Research Associate

San Francisco, CA
Competitive plus benefits
Sep 04, 2019
Oct 04, 2019
Job Function
Focus Areas
Science / Technology
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level

The Partnership on AI (PAI) is a growing nonprofit organization producing high-impact research in artificial intelligence (AI) for the benefit of people and society. As PAI continues to scale its Research Team with leading minds of the extended AI community, we are in need of a Research Associate with stellar research and writing skills to help us execute this work.

The Research Associate will work closely with other members of the Research Team on academic articles, white papers, best practice reports, and other research projects. The Research Associate will be responsible for conducting literature reviews, doing exploratory data analysis, providing drafting and editing assistance, consolidating input from our multi-stakeholder processes, and other research-support tasks, all with the goal of helping to shape the future of AI.

This Research Associate position will focus on work related to Fairness, Transparency, and Accountability in AI. The ideal candidate will have prior research experience in this area, particularly algorithmic fairness. More generally, the Research Associate should be familiar with AI ethics research and have the ability to distill technical and social science research for varied audiences, including those who are not immersed in the field. Excellent writing skills and the ability to engage in technical research are key qualifications. 

PAI is a fast-paced organization that often requires quick turnarounds, so initiative and efficiency is critical for success in this position. Because of the varied and dynamic nature of PAI’s multi-stakeholder research projects, this position requires flexibility and the ability to engage with a wide variety of researchers, research topics, methodologies, and tasks. The ideal candidate should have experience in working on research projects with multiple sets of stakeholders. 

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

·      Conduct literature reviews and summarize findings.

·      Draft and edit white papers or reports.

·      Consolidate and summarize feedback from partners and other stakeholders. 

·      Conduct exploratory data analysis and visualize results.

·      Attend industry events, convenings, and conferences.


·      A Bachelor’s Degree, though some graduate-level coursework or research is preferred. A technical degree is not required, but fluency with technical literature and the ability to conduct data analysis is necessary (R is preferred). 

·      2+ years of experience working on research projects (time working as a research assistant while in school counts). Ideally the research includes interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder projects.

·      Ability to quickly gain familiarity with relevant technical and social science literature. The candidate should ideally have had coursework or research experience on Fairness, Transparency, and Accountability in AI.

·      Excellent writing skills and ability to distill technical concepts into approachable language.

·      Comfort in navigating diverse input from a wide array of contributors.

·      Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously and ability to deliver on time and to a high bar of excellence.

Other Considerations:

·      PAI offers a generous paid leave and benefits package, including: Twenty vacation days, three personal reflection days, sick leave and family leave above industry standards, high-quality PPO and HMO health insurance plans, many 100% covered by PAI, Dental and vision insurance 100% covered by PAI, up to a 7% 401K match, vested immediately, pre-tax commuter benefits (Clipper), automatic cell phone reimbursement ($75/month), up to $1,000 in professional development funds annually, team lunches & reading days, opportunities to attend AI related conferences and events and to collaborate with our 90+ partners across industry, academia and civil society. Please refer to our careers page for an updated list of benefits.

·      PAI is headquartered in San Francisco, with a global membership base and scope. The role will be located in San Francisco and will report to a Research Scientist.

PAI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  We celebrate diversity and we are committed to creating an inclusive environment in all aspects of employment, including recruiting, hiring, promoting, training, education assistance, social and recreational programs, compensation, benefits, transfers, discipline, and all privileges and conditions of employment.  Employment decisions at PAI are based on business needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications.

PAI will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance or similar laws.

The Partnership on AI may become subject to certain governmental recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the administration of civil rights laws and regulations. We also track diversity in our workforce for the purpose of improving over time. In order to comply with these goals, the Partnership on AI invites employees to voluntarily self-identify their gender and race/ethnicity. Submission of this information is voluntary and refusal to provide it will not jeopardize or adversely affect employment or any consideration you may receive for employment or advancement.  The information obtained will be kept confidential.  


Application Materials:

1.    Resume

2.    Cover Letter and Writing Sample (5-10 pages) from a research paper, preferably on topics relevant to AI and society (please use the "attach file" button on the right)

3.    3 References

4.   (Optional) R code sample

Applications will be received until September 15, 2019.

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