Top 10

The Scientist has released its 2011 list of the best places to do a postdoc. For international institutions the Top 10 are (drum roll please…..):

1. University College London, UK
2. Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, International
3. Biotechnology Center TU Dresden, Germany
4. University of Queensland, Australia
5. Max Planck University, Germany
6. Center for Regenerative Therapies, Germany
7. University of Dundee, Scotland
8. MRC National Institute for Medical Research, UK
9. Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Portugal
10. Nederlands Kanker Instituut, Netherlands

I noticed a few things about the list right off the bat. First of all, whoa Germany, easy there Cap’n Research. Second, North American institutions are very obviously lacking. And finally, given all the talk of China taking over as a new research super power, I wonder when we’ll start seeing some Asian institutions on this list (although I think Novartis might be in Shanghai)?

The magazine also published its list of the Top 40 US institutions, which can be found here:
http://www.the-scientist.com/fragments/bptw/2011/postdoc/bptw_postdocs_top40_2011.jsp. Too bad for me, my school didn’t make the cut! Story of my life. Oh well, at least I’m not paid the lowest. Well, you know, not the very lowest anyway…

I noticed that the list is dominated by “institutes”, “centers” and “foundations”. In fact, a university doesn’t make an appearance on the list until Vanderbilt at position 10.  Some big names were left off the list. For instance, Rockefeller, Stanford and Harvard all failed to make the cut, although Whitehead topped the list. I haven’t given much thought to the rise of the institute but I wonder what, if any, impact this will have on postdocs and research in the future. Thoughts?

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