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Noble Foundation earns top 10 ranking in survey

For the second consecutive year, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation has ranked as one of the top 10 scientific institutions for academic faculty in the United States.

“The Scientist” magazine recently announced the results of its annual “Best Places to Work in Academia” survey, and the Noble Foundation ranked No. 9 out of 94 institutions. This year’s ranking closely mirrors the Noble Foundation’s position (No. 8 out of 70 institutions) in 2008. Last year was the first time the organization participated in the survey.

“Even as these surveys draw more competition from around the country, the Noble Foundation remains at the elite level,” said Michael A. Cawley, president and chief executive officer of the Noble Foundation. “The results serve as a valuable benchmark against important peer institutions and illustrate the high level of scientific and agricultural research the Noble Foundation has achieved.”

The magazine’s Web-based survey gathered 2,355 responses from life scientists at 119 institutions worldwide. Participants were asked to rate their institutions on 38 criteria in eight different areas that make up their working conditions and environment. The Noble Foundation received top scores for research resources and management and policies.

“Since initiating its research programs in 1988, the Noble Foundation has quickly become a global leader in plant science research,” said Richard Dixon, D.Phil., director of the Plant Biology Division. “The resources go beyond merely the funding for research and the facilities. Researchers at the Noble Foundation have the support of a visionary Board of Trustees and work with the highest caliber of colleagues, resulting in an almost unequaled research environment.”

The Noble Foundation employs more than 85 life scientists from 29 different countries to perform fundamental and translational plant science research as well as applied agricultural research at the organization’s facilities in Ardmore, Okla. The organization’s research activities complement a regional agricultural consultation and education program that began in 1945.

The institution provides more than 500,000 square feet of research and administration space, 12,000 acres of research and demonstration land, dedicated funding and ample support personnel to assist its research and agricultural consultation staff.

“The strategy for building successful programs at the Noble Foundation has been simple and direct,” said Joe Bouton, Ph.D., director of the Forage Improvement Division. “You bring the best personnel in from around the world. You provide them the best resources, and the result is outstanding research.”

The Noble Foundation ranked as the highest agricultural and plant science research institute in this year’s survey. Additionally, it is one of the few organizations in the entire survey that conducts fundamental, translational and applied research.

“The Noble Foundation has become widely recognized for its ability to contribute to the complete spectrum of agricultural and plant science research,” said Billy Cook, Ph.D., director of the Agricultural Division. “We have the ability to move discoveries from the laboratory to the field. Agricultural producers in our region and in similar ecological zones around the world directly experience the benefits from our research.”

The Noble Foundation topped such recognized research organizations as the Mayo Clinic and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, as well as two dozen other national research universities, such as the Duke University and Stanford University.

This is the second time the Noble Foundation has earned a top 10 ranking from the magazine this year. In May, the Noble Foundation earned the No. 4 ranking in the magazine’s “Best Places to Work for Postdoctoral Fellows” survey.

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