OpenAI Residency

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What Openai is looking for in applicants

About the OpenAI Residency

The OpenAI Residency
offers a pathway to a full-time role at OpenAI for researchers and engineers who don’t currently focus on artificial intelligence. We are excited to get applications from everyone, and will make a special effort to hear from underrepresented groups in technology.

The program is an iteration of our former Scholars and Fellows programs. The Residency shifts the focus away from curriculum-based learning, instead giving Residents an opportunity to work collaboratively alongside OpenAI teams on active projects. 

The first cohort of the six-month program begins in April 2022. As a Resident, you’ll be embedded within our Research & Applied AI teams working on real, cutting-edge AI problems. Residents will be compensated as fully salaried employees for the duration of the program. 

Over the last three years we’ve made more than 20 full-time hires through our mentorship programs, representing one in six members of our technical staff, and our new iteration will broaden the range of candidates we are considering. 

Excellent work and experience can come from both inside and outside of the traditional education and work settings. OpenAI has long been home to many self-taught researchers and engineers. If you have an unconventional educational background, we encourage you to apply. Our goal is for this program to be as inclusive and diverse as possible, and we will provide immigration and relocation support to high-potential talent globally.

The Residency offers two distinct tracks: 

The AI Software Engineering track is a great match for people that have an engineering background and would like to advance to a Software Engineer position in an AI company. We are looking for candidates with engineering experience in fast-paced environments. As a Resident on the Software Engineer track, you will work closely with and directly accelerate machine learning researchers, although you do not need to be a machine learning expert yourself. You will have the opportunity to work with the teams to build systems from ideation to launch and understand how engineering can accelerate AI research. 

Preferred Qualifications for the Software Engineering track: 

  • Proficiency in programming languages 
  • Industry experience as a software engineer in a fast-paced role 
  • Strong math background and understanding of linear algebra, calculus, and statistics

The AI Research track is ideal for people with a research background in a scientific non-ML field who would like to transition into a Research Scientist or Research Engineer position. We are looking for a record of achievement in another field such as mathematics, physics or neuroscience. As a Resident on the Research track, you will work closely with a team of machine learning researchers to build AI systems that can perform previously impossible tasks and achieve unprecedented levels of performance to advance the research agenda of your team.

Preferred Qualifications for the Research track: 

  • Published research in a STEM field or equivalent practical research experience
  • Proficiency in programming languages 
  • Strong math background and understanding of linear algebra, calculus, and statistics
  • Achievements in another field, such as creating a large software system, awards in math/science/programming contests, or authoring highly cited publications

Applications for the Spring class in 2022 are open now through January 14, 2022 12 a.m. (PST).

We will give preference to those who: 

  • Can join OpenAI full-time after completing the Residency
  • Take the initiative to jump right in and begin self-study of the fundamentals of ML
  • Are motivated to discover AI breakthroughs and their potential benefits to humanity

Application and Program Timeline

  • Applications are open now.
  • Applications close on January 14, 2022 12 a.m. (PST).
  • Interviews take place January 17 - March 4, 2022.
  • Decisions are communicated by mid-March.
  • Program starts on April 18, 2022.

We will review applications on a rolling basis. 


  • This program will be in person at our office in San Francisco, California.

Work Authorization / Sponsorship

  • OpenAI will provide immigration and sponsorship support to Residents based on their unique circumstances.


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

Want some tips on how to get an interview at Openai?

What is Openai looking for?
If this role looks interesting to you, a great first step is to understand what excites you about the team, product or mission. Take your time thinking about this and then tell the team! Get in touch and communicate that passion.
What are interviews for OpenAI Residency like?
Interview processes vary by company, role and team. The best plan is to see what others have experienced and then plan accordingly.
How to land an interview at OpenAI Residency?
A great first step is organizing your path to an offer. Check out Kiter for tools to get started!