Microsoft Research Blog

Microsoft Research Blog

The Microsoft Research blog provides in-depth views and perspectives from our researchers, scientists and engineers, plus information about noteworthy events and conferences, scholarships, and fellowships designed for academic and scientific communities.

Learn Artificial Intelligence Skills via Residency at Microsoft

January 30, 2018 | By Christopher Bishop, Technical Fellow and Laboratory Director, Microsoft Research Cambridge

Harness Machine Learning to Improve People’s Lives

At Microsoft, we are committed to leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to benefit people and greater society. Advances in AI can be applied to address some of the world’s biggest challenges, and so we are keen to nurture the next generation of talent, so they are better prepared to innovate and contribute to multiple areas of AI, including machine learning, planning, and decision making.

Microsoft is introducing a one-year AI Residency Program for university graduates in the US and the UK. Specifically, we’re looking for BSc, MSc, and PhD graduates with concentrations in mathematics, physics, computer science, electrical engineering, economics, human-computer interaction, computational biology, and other related disciplines. We created the Residency Program to provide opportunities for new graduates to build skills and experience in AI, and to work on real-world projects that harness AI to improve people’s lives and tackle some of society’s toughest challenges.

The Residency Program will give participants hands-on experience working alongside Microsoft researchers, engineers, and product teams, learning how to develop and deploy AI techniques and solutions at scale across a range of areas, such as healthcare, scientific discovery, productivity, and gaming. By the end of the Program, residents will have gained significant applied experience in AI and will be encouraged to apply for a regular position at Microsoft.

This is the first Program of its kind to offer AI residency positions outside of the US. The UK is one of the best locations for AI research in the world. In a recent study by consultancy Oxford Insights, the UK came first for AI readiness in a list of the top 35 countries, followed second by the US. We’re therefore excited to be able to offer places on this new Program in Cambridge, UK, as well as at our headquarters in Redmond, Washington, US.

A basic principle of the Residency Program is to bring together a diverse range of researchers, engineers, and applied scientists with unique perspectives, including candidates who may not have had a traditional background in AI. In fact, engaging people with a diversity of interests and backgrounds in AI is a promising direction in overcoming challenges with encoding biases in AI systems. We are reaching out to encourage a broad spectrum of people to learn about, and to work with AI technologies. Microsoft is committed to creating AI systems that are fair, reliable and safe, private and secure, inclusive, transparent, and accountable. We look forward to working with the people that will carry that work forward into the future.

How to apply

To apply to the 2018 Microsoft AI Residency Program, you will need to complete an application form and submit the following items:

  • Cover letter that includes a personal statement as to why you would be perfect for the Microsoft AI Residency Program.
  • CV/Resume, including links to GitHub, professional webpages, publications, or blog posts.

The residency program will start in September 2018 and will be full-time for one year. Applications close on March 30, with interviews taking place in March and April. We will notify successful candidates from April through May.

Eligibility criteria

  • We are looking for BSc, MSc, and PhD graduates with substantial coursework in, but not limited to: computer science, electrical engineering, data science, mathematics, physics, economics, human-computer interaction, and computational biology.
  • Experience developing in at least one high-level language such as Python or C/C++/C#.
  • Enthusiasm to move into the field is essential.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Experience with machine learning techniques or deep learning frameworks is desirable.

To learn more, visit the Microsoft AI Residency Program. Ready to apply? Go to the Cambridge, UK or Redmond, WA career page on the Microsoft Research website.

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