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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 29, 2003

UI Ranked Among Top 15 'Best Places To Work In Scientific Institutions'

The University of Iowa has been ranked number 14 for "Best Place to Work in Scientific Institutions" out of 132 United States-based institutions by the international science news magazine The Scientist. In a previous Scientist survey, the UI was ranked ninth among places that provide nurturing, rewarding environments for postdoctoral research fellows.

The publication developed the latest survey to determine which research environments are welcoming to assistant professors, lecturers and senior scientists. Overall, survey participants said that collegiality and resources were the most important factors in accomplishing their work, above factors such as pay and job security. The survey results appear in the Oct. 20, 2003, issue of The Scientist.

Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia was ranked number one in the survey. Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind., was ranked second.

The Scientist posted a web-based questionnaire and invited readers in tenure and tenure-track positions in noncommercial organizations to respond. The survey received 2,210 usable responses from scientists in the United States, Canada and western Europe. Respondents assessed their working conditions and environments by indicating their level of agreement with 56 positive statements in 12 different areas. Respondents also indicated which factors were important to them. A total of 168 institutions, each with four or more respondents, were included in the rankings.

The Scientist noted some caveats, including that the sample of respondents, while large, was self selected, which may introduce some bias into the results. They also noted, "No attempt has been made to measure the statistical significance of the results. The difference between, say, a 10th ranked and a 20th ranked institution may be insignificant."

This "best workplace" survey is the third survey by The Scientist that aims to help researchers identify the universities and centers where their work will be nurtured and fairly remunerated. For more information on the latest survey, visit http://www.the-scientist.com/academia/academia.htm. For more information on the "postdoc" survey, see the UI news release at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2003/february/022703postdocts.html.

The Scientist reports on research and technology developments; legal, ethical, political and policy issues; and employment and funding opportunities for academic life scientists.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 5224-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660 becky-soglin@uiowa.edu