Research Intern - Computational Social Science


On Site
USD 6,290.00 - 12,170.00 per month
Full Time


Large Language Models (LLMs)
Research and Development
Computer science
Social Sciences
Web browsers
Social media
Machine Learning (ML)
Data Analysis
Web development
Health care
Cascading style sheets
Artificial intelligence
Analytical skill

Job Details

Research Internships at Microsoft provide a dynamic environment for research careers with a network of world-class research labs led by globally-recognized scientists and engineers, who pursue innovation in a range of scientific and technical disciplines to help solve complex challenges in diverse fields, including computing, healthcare, economics, and the environment.

The Microsoft Research Computational Social Science (CSS) group is widely recognized as a leading center of computational social science research, lying at the intersection of computer science, statistics, and the social sciences. We have been heavily focused recently on the intersection of Large Language Model (LLM)-based tools and human cognition and productivity. Additionally, our main areas of interest are: innovating ways to make data, models, and algorithms easier for people to understand; polling and forecasting; advancing crowdsourcing methods; and understanding the market (and impact) for news and advertisement. Our approach is motivated by two longstanding difficulties for traditional social science: first, that simply gathering observational data on human activity is extremely difficult at scale and over time; and second, that running experiments to manipulate the conditions under which these measurements are made (e.g., randomly assigning large sets of interacting people to treatment and control groups) is even more challenging and often impossible.

In the first category, we exploit digital data that is generated by existing platforms (e.g., email, web browsers, search, social media) to generate novel insights into individual and collective human behavior. In the second category, we design novel "virtual lab" experiments that allow for larger scale, longer time horizons, and greater complexity and realism than is possible in physical labs.

Microsoft Research (MSR) New England and MSR New York City are comprised of approximately fifty full-time researchers and postdocs working in AI for systems, computational biology, computational social science, economics and computation, Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in AI (FATE), machine learning and AI, machine learning and statistics, reinforcement learning, social media studies, theoretical computer science. The labs are highly collaborative and interdisciplinary and are actively engaged with the local academic and tech communities.

Microsoft's mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. As employees we come together with a growth mindset, innovate to empower others, and collaborate to realize our shared goals. Each day we build on our values of respect, integrity, and accountability to create a culture of inclusion where everyone can thrive at work and beyond.


Required Qualifications
  • Currently enrolled in a PhD program in a field related to computational social science.
  • At least 2 years of experience with data analysis in languages such as R or Python.
  • At least 1 year of experience designing, building, and analyzing online experiments.

Other Requirements
  • Research Interns are expected to be physically located in their manager's Microsoft worksite location for the duration of their internship.
  • In addition to the qualifications above, you'll need to submit a minimum of two reference letters for this position. After you submit your application, a request for letters may be sent to your list of references on your behalf. Note that reference letters cannot be requested until after you have submitted your application, and furthermore, that they might not be automatically requested for all candidates. You may wish to alert your letter writers in advance, so they will be ready to submit your letter.
  • Please explicitly list in your cover letter:
    • Your data analytic toolset (e.g., R, Python, etc.).
    • Your web development toolset (e.g., Javascript, React.js, D3.js, etc.).
    • A link to any online code repositories (e.g., Github, OSF, etc.).

Preferred Qualifications
  • Skills for modern web development tools (e.g., JavaScript) for online experiments.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop original research agendas.
  • Track record of cross-group and cross-culture collaboration.
  • Ability to think unconventionally to derive creative and innovative solutions.

The base pay range for this internship is USD $6,290 -$12,170 per month. There is a different range applicable to specific work locations, within the San Franscisco Bay area and New York City metropolitan area, and the base pay range for this role in those locations is USD $8,060 - $13, 240 per month.

Certain roles may be eligible for benefits and other compensation. Find additional benefits and pay information here:

Microsoft accepts applications and processes offers for these roles on an ongoing basis.

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.


Research Interns put inquiry and theory into practice. Alongside fellow doctoral candidates and some of the world's best researchers, interns learn, collaborate, and network for life. Research Interns not only advance their own careers, but they also contribute to exciting research and development strides. During the 12-week internship, Research Interns are paired with mentors and expected to collaborate with other interns and researchers, present findings, and contribute to the vibrant life of the community. Research internships are available in all areas of research, and are offered year-round, though they typically begin in the summer.

Please note that research internships may begin as early as January.