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AI Researcher - PhD (2024)

at Figma

CA • New York, NY • Seattle, San Francisco, WA • United States, United States

Figma is growing our team of passionate people on a mission to make design accessible to all. Born on the Web, Figma helps entire product teams brainstorm, design and build better products — from start to finish. Whether it’s consolidating tools, simplifying workflows, or collaborating across teams and time zones, Figma makes the design process faster, more efficient, and fun while keeping everyone on the same page. From great products to long-lasting companies, we believe that nothing great is made alone—come make with us!

The AI Platform team at Figma is working on an exciting mission of expanding the frontiers of AI for creativity, and developing magical experiences in Figma products. This involves making existing features like search smarter, and incorporating new features using cutting edge Generative AI and deep learning techniques. 
We’re looking for engineers with a background in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to improve our products and build new capabilities. You will be driving fundamental and applied research in this area. You will be combining industry best practices and a first-principles approach to design and build ML models that will improve Figma’s design and collaboration tool.

What you’ll do at Figma:

  • Driving fundamental and applied research in ML/AI using Generative AI, deep learning and classical machine learning, with Figma product use cases in mind. 
  • Formulate and implement new modeling approaches both to improve the effectiveness of Figma’s current models as well as enable the launch of entirely new AI-powered product features.
  • Work in concert with other ML researchers, as well as product and infrastructure engineers to productionize new models and systems to power features in Figma’s design and collaboration tool.
  • Expand the boundaries of what is possible with the current technology set and experiment with novel ideas.
  • Publish scientific work on problems relevant to Figma in leading conferences like ICML, NeurIPS, CVPR etc.

We'd love to hear from you if you have:

  • Recently obtained or is in the process of obtaining a PhD in AI, Computer Science or a related field. Degree must be completed prior to starting at Figma.
  • Demonstrated expertise in machine learning with a publication record in relevant conferences, or a track record in applying machine learning techniques to products.
  • Experience in Python and machine learning frameworks (such as PyTorch, TensorFlow or JAX).
  • Experience building systems based on deep learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and/or generative models.
  • Experience solving sophisticated problems and comparing alternative solutions, trade-offs, and diverse points of view to determine a path forward.
  • Experience communicating and working across functions to drive solutions.

While not required, it’s an added plus if you also have:

  • Experience working in industry on relevant AI projects through internships or past full time work.
  • Publications in recent advances in AI like Large language models (LLMs), Vision language Models (VLMs) or diffusion models.
At Figma, one of our values is Grow as you go. We believe in hiring smart, curious people who are excited to learn and develop their skills. If you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with the points outlined in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

Pay Transparency Disclosure

If based in Figma’s San Francisco or New York hub offices, this role has the annual base salary range stated below.  

Job level and actual compensation will be decided based on factors including, but not limited to, individual qualifications objectively assessed during the interview process (including skills and prior relevant experience, potential impact, and scope of role), market demands, and specific work location. The listed range is a guideline, and the range for this role may be modified. For roles that are available to be filled remotely, the pay range is localized according to employee work location by a factor of between 80% and 100% of range. Please discuss your specific work location with your recruiter for more information. 

Figma offers equity to employees, as well a competitive package of additional benefits, including health, dental & vision, retirement with company contribution, parental leave & reproductive or family planning support, mental health & wellness benefits, generous PTO, company recharge days, a learning & development stipend, a work from home stipend, and cell phone reimbursement.  Figma also offers sales incentive pay for most sales roles. Figma’s compensation and benefits are subject to change and may be modified in the future. You may view our Pay Transparency Policy by clicking on the corresponding link.

Annual Base Salary Range (SF/NY Hub):
$149,000$215,000 USD

At Figma we celebrate and support our differences. We know employing a team rich in diverse thoughts, experiences, and opinions allows our employees, our product and our community to flourish. Figma is an equal opportunity workplace - we are dedicated to equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.

We will work to ensure individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to apply for a role, participate in the interview process, perform essential job functions, and receive other benefits and privileges of employment. If you require accommodation, please reach out to These modifications enable an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity not only to get a job, but successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities. 

Examples of accommodations include but are not limited to: 

  • Holding interviews in an accessible location
  • Enabling closed captioning on video conferencing
  • Ensuring all written communication be compatible with screen readers
  • Changing the mode or format of interviews 

By applying for this job, the candidate acknowledges and agrees that any personal data contained in their application or supporting materials will be processed in accordance with the applicable candidate section of Figma's Privacy Policy.


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