Research Intern - Political Economy at Microsoft

Research Intern - Political Economy

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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  • Job number 760299
  • Date posted Dec 12, 2019
  • Travel None
  • Profession Research
  • Role type Individual Contributor
  • Employment type Internship

The Microsoft Office of the Chief Technology Officer Pluralistic Organization for Dignity (OCTOPOD) group aims to help Microsoft envision, build and communicate a future for technology that affirms and empowers human creativity, communication and collaboration. Microsoft’s mission “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more” is only achievable if technology is advancing towards a future full of diverse human organization and focused on such empowerment. Yet today the dominant vision of the future of technology focuses on automation, artificial intelligence and the replacement of diverse human organization with a small number of hyper-scale technology platforms. This vision grows in no small part out of scientific, science fiction and social science communication that has been supported by our competitive rivals.
If Microsoft’s pluralistic business model is to compete, we must define, articulate and build towards an even more compelling vision.
Fundamental scientific research is critical to achieving this mission. Yet the figures most central to defining the public vision of the future of AI have in many cases done so more as public communicators and artists rather than as pure scientists. Such roles are even more crucial for articulating the vision we seek to advance, as we aim not merely to persuade an elite to embrace and a public to accept the inevitability of automation, but instead to empower every person and every organization to harness and co-determine the future of technology.
An important component of doing so is building political economies, social technologies and business models that encourage and facilitate diverse organization and collaboration. This internship will focus on these problems, both developing solutions and communicating them to senior leaders at Microsoft and the public.


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. Interns not only advance their own careers, but they also contribute to exciting research and development strides. During the 12-week internship, students 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.


In addition to the qualifications below, 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.
Required Qualifications
Must be currently enrolled in a PhD program in a quantitative or computational social science field.
Preferred Qualifications
Training in some social science or humanities beyond core area of study.
Experience with public or corproate communication beyond academic publications.
Capability in collaborating with diverse skill sets beyond academic field of specialization.
Interest in transformative, long-term thinking.
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 .
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
  • Giving programs
  • Opportunities to network and connect
  • Discounts on products and services


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