Applied Scientist
Job Type Full Time
Qualification PhD/Fellowship
Location Nairobi
Job Field ICT / Computer  , Research / Data Analysis

Are you a researcher who is passionate about designing technology which actually improves the quality of peoples work and lives? Do you believe that Africa can lead the world when it comes to technology innovation? If so, then come and join us as an applied scientist in the Microsoft Africa Research Institute (MARI), Nairobi, Kenya.

The MARI is a first of its kind research institute, closely combining foundational research, with product innovation, engineering and design to create the technologies of the future. Our 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 a more productive future of work, health and society globally. This will involve research at the cutting edge of HCI and AI.

We are looking for researchers of the highest caliber to help create this new research institute. The ideal candidate will be smart and creative, and willing to embrace new concepts and ideas, and to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team consisting of ethnographers, computer scientists, designers and engineers to create groundbreaking new technologies whilst keeping the people who must use them at the heart of innovation.

We are looking for researchers in any of the following disciplines:

  • Ethnography
  • Human-computer interaction (HCI)
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Artificial intelligence
  • We are looking for both junior and senior candidates, with a PhD. More senior candidates should be able to demonstrate an established research track record and scientific leadership.


  • Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team to create innovative technologies which improve productivity and quality of life in Kenya and beyond
  • Helping create and drive the research agenda in the MARI, to influence Microsoft’s products and services and push the boundaries of innovation in Africa and the world
  • Sharing your research with others through peer-reviewed publication and other channels (blogs, news articles, technical reports, etc.). Communicating complex ideas clearly.
  • Building strong relationships and collaborating with the local academic community and community and other organisations to conduct research deeply grounded in society


  • Education: PhD in Computer Science or related engineering fields, or human-computer interaction or social science. If PhD is in social science a strong leaning towards ethnography and a clear connection to HCI is desirable.
  • Excellent problem solving and data analysis skills
  • Effective communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team where all skills – qualitative, quantitative, design and engineering are equally valued
  • Strong collaboration skills, both within-team and cross-team
  • Publications in top international research venues
  • As part of your application please attach your CV and a Statement of Purpose (SoP). The SoP should detail your experience, why you are applying for this position, and your areas of research interest. The SoP should be 1-2 pages long. Please include the names and contact information of at least two established researchers familiar with your research who will be willing to write an academic letter of reference. For candidates who have finished their
  • PhD in the last 3 years, one of the two letters should come from your advisor.
  • 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.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.


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About Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation (commonly referred to as Microsoft or MS) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington, that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services. Its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, Microsoft Office office suite, and Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface tablet lineup. As of 2011, it was the world's largest software maker by revenue, and one of the world's most valuable companies.