Research Intern – Human Understanding and Empathy group

at Microsoft
Published January 23, 2023
Location Delaware, United States of America
Category Data Science  
Job Type 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 Human Understanding and Empathy (HUE) group at Microsoft Research, seeks an exceptional intern to work on a project related to well-being, productivity, cognition, and creativity in the workplace. There are many ways to understand and influence the well-being of individuals in the workplace. Such efforts require interdisciplinary efforts in HCI, Affective Computing, ML, Systems, Design, and Psychology. This interdisciplinary work leads to progress in areas such as affective computing, multi-modal sensing and interactions, and human-centered data science and AI.


During this internship, you will be working with members of the HUE group on a research project designed to identify new techniques of understanding and improving people’s well-being, productivity, cognition, and creativity. Examples of related current and past projects include multimodal processing with applications for behavioral and physiological sensing, image grounded language understanding and generation, building and deploying agents for productivity and wellbeing support, and reducing the cognitive load of information workers.


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.


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 or equivalent program in Psychology, HCI, Cognitive Science, CS, EE, or a related STEM field.
  • Must have at least 2 years of experience in conducting research and experiments using human-centered approaches in the fields of HCI, ML, Psychology, or Design.

Interns are expected to be physically located in their manager’s Microsoft worksite location for the duration of their internship


Preferred Qualifications

Must have experience writing peer-reviewed publications.


Recommended to have one or more of the following experiences:

  • Experience implementing research prototypes (frontend, backend, or both)
  • Experience conducting human-subjects research
  • Experience working with data science or ML tools (e.g., pandas, R, TensorFlow, PyTorch, MATLAB), or working with large datasets (e.g., text, vision, physiology).
  • Experience working with ML frameworks and/or data analysis tools such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, scikit-learn or MATLAB)
  • Experience working with large datasets (e.g., text, vision, physiology).
  • Experience working with Unity3D, Game Development, working with 3D assets or related areas

Being able to collaborate effectively with your mentor and others in the lab on new research projects.


Have strong interpersonal and communication skills.


Have experience using human-centered design & research methods.


Experience working with multi-modal data such as image, video and text.


The base pay range for this internship is USD $6,290 - $12,170 per month. There is a different range applicable to specific work locations, within the San Francisco Bay area and New York City metropolitan area, and the base pay range for this role in those locations is USD $8,060 - $13,240 per month.


Benefits/perks listed here may vary depending on the nature of employment with Microsoft and the country work location. U.S.-based interns have access to medical and vision insurance, paid sick time (accrued at 3.34 hours per pay period worked), paid federal holidays, and software discounts. Puget Sound-based interns gain access to a bus pass and a fitness club membership.


Our Commitment to Pay Equity

We are committed to the principle of pay equity – paying employees equitably for substantially similar work.  To learn more about pay equity and our other commitments to increase representation and strengthen our culture of inclusion, check out our annual Diversity & Inclusion Report. ( )


Understanding Roles at Microsoft​

The top of this page displays the role for which the base pay ranges apply – Applied Sciences IC3.

The way we define roles includes two things: discipline (the type of work) and career stage (scope and complexity).  The career stage has two parts – the first identifies whether the role is a manager (M), an individual contributor (IC), an admin-technician-retail (ATR) job, or an intern. The second part identifies the relative seniority of the role – a higher number (or later letter alphabetically in the case of ATR) indicates greater scope and complexity.


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.

Benefits and Perks

  • Industry leading healthcare
  • Giving programs
  • Opportunities to network and connect
  • Discounts on products and services