For the second consecutive year, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, known to hay growers for its valuable forage research, has ranked as one of the top 10 scientific institutions for academic faculty in the U.S.

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 its 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,” says Michael Cawley, foundation president and CEO. “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,” says Richard Dixon, director of the Plant Biology Division.

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, OK. Its research activities complement a regional ag 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 ag consultation staff.

“The strategy for building successful programs at the Noble Foundation has been simple and direct,” says Joe Bouton, 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.”