped such universities and research institutes as Johns Hopkins University, the National Cancer Institute and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
“It might surprise some Oklahomans to find out how much top-level research is going on in their state, but it’s no secret in the world of science,” said Prescott.
OMRF Vice President of Research Paul Kincade, Ph.D., said the results confirm what he has known since he joined OMRF from New York’s Sloan-Kettering Institute in 1982.
“OMRF is a place that cares about the employees, and the employees care about OMRF,” said Kincade. “There’s a collegial atmosphere that has been cultivated over many years that makes it a great place to work.”