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We seek outstanding applicants for Real World Reinforcement Learning researcher positions, especially related to applications or foundation models for learning with sequential decision making including reinforcement learning

As a researcher, you have the opportunity to create and pursue a research agenda with our group’s diverse array of researchers and practitioners, as well as contribute to ongoing research projects.  We collaborate extensively with groups at other MSR locations and across Microsoft.  Researchers receive a competitive salary and benefits, and are eligible for relocation benefits.

Microsoft Research offers an exhilarating and supportive environment for both theoretical and empirical cutting-edge multidisciplinary research, with access to an extraordinary diversity of data sources, an open publications policy, and close links to top academic institutions around the world.

We are seeking candidates in the general area of real world reinforcement learning and sequential decision making, especially those with a demonstrated interest in driving applications or creating agent foundation models (or learned world models more generally). Applicants should have a well-established research track record, evidenced by conference or journal publications (or equivalent pieces of writing) and broader contributions to the research community.

Applicants must have fulfilled their PhD degree requirements, including submission of their dissertation, prior to joining.

We are committed to building an inclusive, diverse, and pluralistic research environment and strongly encourage applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, as well as students with non-traditional backgrounds. We work collectively to make Microsoft Research a welcoming and productive space for all researchers.

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, and we’re dedicated to this mission across every aspect of our company. Our culture is centered on embracing a growth mindset and encouraging teams and leaders to bring their best each day. Join us and help shape the future of the world.

How to Apply

To ensure we receive a complete application from you, please be sure to follow these instructions:

  • Upload your CV.
  • When prompted in your application, please provide the names and contact information for at least 3 reference letter writers (in nearly all cases, one will be from your dissertation advisor).
  • Upload (as separate attachments to your application) 2 conference or journal articles, book chapters, or equivalent (potentially unpublished) writing samples that you are most proud of, and which best demonstrate your expertise.
  • Upload (as an attachment to your application) an academic statement (no more than 4 pages) that outlines both your research achievements and agenda.


You define your own research agenda in collaboration with other researchers, driving forward an effective program of basic, fundamental, and applied research. We highly value collaboration and building new ideas with members of the group and others. You may also have the direct opportunity to realize your ideas in products and services used worldwide.


Required qualifications

  • Doctorate in relevant field OR equivalent experience

Preferred qualifications

  • Research agenda that synergizes with the RWRL group.
  • The ability to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.
  • Participation and activity in the scientific community.
  • Strong communication skills
  • Research ability demonstrated by three conference or journal publications, book chapters, codebases, or equivalent (potentially unpublished) writing samples, requested as part of the application.

Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.  We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.

Benefits and Perks

  • Industry leading healthcare
  • Savings and investments
  • Giving programs
  • Educational resources
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Opportunities to network and connect
  • Discounts on products and services
  • Generous time away

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