Microsoft Research NYC seeks quants and programmers for a postdoc in online social science

December 10, 2012

(This article was first published on Decision Science News » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)



Microsoft Research NYC seeks outstanding applicants with strong quantitative and programming skills for a postdoctoral researcher position in the area of online experimental social science.

Deadline for Full Consideration: January 11, 2013

Online experimental social science involves using the web, including crowdsourcing platforms such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, to study human behavior in “virtual lab” environments. Among other topics, virtual labs have been used to study the relationship between financial incentives and performance, the honesty of online workers, advertising impact as a function of exposure time, the implicit cost of “bad ads”, the testing of graphical user interfaces eliciting probabilistic information and also the relationship between network structure and social dynamics, related to social phenomena such as cooperation, learning, and collective problem solving. Eligible applicants must hold a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Experimental Economics, Experimental Psychology, Statistics, Mathematical Sociology or a related field. The ideal applicant will possess a diverse mix of skills, including awareness of the theoretical and experimental social science literature, and experience with experimental design, as well as demonstrated statistical modeling and programming expertise. Programming knowledge should include server-side and browser-side languages, interaction with databases and third party APIs and facility with the R language for statistical computing. Specific experience running experiments on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk or related crowdsourcing websites, as well as managing virtual participant pools is also desirable, as is evidence of UI design ability. Postdoc researcher positions at Microsoft Research provide emerging scholars (Ph.D.s received in 2012 or to be conferred by July 2013) an opportunity to develop their research career and to interact with some of the top minds in the research community. The position also offers the potential to have research realized in products and services that will be used worldwide. Postdoc researchers are invited to define their own research agenda and demonstrate their ability to drive forward an effective program of research.

Postdoc researchers receive a competitive salary and benefits package, and are eligible for relocation expenses. Postdoc researchers are hired for a two-year term appointment following the academic calendar, starting in July 2013. Applicants must have completed the requirements for a Ph.D., including submission of their dissertation, prior to joining Microsoft Research. We do accept applicants with tenure-track job offers from other institutions so long as they are able to negotiate deferring their start date to accept our position.

Microsoft Research provides a vibrant multidisciplinary research environment with an open publications policy and close links to top academic institutions around the world. Microsoft Research New York City is the most recent MSR lab, comprising 16 full-time researchers and postdocs, working on theoretical and applied aspects of machine learning and information retrieval, computational and online experimental social science, and algorithmic and experimental economics. The lab is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary, and its members also maintain active links both with the local academic and tech communities.

For more information about the lab, visit:

To apply for a postdoc position at MSR-NYC:

1. Submit an online application at:

* Indicate that your research area of interest is “Online Experimental Social Science” and that your location preference is “New York.” Include the name of a Microsoft Research contact if you have one.

* In addition to the CV and names of three referees (including your dissertation advisor) that the online application will require you to include, upload the following 3 attachments with your online application: a) two conference or journal articles, book chapters, or equivalent writing samples (uploaded as 2 separate attachments); b) an academic research statement (approximately 3-4 pages) that outlines your research achievements and agenda.

2. After you submit your application, send an email to [email protected] (copy the Microsoft Research contacts you identified in step 1, if any) alerting us that you have uploaded your application. If an applicant meets the requirements above, a request for letters will be sent to your list of referees on your behalf. All letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline for full consideration of the application. Please make sure to check back with your referees or us if you have any questions about the status of your requested letters of recommendation. For more information, see:

The post Microsoft Research NYC seeks quants and programmers for a postdoc in online social science appeared first on Decision Science News.

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