Lead User Experience Researcher, Semantic Scholar


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Job Description

Semantic Scholar (semanticscholar.org) is a free, A.I.-powered research tool for scientific literature. We have grown from a groundbreaking research project at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to a tool millions of scholars use every week. 

Our mission is to empower scholars with easy access to the most relevant information from the world's scientific literature. Since our launch in November 2015, we have indexed more than 175 million research papers from thousands of academic journals and conferences, and built a user base of millions of scholars in over 100 countries. Our work has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, Nature, Science, and many other publications. 

We are looking for a talented User Experience Researcher to embed an understanding of how scholars use scientific literature in our designs and product roadmap. In this role, you will be the lead and only full-time UX researcher on the team. You will form the foundation of UX research for the product, establish best practices, and evangelize user experience within the team. You will be responsible for identifying research opportunities for both foundational user research and targeted feature usability studies. You will work closely with other members of our product team to define target user segments and use cases and develop and execute research plans that result in actionable qualitative and quantitative results. The ideal candidate will be comfortable working in a collegial, fast-paced environment with minimal supervision. 

If your ambition is to join a mission-driven team working at the cutting edge of product and technology, Semantic Scholar may be the perfect opportunity for you.


  • Lead user research efforts end to end, manage backlog of research initiatives and evangelize with internal stakeholders
  • Conduct independent research with target users on multiple aspects of products and experiences.
  • Build and maintain a portfolio of user personas and research subjects and manage recruitment activities for user research studies.
  • Collect and analyze user behavior through lab studies, field visits, ethnography, surveys, benchmark studies, server logs and online experiments (A/B testing).
  • Collaborate with other members of the team to identify and prioritize research opportunities in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment.
  • Understand and incorporate complex technical and business requirements into research.
  • Synthesize qualitative and quantitative results to create insightful and actionable findings.


  • Experience developing and maintaining roadmap of user research projects, in close collaboration with key stakeholders
  • 5+ years industry experience conducting user research in a consumer software product development organization 
  • Familiarity with and experience conducting a wide range of qualitative and user-centered design methods for foundational user research and targeted usability studies.
  • Ability to perform basic quantitative statistical analysis
  • Ability to craft compelling presentations summarizing research findings
  • Familiarity with interaction design and testing
  • Familiarity with science and scientific publishing preferred
  • Experience with building prototypes preferred
  • BA/BS in a human behavior related field (e.g., HCI, Information Sciences, Psychology, etc)
  • MA/PhD preferred

About AI2

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is a non-profit research institute in Seattle founded by Paul Allen and headed by Professor Oren Etzioni. The core mission of AI2 is to contribute to humanity through high-impact research in artificial intelligence.

Why AI2

In addition to AI2’s core mission, we also aim to contribute to humanity through how we treat each member of the AI2 Team! Some highlights are:

  • We are a learning organization – because everything AI2 does is ground-breaking, we are learning every day. Similarly, through weekly AI2 Academy lectures, a wide variety of world-class AI experts as guest speakers, and our commitment to your personal on-going education, AI2 is place where you will have opportunities to continue learning right alongside us;
  • We value diversity - We seek to hire, support, and promote people from all genders, ethnicities, and all levels of experience regardless of age. We particularly encourage applications from women, non-binary individuals, people of color, members of the LGBTQA+ community, and people with disabilities of any kind.
  • We value inclusion - We understand the value that people's individual experiences and perspectives can bring to an organization, and we are building a culture in which all voices are heard, respected and considered.
  • We emphasize a healthy work/life balance – we believe our team members are happiest and most productive when their work/life balance is optimized. While we value powerful research results which drive our mission forward, we also value dinner with family, weekend time, and vacation time. We offer generous paid vacation and sick leave as well as family leave;
  • We are collaborative and transparent – we consider ourselves a team, all moving with a common purpose. We are quick to cheer our successes, and even quicker to share and jointly problem solve our failures;
  • We are in Seattle – and our office is on the water! We have mountains, we have lakes, we have four seasons, we bike to work, we have a vibrant theater scene, and we have so much else. We even have kayaks for you to paddle right outside our front door;
  • We welcome interest from applicants from outside of the United States;
  • We are friendly – chances are you will like every one of the 100+ (and growing!) people who work here. We do!

AI2 is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

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