Internship Opportunities: Socially Intelligent Meetings (Media Spaces)

Last updated 8 days ago
Job Type:Full Time

Collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams support formal business momentum, but as remote and hybrid work become the new normal, distributed teams face problems of communicative friction and social isolation. Distributed organizations of all sizes are missing two critical affordances of being ‘in facility’:impromptu informal collaboration between spatially proximate team members throughout a day, andserendipitous work and social encounters with colleagues across a day.

Microsoft Research is exploring how toreimaginevideo-mediated communicationtoenablepersistent andambientcollegialityby combining decades of media space research in the CSCW field (some originated by current Microsoft researchers) with the capabilities ofMicrosoft Teams.

This internshipwill beco-mentored by an MSR researcher in the UK(where the internship is located)and a Microsoft TeamsProgram Manager in the US.

The goal of this JEM internship will be to conducta short-termstudythat explores either:

  • Thechallenges and opportunitiesof media spacesfor achieving co-working or social goals(gathering datafrom interviews, surveys, lab tests, orfieldtrials).
  • Newprototype experiences,presence models, visualizations,or communication methods or metaphorsfor media spacesto reduceachieveco-working or social goals.

The actualinternshipproject to be carried out will depend onthe state of the larger project at the time of the internship and the balance of theintern’s skills between social science/HCI,prototyping, anddesign.

The outcomeof theprojectwill be an internal report based on social science research,design, or a working prototype,with the possibility of publication in a relevanthuman-computer interaction outlet (e.g.CHI/CSCW).

Application Requirements and Deadline

  • Applications closeFebruary5, 2021.
  • Applicants must supply a CV, cover letterexplaining your interest in the position, at least one reference, andat least one research paper (preferably first-authored but if not explain contribution incover letter).


TypicalDay in theRole

There will be an onboarding process and then regular contacteither in person orvia Microsoft Teams videoconferences and text channels.Thispositionrequires a highly motivatedapplicant who can workat least somewhatindependently, reporting findings into the channel (as posts, documents, etc.) and discussing the process.The applicant will be in regular contact with researchers and program group employees in the UK and USA.There is scope for exploring different methods and pursuing different ways of doing the work, including working collaboratively with another intern in the US. Research curiosity will be encouraged.

Compelling Story & Candidate Value Proposition

This internship will provide aclose look at how corporateresearch engages withproduct.Theprojecthas direct bearing onupdating the HCI/CSCW field’sunderstanding ofmedia spaces,andthe potential for contributing features to Microsoft Teams.



  • Enrolled in at least aMastersdegree in Computer Science,Information Technology,Social Science, or Humanities, with a demonstratedemphasis on communication technology research, preferably video-mediated communication.


  • Research management: End-to-end planning, conducting, and writing up interview, lab, and/or field studies.
  • Methodological skills:Qualitative:microanalysis (e.g.Conversation Analysis or Interaction Analysis),thematicanalysis(e.g. per Grounded Theory), or Design research.AND/OR Quantitative:Survey design and analysis, data science.
  • Reading, using concepts from, and synthesising research literature, on video-mediated collaboration, media spaces, communication, and social science.
  • Communication:Excellent verbal and writtencommunicationskills, and a desire to engage across UK and US timezones.


  • Prototypingusingstandard weblanguages and tools.
  • Use ofAtlas.Ti(or similar) forcoding of qualitativethematicdata(if applicable).



  • ConductingHCI/CSCWor internet studies-styleresearch, with a strong preference for experience in video-mediated communication (but this is not mandatory).
  • Qualitativeor quantitative analysis (as demonstrated though research publications)
  • Research management.
  • Writing academic research.

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. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via the Accommodation request form.

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