Microsoft UK • Cambridge, United Kingdom

Principal Researcher – Machine Learning for Game AI - Microsoft Research

Employment type:  Full time

3 days/week at home

Fully flexible hours

Apply now

Job Description


For our Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK, location, we are seeking Principal Researcher (equivalent to Director level/(US) tenured associate professor) candidates in the area of Machine Learning for Gaming and AI. We encourage applications from all candidates who are excited to tackle challenges that arise in applications of machine learning approaches to modern video games, including but not limited to those with backgrounds in deep learning, foundation models, generative AI, machine learning for computer vision or multi-modal models, deep reinforcement learning, or scalable and robust machine learning.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an experienced machine learning researcher and leader in their respective field to expand an established research group to drive ambitious research in collaboration with a diverse, multi-disciplinary team. Key research challenges that we are currently tackling include, but are not limited to, evaluation of multi-modal generative AI models, generalization, predictive (world) models, imitation and reinforcement learning, and scaling to large-scale data and compute.

This posting will be active for 25 days. All candidates applying while the post is active will be considered on an equal basis. For more information about the post, questions can be sent by email to the hiring manager Katja Hofmann at

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, and we’re dedicated to this mission across every aspect of our company. Our culture is centered on embracing a growth mindset and encouraging teams and leaders to bring their best each day. Join us and help shape the future of the world.


  • Identifies and articulates a clear long-term research agenda that is academically novel and may incorporate current or anticipated business priorities.
  • Identifies gaps and determines which state-of-the-art insights, tools, technologies, or methods to incorporate into research pipelines to ensure quality, scientific rigor, and ethical best practices. Supports the development and implementation of new or modified tools, technologies, and methods within a research pipeline.
  • Leads a collaborative research effort to advance a long-term research agenda through multiple projects, yielding new algorithms, prototypes, theories, tools, methods, analyses, insights, or collections of data in one or more subareas or a broad area of research to create societal impact.
  • Contributes to ethics and privacy policies related to research processes and/or data/information collection by providing updates and suggestions around internal best practices
  • Acts as a major contributor to influential publications, serves on workshop and conference organizing committees, and delivers talks as an invited speaker, with an impact similar to that of a (United States) tenured associate professor.
  • Pro-actively provides mentorship and coaching to less experienced and mid-level team members (e.g., interns, PhD candidates, post-doctorate researchers) by sharing expertise to build team capabilities and guiding team members in research projects and their careers.



  • PhD in machine learning or equivalent experience.
  • An established research program demonstrated by high-impact journal and/or conference publications or other forms of outstanding impact.
  • Strong understanding of state-of-the-art machine learning approaches and their potential suitability for solving deep research challenges related to relevant application areas.
  • A track record of mentoring more junior researchers.
  • Experience in conceptualizing, implementing and evaluating machine learning approaches.
  • Experience presenting research findings.
  • Experience working on a team contributing to long-term team goals.


  • Experience in solving deep research challenges relevant to machine learning applications in gaming.
  • Experience presenting to a wide range of diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrable ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team.


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.

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

Other jobs you might like