Cambridge Residency Program: Residency in Optical Science

Microsoft UK

Location: Cambridgeshire

Job Type: Full time


Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK) is searching for exceptional researchers from the fields of Optics and Experimental Physics to join our interdisciplinary two-year Residency Program in the Cloud Systems Futures team.

At Microsoft Research Cambridge, our scientists and engineers undertake world-leading, ambitious projects to transform the world through deep research. Our lab has contributed to many of Microsoft’s most successful products, services, and partnerships.

The Cloud Systems Futures team is a highly cross-disciplinary group of researchers and engineers with diverse expertise across computer science, optical sciences, image processing and engineering. We partner closely with product teams across Microsoft to tackle the big and open challenges of next-generation cloud infrastructure. We create new technologies and develop partnerships with leading academic groups across the world.

During this residency you will work with the researchers in Project Silica. Additionally, as a resident you will be part of the larger residency programme at Microsoft Research, Cambridge.


You will be responsible for designing, building, and using novel optical microscopes to answer critical research questions within the scope of Project Silica. You will need to work effectively within a highly multidisciplinary team. The other disciplines in the team span femtosecond laser materials processing, signal processing, machine learning, computer science, and software and hardware engineering.


The candidate should have a PhD or equivalent professional experience in optics or experimental physics. The candidate must have enthusiasm to learn new skills outside their main field and must be able to demonstrate the ability and humility to work in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary environment. The successful candidate must be skilled and bring a strong background in the following areas:

  • Optical system design.
  • Free space optics, e.g., optical microscopy and imaging.

Besides these core competences, a successfully candidate would have many of the following desirable experiences and capabilities:

  • Experimental background with at least 3-5 years’ experience working in an optical laboratory environment.
  • Building and testing free-space optical experimental setups, running experiments and logging / analysing results.
  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals and top conferences.
  • Experience with polarization optics.
  • Experience with laser physics.
  • Good presentation and communication skills.
  • Good organizational skills, capable of managing multiple simultaneous tasks effectively.
  • Experience applying Computational Thinking techniques to solve problems in experimental science and/or obtaining reproducible results through algorithms and automation.

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.

You’ve got this!