lambdaloop

Scattered projects and ideas

Neuroscience faculty placements and school rankings

Faculty placement statistics in neuroscience are very hard to come by, even though this is extremely useful information in choosing schools or estimating chances at a given school.

Most programs don’t have a clearly visible list of faculty placements, and professors don’t always keep track of alumni placements or may too young to have placed any students. Aspiring neuroscience students and post-docs, then, are often left to estimate their chances based on the perceived prestige of their school, a notoriously ambiguous metric.

This is made harder by the fact that the rankings are not consistent. For instance, The Chronicle NRC rankings lists Brandeis and Caltech as top 10 by academic research, but the US News ranking lists both as below top 50. Neither Princeton nor Carnegie Mellon are even listed in the NRC rankings, even though both are top-notch neuroscience research schools.

Fortunately, people have been cataloging neuroscience students and faculty on Neurotree, along with PhD and post-doc positions. This allows us to estimate faculty placement rates for each university. I scraped all the people associated with a list of schools. To determine whether someone is a professor, I check that they have at least one grad student listed (this can exclude some newer professors, placing them in “PhD unclear” category).

Since people who completed a PhD but did not obtain a faculty position tend to be unlisted, I normalized the number of PhD students placed by all PhD (placed and unclear) and number of professors listed at institution (as another proxy for size).

Ratio = PhD placed / (PhD placed + PhD unclear + Professors listed)

This ratio is my current best estimate of the faculty placement rate. Depending on the amount and type of missing data on neurotree, this could be either an overestimate or underestimate (mostly depending on how many unplaced PhD students are listed).

Here is the table. Only schools with at least 20 listed PhDs placed are listed. Only a select set of schools outside America are listed for comparison, as I didn’t try to do a thorough listing of these (most have few people in neurotree anyhow).

Institution Ratio PhD placed PhD unclear Professors listed
ANU 0.389 21 11 22
Johns Hopkins 0.369 93 59 100
MIT 0.368 175 77 224
Rockefeller 0.357 55 26 73
Oxford 0.320 126 68 200
Cambridge 0.314 89 48 146
Harvard Medical School 0.286 52 50 80
Brown 0.250 85 50 205
Hebrew University 0.250 32 17 79
Harvard 0.245 248 85 678
Johns Hopkins Medical School 0.242 29 21 70
UCL 0.240 88 68 211
Stanford 0.233 222 95 636
Edinburgh 0.228 29 21 77
Caltech 0.218 83 33 264
Princeton 0.213 63 46 187
Rutgers 0.207 31 25 94
Yale 0.198 158 89 551
UC Berkeley 0.194 209 102 769
Concordia 0.185 22 15 82
Chicago 0.184 125 79 474
Penn 0.179 157 94 624
Cornell 0.177 69 48 272
McGill 0.169 95 66 401
Carnegie Mellon 0.162 44 35 192
Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.162 165 106 748
Syracuse 0.151 24 10 125
Columbia 0.143 146 95 783
Rochester 0.140 59 43 318
UCSF 0.138 66 56 355
University of Washington 0.136 109 87 606
University of Iowa 0.132 70 65 395
Dartmouth 0.130 21 29 112
University of Oregon 0.129 36 26 216
Baylor 0.124 25 30 147
UW Madison 0.123 113 90 712
Duke 0.121 72 62 462
UCSD 0.118 119 87 799
Indiana University 0.116 78 60 536
UCLA 0.115 138 123 934
Brandeis 0.112 26 13 194
OHSU 0.111 20 37 123
CU Boulder 0.109 38 40 272
UIUC 0.109 65 46 488
Case Western 0.108 30 28 220
UVA 0.103 51 40 404
University of Toronto 0.103 74 67 578
U Mass Amherst 0.101 34 35 266
UC Irvine 0.098 55 55 450
UMN 0.098 94 79 790
Michigan State 0.094 41 43 353
SUNY Stony Brook 0.093 33 30 291
Ohio State 0.092 48 46 426
Washington University 0.092 54 49 483
Vanderbilt 0.089 45 50 408
University of Arizona 0.080 35 27 375
University of Utah 0.077 28 33 302
UC Davis 0.075 40 63 430
Purdue 0.075 34 41 379
UNC Chapel Hill 0.073 55 53 642
Penn State 0.072 41 39 487
Florida State 0.071 28 24 345
Northwestern 0.069 57 72 701
University of Maryland 0.068 38 36 482
University of Florida 0.068 50 50 634
UT Austin 0.066 57 59 743
NYU 0.064 53 55 715
USC 0.059 48 44 723
Emory 0.056 27 54 397
Boston University 0.056 39 55 597
Université de Montréal 0.053 20 36 319
University of Pittsburgh 0.053 31 68 487

With the data from neurotree, we can also compute a similar table but for post-doctorates, for which rankings are very hard to find. Interestingly, this list is a bit different from the PhD faculty placement rates.

Institution Ratio Post-docs placed Post-docs unclear Professors listed
Caltech 0.537 116 23 77
Rockefeller 0.535 114 20 79
NIMH 0.500 76 13 63
NYU School of Medicine 0.438 21 10 17
Harvard 0.428 151 50 152
Cambridge 0.423 60 25 57
Salk Institute 0.407 88 24 104
MGH 0.393 22 15 19
MIT 0.392 155 37 203
UC Berkeley 0.390 120 49 139
Johns Hopkins 0.389 65 36 66
Yale School of Medicine 0.387 24 18 20
Harvard Medical School 0.374 145 59 184
Stanford 0.372 186 62 252
NIH 0.367 66 26 88
Carnegie Mellon 0.362 21 14 23
UCSD 0.359 111 68 130
Oxford 0.358 64 51 64
University of Arizona 0.348 23 21 22
CSHL 0.347 33 13 49
CU Boulder 0.333 27 20 34
UCSF 0.333 160 58 263
Washington University 0.331 58 38 79
UCL 0.329 92 52 136
UVA 0.328 20 20 21
Columbia 0.323 106 52 170
Princeton 0.308 44 25 74
Yale 0.307 95 51 163
UW Madison 0.300 51 50 69
University of Iowa 0.296 21 28 22
UCLA 0.294 112 76 193
NYU 0.287 64 40 119
Cornell 0.287 35 23 64
Vanderbilt 0.287 49 45 77
UMN 0.282 31 37 42
Brandeis 0.282 20 13 38
University of Washington 0.278 79 64 141
SUNY Stony Brook 0.278 20 19 33
Rochester 0.276 35 37 55
Rutgers 0.276 27 25 46
UC Irvine 0.273 39 34 70
Duke 0.271 61 44 120
Baylor 0.263 46 34 95
Johns Hopkins Medical School 0.260 45 26 102
Indiana University 0.250 23 24 45
Boston University 0.243 25 30 48
Chicago 0.239 33 40 65
Penn 0.239 78 67 182
Brown 0.232 32 41 65
OHSU 0.231 39 34 96
University of Florida 0.225 20 26 43
McGill 0.219 35 44 81
UNC Chapel Hill 0.212 36 43 91
Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.200 33 55 77
University of Toronto 0.191 21 44 45
UC Davis 0.189 32 48 89
Northwestern 0.173 37 48 129
University of Pittsburgh 0.166 35 49 127
Emory 0.145 21 42 82

You can find the code for computing these table along with brief instructions here: https://github.com/lambdaloop/neurotree-scrape