Microsoft Research Africa, Nairobi is looking for a full-time Senior Researcher to join the dynamic, multidisciplinary team at Microsoft Research Africa, Nairobi.

Senior NLP/ML Researcher

Nairobi, Nairobi City, Kenya

Job number: 1730954
Work site: Up to 50% work from home
Travel: 0-25 %
Role type: Individual Contributor
Profession: Research, Applied, & Data Sciences
Discipline: Research Sciences
Employment type: Full-Time


Microsoft Research Africa, Nairobi is looking for a full-time Senior Researcher to join the dynamic, multidisciplinary team at Microsoft Research Africa, Nairobi. The ideal candidate will have deep ML/NLP/Generative AI research experience, a proven track record of research leadership, experience or interest in working with a multidisciplinary team and a dedication to impact in Africa.

Microsoft Research Africa’s mission is to understand, build and deploy innovative cloud and AI technologies which not only address core opportunities in Africa and contribute to solving local challenges at scale, but which contribute to creating better futures of work, health and society globally. We’re pursuing an ambitious research agenda to create Globally Equitable Generative AI, including foundational innovation in

  • Machine Learning and Generative AI models
  • The platforms built on top of the models
  • The applications using generative AI

This involves solving deep technical and socio-technical challenges including NLP for African and under-resourced languages and the production of culturally, linguistically and contextually appropriate output. Microsoft Research Africa is a relatively young research lab, and we are looking for team members committed to growing our research agenda and creating impact.

The ideal candidate will be excited to work in a multidisciplinary team, consisting of ethnographers, computer scientists, human-computer interaction researchers, designers and engineers. They must have an appreciation for the value of working with deep qualitative research and delight in pushing the boundaries of their academic disciplines through cross-disciplinary partnerships.

If you are a researcher who is passionate about designing Globally Equitable Generative AI and understands the importance of multidisciplinary research, this might be the opportunity for you.

Required qualifications:

  • Has completed a PhD in Machine Learning, Computer Science, or other related domain
  • Has a minimum of 4 years work experience post PhD
  • Strong theoretical and practical knowledge of machine learning algorithms, and the methods that underpin modern language and vision processing
  • Strong practical knowledge in working with current deep-learning toolkits, particularly in language and/or vision, and in critically evaluating models.
  • Proven research record including publications in top computer science and ML venues, such as including NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, CVPR, ICCR, ECCV, EMNLP
  • Passion for staying up to date with the latest advancements in AI & ML
  • Ability to shape and lead research agendas
  • Ability to communicate their findings to academia and business audiences

Preferred qualifications include demonstrated research experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Deep learning /Generative AI – either image, language, audio or multimodal models
  • Deep learning /Generative AI for African languages or in data constrained tasks
  • Data generation and augmentation for building and evaluating models
  • A demonstrated research interest in Africa
  • Excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Effective communication and collaboration skills within a multidisciplinary team


  • Lead and contribute to cutting edge research on Generative AI for the African context
  • Collaborate with researchers across Microsoft on existing projects
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to ground research in actual needs and support the implementation of AI solutions that are equitable and beneficial for all
  • Mentor and support junior researchers
  • Communicate research findings through publications, presentations, and engaging with the academic and research communities. Organize and lead workshops or seminars to disseminate research progress and findings, and to foster knowledge exchange among the research community
  • Contribute to the strategic planning of research initiatives that align with the vision of creating Globally Equitable Generative AI, ensuring the research direction is impactful and sustainable.
  • Work with both academic communities and product teams
  • Be committed to creating impact with and for Microsoft research Africa


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