OpenAI Scholars Program: Fall 2020

San Francisco /
Programs /
We are now accepting applications for our fourth class of OpenAI Scholars. In this program, we will provide stipends and mentorship to 10 individuals from underrepresented groups in science and engineering to study deep learning for 6 months. 

The participants will follow a set curriculum and work on a project, documenting their experience via an ongoing blog in hopes of inspiring others to join the field.

The first three classes of Scholars released their projects and presented at Scholars Demo Day, and many have moved on to work, teach, or otherwise be involved within deep learning.

Why we are doing this
Diversity is key to AI having a positive effect on the world—it’s necessary to ensure the advanced AI systems of the future are built to benefit everyone. While we hope that some of the scholars will join OpenAI (as happened with the previous classes!), the goal of the program is to improve diversity in the field at large.

Past classes
Scholars Class of Spring 2020
Scholars Class of 2019
Scholars Class of 2018

7/28/20: Open applications (we review applications on a rolling basis)
9/8/20: Close applications
9/21/20: Notify all accepted applicants
10/12/20: Program first day kickoff and welcome event (virtual)
4/9/21: Program last day and wrap-up

What we provide

    • $10k/month stipend for 6 months from October 12th, 2020 through April 10th, 2021
    • Access to compute to power your deep learning journey
    • An OpenAI mentor to advise you 1:1 via video call each week, answer your questions over chat/email, and work with you to design and execute a project in deep learning
    • Recruiting support and guidance for getting into the ML field
    • A stipend to participate in one ML related conference during the program 
    • Access to a group Slack with the scholars and OpenAI mentors
    • If you’re in the Bay Area, we’ll provide an optional desk for you at the OpenAI office if we are able to re-open our office before the end of the program (which our past Scholars have found very valuable)

You are encouraged to apply if you:

    • Are a member of an underrepresented group in science and engineering. Our goal is for this program to be as inclusive as possible. If you feel you belong to a group not listed here that is underrepresented in science and engineering, please still apply and mention it in your application.
    • Have US work authorization and are physically located in the United States for the duration of the program. Please note that, regrettably, we cannot offer visa sponsorship for this program.
    • Have 2+ years of experience in software engineering (no machine learning experience required)
    • Have robust programming experience in Python (other languages are also helpful, but you’ll spend the program writing in Python)
    • Have a strong math background. For example: have have studied or worked in Data Science, Physics, Chemistry, or other relevant fields
    • Have experience executing on an independent project. For example, you have run/managed an extensive independent project or started a company
    • Have demonstrated interest in ML field
    • Have already completed or will be able to complete practical deep learning for coders, v3 or Deep learning specialization or an equivalent before the start of the program.  
    • Familiarize yourself with Pytorch

We’ll use these criteria for selection:

    • Technical skills. The stronger your technical background, the more time you’ll spend focusing on ramping up in deep learning.
    • Self-motivation. We’re looking for people who are experienced in being self-directed on large and challenging projects, and who will be successful at independent work. 
    • Leadership abilities. We want to hear from people who are interested in community building and will work to inspire others (in the program and externally) to endeavor deep learning
About OpenAI

We’re building safe Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), and ensuring it leads to a good outcome for humans. We believe that unreasonably great results are best delivered by a highly creative group working in concert. We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

This position is subject to a background check for any convictions directly related to its duties and responsibilities. Only job-related convictions will be considered and will not automatically disqualify the candidate. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.