Director of Engineering, Semantic Scholar

Semantic Scholar ( is a free, AI-powered research tool for scientific literature. We have grown from a groundbreaking research project at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to a product millions of scholars use every week. Semantic Scholar uses artificial intelligence to extract the semantics, or meaning, of scientific literature and surface it to our users through a discovery experience that helps them understand science more effectively than any other tool.

Since our launch in 2015, we have indexed more than 180 million research papers 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. In March 2020, Semantic Scholar released the CORD-19 dataset, a free resource of over 130,000 scholarly articles about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and related coronaviruses for use by the global research community. The dataset is now updated daily and supports dozens of research initiatives around the world. 

We are looking for an exceptional engineering leader to drive our growth to the next level of impact. You will have a mandate to improve the scale and reliability of our core services while supporting an ambitious roadmap of new feature development. You have strong analytical, design and problem diagnosis skills, as well as experience with high-performance systems or service design. You are comfortable coaching your team to produce high quality technical designs and executable project plans in support of business objectives. Our culture is mission driven, collaborative, transparent. You will lead a team of world class engineers and engineering managers passionate about having and impact and improving their skills.


  • Senior engineering leader of Semantic Scholar. Manage a 20+ person team of engineers and engineering managers, hire and develop our team in accordance with business and career development goals.
  • Develop and maintain a roadmap of investments to improve standards of site reliability, availability, scalability and data quality.
  • Manage an ambitious engineering roadmap, make judicious tradeoffs among new feature development, tech debt, system migration, operational improvements. 
  • Raise the bar on operational excellence, including test coverage, site reliability and availability, and user experience quality.
  • Collaborate with Product leadership to support rapid pace of new feature development
  • Collaborate with our world-class team of AI research scientists to accelerate the development and launch features based on our research.
  • Manage our spend on capex and opex in accordance with our budget.
  • Support diversity, equity, and inclusion in day-to-day management, hiring, professional development, and promotion. 
  • Maintain our strong collaborative, transparent, mission-oriented team culture.


Required Experience:

  • 7 years experience working on software development teams, with deep experience in at least one area of technology relevant to Semantic Scholar
  • 3 years experience with hiring, mentoring, career development, and performance management of software development engineers
  • Experience scaling a technical architecture in support of a high-growth business
  • Experience authoring and evaluating application designs and architecture, translating technical designs into executable project plans
  • Familiarity with agile/Scrum/Kanban-style iterative software development processes
  • B.S. in Software Engineering or related discipline

Desired Experience: 

  • 10 or more years experience as a software developer or Software development manager
  • 5 or more years as a managing junior software developers
  • Experience managing software development managers
  • Experience in entrepreneurial roles, non-profits, or supporting academia or research applications 
  • M.S. or Ph.D. in Software Engineering or related discipline
  • Experience scaling features based on AI and ML models 

Why AI2

In addition to AI2’s core mission, we also aim to contribute to humanity through our treatment of 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 alongside your coworkers. 
  • 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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