Internship opportunities: Future of Work – Inclusive Remote and Hybrid Communities

Last updated 6 days ago
Job Type:Full Time

The need to accommodate mandatory working from home due to COVID-19 has led many companies to increase their usageofchat-based workspaces such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. This usage willlikely continue even after the pandemic, as manycompaniesre-evaluate their need forfullyin-office versus remoteandhybrid work.Microsoft Research is exploring howcompanies might improve their use of asynchronous modalities of chat-based workspaces (channels, chat etc.) tocreate an inclusive community foremployees for both work and social purposes.


We are seeking a postgraduate student with experience in researching online asynchronous communities toexploreconcepts such as:

  • Practices of organisations that work fully remotely (e.g.Gitlabs,Automattic).
  • Practices of organisations thathave longstanding hybridworkforces(e.g.Atlassian).
  • Practices that existing users of chat-based workspaces use to create inclusive communities(Microsoft Teams, Slack).
  • Practices of other enterprise social media use tocreate inclusive communities(Yammer, LinkedIn).
  • Practices of online communities forcreating inclusive communitiessuch as Reddit, Slashdot, Quora, Stack Overflow.
  • Practices of professional social media community managers to grow and maintaininclusive communities.
  • Practices that specificallyimprove diversity and inclusion.

The studentwilldevelop a baseline of best practices and then, using some internal MS results,explore howthese practices maybe applied to the Microsoft Cambridge Research Lab as a test environment.

The outcomeof theprojectwill be an internal reporton the above which includes a set of best practices. There will also be thepossibility of publication in a relevantacademicoutlet (e.g.CHI/CSCW/AOIR/New Media & Society).




  • Enrolled in at least aMastersdegree in Computer Science,Information Technology,Social Science,Business,or Humanities, with a demonstratedemphasis on communication technology research, preferablyonline communities or social media.


  • Research management: End-to-end planning, conducting,and writing up interview, lab, and/or field studies.
  • Methodological skills:Qualitativethematicanalysis(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 ononline communities, social media, asynchronous chat-based communication.
  • Communication:Excellent verbal and writtencommunicationskills, and a desire to engage across UK and US timezones.


  • Social media community management(professional oras a personal hobby).
  • Passion for people and understanding the power of Diversity & Inclusion to drive change.
  • 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.


Theapplicantmustalreadybe in theUK(but not necessarily Cambridge)at the time the internship starts and remain in the UKfor entiredurationof the internship.A working visa for a successful applicant will be funded if required, but physical relocation (travel or housing) will not be funded.

Application Requirements and Deadline

  • Applications closeMarch12, 2021.
  • Applicants must supply a CV, cover letterexplaining your interest in the position, at least one reference, andat least one research paper (preferablyfirst-authoredbut if not explain contribution incover letter).

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.