Amazon Visiting Academics

The AVA program is aimed at pre-tenure to newly-tenured academics who seek to apply research methods to tackle complex technical challenges while continuing their university work.

Amazon has long had a productive partnership with the academic community. In recent years, Amazon has hired Amazon Scholars: academics who work on real-world, applied science challenges while continuing to conduct research and teach at their universities.

Amazon is expanding that outreach with the Amazon Visiting Academics (AVA) initiative. This program is aimed at pre-tenure to newly-tenured academics who seek to apply research methods to tackle complex technical challenges while continuing their university work. Amazon’s scale allows Visiting Academics the opportunity to dive deep and innovate.

Visiting Academics are technical and scientific individuals, with current or confirmed affiliation with an academic or research institution, who specialize in research science disciplines including economics, applied mathematics, and computer science.

Through the program, Visiting Academics have the ability to work with Amazon on a part-time basis — toggling between part-time or joining Amazon full-time while on sabbatical. “Many of my own students and postdocs who are now young faculty are excited to work with Amazon, and partner on our customer-obsessed science journey,” Srinivasa said.

The responsibilities of Amazon Visiting Academic include:

  • Leveraging and applying research to inform strategic plans and innovation;
  • Diving deep to solve a specific technical problem in an organization’s roadmap; and
  • Advising junior scientists and researchers on methods.

In the coming months, the AVA program will be adding more academics with niche skillsets in various research domains. Interested in becoming a Visiting Academic? Here’s what you need to know:

Who is the AVA program looking for?

Inquiries are currently accepted from pre-tenure to newly-tenured academics in research areas including: machine learning, computer vision, data science, natural language processing, robotics, economics, optimization, statistics, quantum computing, sustainability, operations research, I/O psychology, social sciences, environmental science, horticulture, and water conservation.

Am I eligible?

To qualify, you must have a PhD in a relevant field or related discipline. You also must have a current, or confirmed pending, professorial affiliation with an academic or research institution.

In addition, it is preferred that you have:

  • Five or more years of research experience after PhD in a relevant field or related discipline
  • Well-established track record in an applied science discipline and routinely applies knowledge from other disciplines
  • Significant research analysis and technical leadership capabilities
  • Expertise in modeling and performance, operationalization, and scalability of scientific techniques and establishing decision strategies
  • Ability to independently lead research development and analysis in a fast-paced environment
  • Experience leading technical research projects with multiple stakeholders
  • Publications at top-tier, peer-reviewed conferences and/or journals
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication and consensus-building skills with both technical and non-technical audiences

Where might I be assigned?

Amazon has research hubs in the following cities: Aachen, Arlington, Atlanta, Austin, Bay Area, Bangalore, Boston, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Gdansk, Graz, Haifa, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, New York, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Tel Aviv, Tübingen, Turin, and Vancouver. Visiting Academics can also work remotely if permitted by their team.

How do I apply?

Accomplished academics who are interested in learning more about how their research may match the challenges, opportunities, and scale of Amazon are encouraged to reach out for more information via academics-interest@amazon.com. In the email, please provide information about your research interests and current areas of work, any relevant personal websites, and attach your CV. Pre-tenure to newly tenured faculty who express interest will be contacted if their expertise and experience aligns with current business needs; however, a response is not guaranteed.