Research Scientist, Policy

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What Openai is looking for in applicants

About the Team

As a Research Scientist on the Policy Research team at OpenAI, you’ll contribute directly to short-term and long-term analyses that inform OpenAI’s strategies as we pursue responsible research and deployment of our AI systems. We are looking for researchers who are excited to collaborate across technical, policy, and/or product teams in the organization.

About the Role

The role will involve conducting research of immediate relevance to OpenAI decision-making but a researcher in this role will also have a broad remit to conduct and publish research following their own agenda, and latitude to collaborate with relevant external scholars. Members of our team come with or build up specialties in a particular area of AI safety. We are currently hiring for multiple Research Scientists, and ask you to propose an area of focus. We’re interested in everything from safety to geopolitics to HCI.

The ideal candidate will be self-directed and will enjoy asking foundational research questions, creative research design, analytical problem solving, and engaging broad audiences with their research.

Example research questions might include:

  • How might we understand, measure, and anticipate potential impacts of AI systems, such as risks of producing harmful speech or environmental impacts?
  • How do we work with different interests (e.g. labor, governments, etc.) to help bridge knowledge gaps of current and future AI development and processes?
  • How can we best inform and prepare the world for advanced AI capabilities?
  • What are the best ways to distribute benefits from AI to different regions around the world?
  • How might different geopolitical actors anticipate and react to our developments?

Representative responsibilities:

  • Own and pursue a research agenda aimed at understanding the potential and actual impacts of AI systems
  • Understand and clearly communicate potential harms and benefits to decision-makers at OpenAI
  • Advise our technical and applied teams on AI impacts dimensions of decisions

We seek candidates with the following qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant area (e.g. sociology, economics, or political science), or relevant research experience and an established research track record, demonstrated by journal publications and/or conference papers
  • Demonstrated commitment to understanding AI policy is a plus
  • Technical understanding of and familiarity with recent development in AI is a plus

Application Instructions

Members of our team come with or build up specialties in a particular area of AI policy. We ask that you submit a short research statement describing the research you hope to initially carry out at OpenAI. We recommend focusing at least a few sentences on why it's important for OpenAI, in particular, to be doing this work and why you want to be at OpenAI to do this work.

About OpenAI

OpenAI is an AI research and deployment company dedicated to ensuring that general-purpose artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. We push the boundaries of the capabilities of AI systems and seek to safely deploy them to the world through our products. AI is an extremely powerful tool that must be created with safety and human needs at its core, and to achieve our mission, we must encompass and value the many different perspectives, voices, and experiences that form the full spectrum of humanity. 

At OpenAI, we believe artificial intelligence has the potential to help people solve immense global challenges, and we want the upside of AI to be widely shared. Join us in shaping the future of technology.

Benefits and Perks
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance for you and your family
  • Mental health and wellness support
  • 401(k) plan with 4% matching 
  • Unlimited time off and 18+ company holidays per year 
  • Paid parental leave (20 weeks) and family-planning support
  • Annual learning & development stipend ($1,500 per year)
We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability or other legally protected statuses. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities, and requests can be made via

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