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Microsoft UK • London, United Kingdom

Principal Applied Scientist - Search & Recommendation

Employment type:  Full time

3 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

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Job Description


Microsoft's mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We are looking for a scientist who can bring deep applied science expertise and a track record of shipping at-scale, AI-enabled, intelligent user-facing experiences to drive vision and execution for Microsoft 365 AI.

Microsoft believes that artificial intelligence will play a critical role in accomplishing that mission. The Microsoft Search, Assistant, and Intelligence (MSAI) group is leading this effort. We are working to change the lives and work of hundreds of millions by building deep intelligence and personalization into M365 Chat,

As an Applied Scientist in MSAI, you would work in an exciting and fast-paced environment, collaborating closely with teams across the company, including Microsoft Research. You will work as part of an organization that brings together talent in the areas of large language models, recommender systems, machine learning, deep learning, graph learning, information retrieval, software engineering, and responsible AI. We value and encourage diversity in the belief that it leads to both great workplaces and great products.


  • Nurtures and grows multiple collaborative relationships with product or business group leaders inside or outside Microsoft and provides expertise or technology to create business impact. Influences product or business group decisions at a strategic level. Authors white papers, begins to be involved in events, develops or maintains tools/services for internal Microsoft use, or conducts consulting for product or business groups. May publish research to promote receiving new intellectual property for business impact.
  • Independently works to create product impact. Identifies approach and applies, improves, or creates a research-backed solution (e.g., novel, data driven, scalable, extendable) to positively impact a Microsoft product or service. Helps to shape the direction of Microsoft and/or the industry with industry-leading product/tooling work.
  • Reviews business and product requirements and incorporates state-of-the-art research occurring at Microsoft and the academic field to formulate plans that will meet business goals. Identifies complex or difficult problems and develops strategy to resolve problems across the company. Provides strategic direction for the kinds of data used to solve problems.

    · Identifies gaps and determines which tools, technologies, and methods to incorporate to ensure quality and scientific rigor. Supports the development and implementation of new or modified tools, technologies, and methods. Applies deep subject matter expert knowledge around a broad array of specialized tools/methods to support business impact.

  • Proactively provides mentorship and coaching to less experienced and mid-level team members (e.g., interns, research associates, senior researchers, Ph.D. candidates) by sharing expertise to build team capabilities and guiding team members in projects, and their careers, and may help to establish best practices and standards. Serves as a technical lead and develops academics to be members of multi-discipline teams.
  • Conduct applied science experiments, create and validate metrics, develop ML pipeline and modeling algorithm in Large Language Models, Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, and Machine Learning.
  • Develop and deploy conversational and language understanding models at scale.
  • Push the boundaries of AI platforms through innovation and partnership.
  • Following and advancing best practices for Responsible AI and Privacy Preserving Machine Learning.
  • Collaborate closely with Microsoft Research, Microsoft Turing, Azure, AI platform teams, and product teams to create the next generation of AI innovation in our products and services.
  • Support and develop a thriving applied science culture within the MSAI organization to encourage experimentation, scientific process, and innovation.
  • Embody our culture and values


  • Recognised Degree in Statistics, Econometrics, Computer Science, Electrical or Computer Engineering, or related field or equivalent work experience
  • Experience working with Machine Learning with expertise in one of the following areas: Search, Recommendation, Personalisation, Ranking, Information Retrieval, Relevance or similar

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 3+ years of design and coding experience
  • 2+ years of experience of large-scale machine learning
  • Dedicated C#, or Java or Python or C/C++ coding skills
  • Free thinkers with the ability to socialize and drive their ideas into technology are highly desired.
  • Ph.D. preferred but not required

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. 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.

Company benefits

Wellbeing allowance
Health insurance
Dental coverage
Gym membership
Mental health platform access
Buy or sell annual leave
Shared parental leave
Matched pension contribution
Charity donation scheme
Employee assistance programme
Employee discounts
Volunteer days
Fertility treatment leave
Open to compressed hours
Open to job sharing
Fertility benefits
Enhanced sick pay
Enhanced sick days
Compassionate leave
Travel insurance
20 days annual leave + bank holidays
Enhanced maternity leave
Enhanced paternity leave
Adoption leave
Childcare credits
Carer’s leave
Cycle to work scheme
Faith rooms
Annual bonus
Annual pay rises
Company car
Open to part-time employees
Pregnancy loss leave
Life insurance
Equity packages
Financial coaching
Relocation packages
Employees are very happy with their working location freedom
Employees are very happy with the flexibility in the hours they work
Employees are largely happy with the benefits their company offers
Work-life balance
Employees feel that they can switch off quite easily from work
Role modelling
Employees feel that most people work flexibly
Employees feel that they can mostly manage how they get their own work done

Working at Microsoft UK

Company employees

Globally: 220,000

Gender diversity (male:female)


Office locations

London, Reading, Cambridge, Romsey, Manchester, Edinburgh

Hiring Countries

United Kingdom

Awards & Achievements

Most flexible companies

Most flexible companies

Flexa100 2024

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