Research Intern - Failure Explanation and Debugging in Machine Learning

Last updated one month ago
Location:Redmond, Washington
Job Type:Full Time

Virtual Internship

Participation in the Research Internship Program requires that you are physically located in the United States or Canada for the duration of the internship.

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. Our researchers and engineers 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 main focus of the internship project is building algorithmic methods and\or tools that can help machine learning practitioners in better understanding the performance of their systems along with failure conditions. Such methods and tools are beneficial not only for debugging and troubleshooting current existing systems but also for rigorously evaluating their performance and reliability and uncovering blind spots and biases models may have for different subgroups of inputs. The scope of the project also includes assessing the contributions towards real-world learning models and systems.

The project will investigate ideas around extracting meaningful representational features from image data that can be then leveraged to characterize failure of ML models. Yet another target is to conceptualize a framework for integrating the discovered insights into action items that ML engineers can take to further improve the model.


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.

As an intern in the Mixed Reality group, you will have the opportunity to work in an organization shipping cutting-edge products in the augmented and virtual reality spaces. You will also be working directly with Microsoft Research, a world-class research organization enabling access to diverse data sources, and close links to top academic institutions around the world.


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 CS, EE or a related STEM field.
  • Must have at least 1 year of experience in conducting research, writing peer-reviewed publications.
  • Must have at least 3 years of experience in software development either in industry or for academical projects.
  • Conducting research in at least one of the following areas: machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, explainable artificial intelligence and interpretability, causal analysis and inference.
  • Must have 2-3 years of hands-on experience in designing, training, and evaluating large-scale machine learning models.
  • Participation in the Research Internship Program requires that you are physically located in the United States or Canada for the duration of the internship

Preferred Qualifications

  • Have a good understanding of state-of-the-art techniques in the field of interpretability or robustness in machine learning.
  • Experience with Machine Learning techniques for Vision.
  • Experience with popular ML frameworks like PyTorch. TF & Keras, Scikit.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop original research agendas.
  • Must be able to collaborate effectively with other researchers and product development teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, cross-group, and cross-culture collaboration.
  • Ability to think unconventionally to derive creative and innovative solutions.

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.