Internship Opportunity! Leaders, Employees, and Connection in Enterprise Social Media

Together with Viva + Yammer and Glint, we are looking for an advanced PhD student for a 12-week paid internship bridging these applied research teams and our Cambridge, Massachusetts-based group of social scientists using empirical and critical methods to study sociotechnical dynamics. Interns will be expected to be physically present and contribute to the life of our Cambridge, MA lab. We are excited to once again welcome applicants from outside North America.

This intern will work with a Microsoft Research mentor and the Yammer Research Team to conduct a qualitative participant-observation and interview research project to understand how providing enterprise users a platform to connect with leaders in their organization influences their sense of connection and belonging within the organization. They may also collect and analyze participant self-report survey data to quantitatively capture sentiment about connection and belonging at work. This research will shape how millions of enterprise employees using M365 have richer, more meaningful interactions within the workplace through explorations of how employees and leaders engage using Viva + Yammer.



For more information about our New England lab visit Microsoft Research Lab – New England – Microsoft Research

For more about our Cambridge, MA group, and a list of past interns, visit our blog (About – Social Media Collective).

For more information about Viva + Yammer, visit Viva + Yammer

For more information about Glint, visit Glint at Microsoft


Interns put inquiry and theory into practice. Alongside fellow doctoral candidates and some of the world’s best researchers, interns learn, collaborate, and network for life. Interns not only advance their own careers, but they also contribute to exciting research and development strides. During the 12-week internship, students are paired with mentors and expected to collaborate with other interns and researchers, present findings, and contribute to the vibrant life of the community. Research internships are available in all areas of research, and are offered year-round, though they typically begin in the summer.

Interns are also expected to give short presentations on their project, attend the weekly lab colloquia, and contribute to the life of the community through weekly lunches with fellow PhD interns and the broader lab. Interns will have cross-discipline collaboration opportunities within the Viva + Yammer and Glint product teams and present research findings as they relate to the product, while gaining exposure to conducting research within a product development lifecycle. There are also natural opportunities for collaboration with others currently working at MSRNE, including computer scientists, economists, and mathematicians.


Required Qualifications

In addition to the qualifications below, you’ll need to submit a minimum of two reference letters for this position. After you submit your application, a request for letters may be sent to your list of references on your behalf. Note that reference letters cannot be requested until after you have submitted your application, and furthermore, that they might not be automatically requested for all candidates. You may wish to alert your letter writers in advance, so they will be ready to submit your letter.

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a PhD program and have completed PhD coursework by the time they start their internship (approximately May 2022).

Interns are expected to be physically located in their manager’s Microsoft worksite location for the duration of their internship.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Qualitative methodological, analytical, and theoretical foundation.
  • Applicants from historically marginalized communities, underrepresented in higher education, and students from universities outside of the United States are encouraged to apply.
  • Expertise in organizations, leadership, and/or social media is particularly welcomed.
  • Training in quantitative methodology for survey implementation is preferred. 

Your application needs to include:

  • A short description (no more than 1 page, single spaced) of your training and experience in using methods such as ethnography, interviewing, participant observation, and/or surveys to study online interaction.
  • A short description (no more than 1 page, single spaced) of your training and experience in studying topics related to work, leadership, and/or social media.
  • A brief description of your dissertation project (no more than 1 page, single spaced). Feel free to attach a separate citations page–we will not include that in the page count.
  • An academic article-length manuscript (~7,000 or more) that you have written (published or unpublished) that demonstrates your writing skills. We won’t count citations in this word count.
  • A copy of your CV.
  • If available, pointers to your website or other online presence (this is not required).
  • In addition to the qualifications, you’ll need submit the names and email contact information for three potential academic letters of reference (one contact must be your dissertation advisor). Note that candidates should tell their recommenders that despite the auto-request for a letter of recommendation, they do not need to submit letters unless they are contacted and asked to do so by a member of the search committee, after the initial review of applications. If you have any questions about or problems with the application process, please contact and include “2023 Sociotechnical PhD Internship” in the subject line
  • We will count your application as ON TIME, as long as we have your materials, minus the letters of recommendation. 

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.  We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. 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.