Predoctoral Young Investigator, Semantic Scholar

Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Remote hybrid: Persons in these roles are expected to spend part of their time on-site in our Seattle offices and may occasionally work remotely from their home in the Greater Seattle area. On-site requirements vary based on position and team. If you have questions about Hybrid work arrangements for this role, please ask your recruiter.
Compensation Range: $91,310 - $129,660

Predoctoral Young Investigator

Who You Are:

As a Predoctoral Young Investigator on our team, you’ll have the unique opportunity to see your research improve the productivity and discovery experience of millions of scholars who use Semantic Scholar (

We collaborate frequently with researchers on other AI2 teams focused on natural language processing and computer vision, among others. Our main office has close ties and unique access to researchers at the University of Washington, only 1.5 miles away. Researchers excited about such internal and external collaborations are encouraged to apply.

See our team page ( for examples of our work.

Predoctoral Young Investigator (PYI) candidates have graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field and are preparing to enter a PhD program in the next 1-3 years. We also welcome applications from candidates already enrolled in a PhD program who wish to align their work with AI2’s endeavors, and we are happy to work on a case-by-case basis with regards to work arrangements if there is a mutual fit.

Please apply by the following deadline: October 31, 2023

If you have questions about the hiring process or timeline, please consult our team hiring FAQs or reach out to with further questions.

Who We Are:

Semantic Scholar Research at the Allen Institute for AI (AI2) is an interdisciplinary research team focused on AI, HCI, ML, NLP, accessibility, and computational social science in support of Semantic Scholar’s mission of accelerating science. Semantic Scholar is an open platform that helps millions of scholars discover, understand, and synthesize scholarly papers, powered by a large-scale literature graph with 200M+ papers. Our research impacts the Semantic Scholar platform and the research community more broadly, and we regularly publish in high-profile conferences and journals in NLP (e.g., ACL, EMNLP), HCI (e.g., CHI, UIST, CSCW), ML (e.g., NeurIPS, ICLR), IR (e.g., SIGIR), Accessibility (ASSETS), and other areas.

Your Next Challenge:

The essential functions include, but are not limited to the following:

The Allen AI Predoctoral Young Investigator offers predoctoral candidates the opportunity to prepare for graduate-level research through partnership with strong mentors, participation in cutting edge research, and co-authorship of papers at top venues. This program aims to position candidates for successful entry into a top graduate program. For potential candidates who are already enrolled in graduate studies, this program offers the opportunity to work with researchers at AI2 on collaborative projects for the benefit of both AI2’s initiatives and your thesis work. For potential candidates who are choosing between entering a PhD program or seeking employment in industry, the PYI program can provide valuable exposure to graduate-level research and help inform your career decisions.

PYIs on our team have the opportunity to:

  • Define and lead ambitious, high-impact research projects,
  • Collaborate with and learn from team members across AI2, including scientists and engineers,
  • Author scientific papers for publication in high-profile conferences or journals,
  • Implement and share open source software to improve access to our research,
  • Contribute to the Semantic Scholar project through new models or software systems.
  • Learn about and leverage Semantic Scholar & AI2 data, engineering infrastructure, and research tools,
  • Gain experience in a supportive and fast-paced industry research environment

At AI2, we value the importance of taking the next step in your research career - getting your PhD. When visiting schools to decide on your PhD program, you will not be required to use your accrued Vacation and Personal Time to travel and/or conduct school visits.

What You’ll Need:

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field with a desire to enter a PhD program in the next 1-3 years, or currently enrolled in a related PhD program
  • Excited about conducting graduate-level research in natural language processing, human-computer interaction, language and vision, machine learning, information retrieval, knowledge representation, data science, or other related fields. We do not require prior experience in these areas, but successful PYI candidates are those who have been able to articulate why they’re interested in pursuing research in these areas & why they’re uniquely qualified to do so.
  • Experience with one of the following: (1) full-stack web app prototyping, (2) training and evaluating NLP models, or (3) large-scale text analysis.

Bonus qualifications:

  • Preprints or publications on AI-related topics at AI or HCI venues.
  • Experience with deep learning frameworks (e.g. PyTorch, Tensorflow).
  • Familiarity with modern web front-end frameworks (e.g. React).
  • Contributions to open-source research libraries (e.g. AllenNLP, spaCy).
  • Experience conducting user studies.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a team member to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the functions.

  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position for long periods of time.
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas so others will understand. Must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.
  • The ability to observe details at close range.
  • Can work under deadlines.

A Little More About AI2:

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is a non-profit research institute in Seattle founded by Paul Allen. The core mission of AI2 is to contribute to humanity through high-impact research in artificial intelligence.

In addition to AI2’s core mission, we also aim to contribute to humanity through our treatment of each member of the AI2 Team. Some highlights are:

  • We are a learning organization – because everything AI2 does is ground-breaking, we are learning every day. Similarly, through weekly AI2 Academy lectures, a wide variety of world-class AI experts as guest speakers, and our commitment to your personal on-going education, AI2 is a place where you will have opportunities to continue learning alongside your coworkers.
  • We value diversity - We seek to hire, support, and promote people from all genders, ethnicities, and all levels of experience regardless of age. We particularly encourage applications from women, non-binary individuals, people of color, members of the LGBTQA+ community, and people with disabilities of any kind.
  • We value inclusion - We understand the value that people's individual experiences and perspectives can bring to an organization, and we are building a culture in which all voices are heard, respected and considered.
  • We emphasize a healthy work/life balance – we believe our team members are happiest and most productive when their work/life balance is optimized. While we value powerful research results which drive our mission forward, we also value dinner with family, weekend time, and vacation time. We offer generous paid vacation and sick leave as well as family leave.
  • We are collaborative and transparent – we consider ourselves a team, all moving with a common purpose. We are quick to cheer our successes, and even quicker to share and jointly problem solve our failures.
  • We are in Seattle – and our office is on the water! We have mountains, we have lakes, we have four seasons, we bike to work, we have a vibrant theater scene, and we have so much else. We even have kayaks for you to paddle right outside our front door. We welcome interest from applicants from outside of the United States.
  • We are friendly– chances are you will like every one of the 200+ (and growing) people who work here. We do.

AI2 is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. You may view the related Know Your Rights compliance poster and the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision by clicking on their corresponding links.

This employer participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S. If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, this employer is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before the employer can take any action against you, including terminating your employment. Employers can only use E-Verify once you have accepted a job offer and completed the Form I-9.


  • Team members and their families are covered by medical, dental, vision, and an employee assistance program.
  • Team members are able to enroll in our health savings account plan, our healthcare reimbursement arrangement plan, and our health care and dependent care flexible spending account plans.
  • Team members are able to enroll in our company’s 401k plan.
  • Team members will receive $125 per month to assist with commuting or internet expenses and are eligible to receive up to $150 reimbursement for health and wellbeing expenses per month.
  • Team members will also receive up to ten sick days per year, up to seven personal days per year, up to 20 vacation days per year and twelve paid holidays throughout the calendar year.

Note: This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the team members(s) of this position. Team members will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instructions or assignments. All duties and responsibilities are essential functions and requirements and are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform this job successfully, the team member(s) will possess the skills, aptitudes, and abilities to perform each duty proficiently. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health or safety of themselves or others. The requirements listed in this document are the minimum levels of knowledge, skills, or abilities. This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an at will relationship.