OpenAI Residency

OpenAI Members of Technical Staff who joined full-time through the Fellows and Scholars programs. Top row (L–R): Nik Tezak, Christina Kim, Reiichiro Nakano. Bottom row: Cathy Yeh, Karl Cobbe, Tyna Eloundou.

As part of our effort to support and develop AI talent, we're excited to announce the OpenAI Residency. This new program offers a pathway to a full-time role at OpenAI for researchers and engineers who don't currently focus on artificial intelligence. We are excited to get applications from everyone, and will make a special effort to hear from underrepresented groups in technology.

The program is an iteration of our former Scholars and Fellows programs. The Residency shifts the focus away from curriculum-based learning, instead giving Residents an opportunity to work collaboratively alongside OpenAI teams on active projects.

The first cohort of the six-month program begins in April 2022 and Residents will be compensated as fully salaried employees for the duration of the program.

"There are many talented people who want to contribute to AI but cannot find an easy way to do so,” said Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s Chief Scientist. “The Residency aims to address that, by teaching participants the most important practical AI skills in a hands-on way as quickly as possible. We’ve welcomed incredible new talent to OpenAI through our Fellows and Scholars programs, who have made major research contributions and helped advance OpenAI's goal of building beneficial AGI."

Over the last three years we’ve made more than 20 full-time hires through our mentorship programs, representing one in six members of our technical staff, and our new iteration will broaden the range of candidates we are considering.

Excellent work and experience can come from both inside and outside of the traditional education and work settings. OpenAI has long been home to many self-taught researchers and engineers. If you have an unconventional educational background, we encourage you to apply. Our goal is for this program to be as inclusive and diverse as possible, and we will provide immigration and relocation support to high-potential talent globally.

“We’re going to need the best, most diverse talent and innovative minds out there to achieve our mission,” said Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO. “This type of thinker might be at a university, they might be fresh out of high school, working at a cutting-edge tech company or building something on their own. This program is an excellent way for people who are curious, passionate, and skilled to sharpen their focus on AI and machine learning—and to help us invent the future.”

The AI Software Engineering track is a great match for people that have an engineering background and would like to advance to a Software Engineering position in an AI company. We are looking for candidates with engineering experience in fast-paced environments.

“What’s unique about being a software engineer at OpenAI is the scale and novelty of the problems you’re working on every day,” said Christina Kim, a 2021 Scholar who is now working full-time as a Software Engineer on our AppliedAI team. “OpenAI is at the cutting edge of engineering problems. If you’re excited about AI research, you can easily get involved in cross-functional work with a machine learning component by leveraging your engineering skills to further the company’s research.”

The AI Research track is ideal for people with a research background in a scientific non-ML field who would like to transition into a Research Scientist or Research Engineering position. We are looking for a record of achievement in another field such as mathematics, physics or neuroscience.

“This was my foot in the door to get into AI research,” said Christine McLeavey, a 2018 Scholar and Fellow who now manages OpenAI’s Multimodal team. “I had been studying on my own through online courses like and for a year, and the support from OpenAI gave me the confidence to jump into the field full-time. I learned so much from being around such amazing researchers, and their mentorship had a huge influence on my project (MuseNet).”

“Having a mentor, gaining access to key infrastructure and tooling, and being part of the broader community at OpenAI helped me acquire a research taste, and to get to the interesting research questions a lot faster,” said Jonathan Ward, former Scholar and Fellow who will be returning to OpenAI in 2022 as a full-time Researcher on the Alignment team.