Questions Sent to Laboratory Senior Scientists and Engineers for Discussion at a Meeting with the Committee
1. It has been asserted by some that the laboratories have lost flexibility in how they execute programs. What flexibility do you retain?
2. What is the role of S&E foundations in driving the future in your own unit?
3. How well is the laboratory doing in attracting and retaining high-quality scientists and engineers. What are the impediments?
4. How do you think colleagues in your unit would respond to the following questions?
• How free am I to steer my own career? What constraints are placed on my choices?
• What resources (equipment, support staff, information, etc.) are available to me to enable my performing at a high level of quality?
• How much control do I have over my own time, both day-to-day and over longer terms?
• How much time is provided for me to report my findings? For travel to relevant events? For other professional development, in-house and outside?
• How is my competence and currency to be maintained?
• How much overhead must I attend to (security and safety processes, internal paperwork, etc.)?
• How is my performance measured in-house and by what metrics? How do those metrics map onto my understanding of S&E quality?
• How are my achievements rewarded in-house? Do I have opportunities to gain external awards?
• How secure is my position? My research area? Will management protect me?
• Can I communicate freely and effectively with my technical and administrative management when I have ideas, problems, and when they have news that affects me? Are the chains of control clear? Do my managers have the flexibility to help me do good work?