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Machine Learning Intern, Active Learning

Recursion Pharmaceuticals

Recursion Pharmaceuticals

Software Engineering
Quebec City, QC, Canada
Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2023

Your work will change lives. Including your own.

The Impact You’ll Make

Recursion is revolutionizing the drug discovery process by combining automated assaying of cell biology, diverse data sets, and advanced analytics. We are seeking a research intern who is passionate about exploring the potential of active learning in the field of industrialized drug discovery. As a research intern, you will play a crucial role in understanding large batch active learning performance and contribute to the development of novel large-batch active learning methods. You will be working alongside a team of Machine Learning Research Scientists and you will be involved in developing new learning algorithms that help us efficiently discover new biological and chemical relationships. In this role, you will:

  • Investigate the effect of batch size on active learning performance, aiming to identify the sweet spot for optimal efficiency and representation learning.
  • Benchmark existing large-batch active learning approaches on a specifically designed experimental dataset from the Recursion platform.
  • Collaborate with the emerging ML team to develop novel large batch active learning methods, leveraging Recursion's platform and expertise in GFlowNets & representation learning.
  • Analyze and interpret experimental results to provide insights and recommendations for improving the active learning process in drug discovery.

Recursion is passionate about open science, so you will be encouraged to work towards publishing any interesting results at the top machine learning conferences (NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, etc.). Join us at Recursion and be part of a team that is reimagining drug discovery through cutting-edge technology and machine learning.


This position is based at our offices in Montreal, housed at Mila - Quebec AI Institute, the largest AI institute in the world. We prefer in-person collaboration, but will consider remote work for this position.

The Team You’ll Join

You will be joining the Emerging Machine Learning team in Montreal. This team works on developing the next generation of machine learning approaches for drug discovery.

The Experience You’ll Need

  • Experience working on developing active learning / bayesian / sequential model-based optimization algorithms.
  • Ideally some experience working with high dimensional data modalities, such as images, expression data or text.
  • Any prior experience working at the intersection of biology and machine learning will be an advantage.

How You’ll be Supported

You’ll work closely with our Research Scientists, with regular 1:1s that provide opportunities for support and feedback, and a collaborative work environment.

The Values That We Hope You Share:

  • We Care: We care about our drug candidates, our Recursionauts, their families, each other, our communities, the patients we aim to serve and their loved ones. We also care about our work.
  • We Learn: Learning from the diverse perspectives of our fellow Recursionauts, and from failure, is an essential part of how we make progress.
  • We Deliver: We are unapologetic that our expectations for delivery are extraordinarily high. There is urgency to our existence: we sprint at maximum engagement, making time and space to recover.
  • Act Boldly with Integrity: No company changes the world or reinvents an industry without being bold. It must be balanced; not by timidity, but by doing the right thing even when no one is looking.
  • We are One Recursion: We operate with a 'company first, team second' mentality. Our success comes from working as one interdisciplinary team.

Recursion spends time and energy connecting every aspect of work to these values. They aren’t static, but regularly discussed and questioned because we make decisions rooted in those values in our day-to-day work. You can read more about our values and how we live them every day here.

More About Recursion

Central to our mission is the Recursion Operating System, or Recursion OS, that combines an advanced infrastructure layer to generate what we believe is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing proprietary biological and chemical datasets and the Recursion Map, a suite of custom software, algorithms, and machine learning tools that we use to explore foundational biology unconstrained by human bias and navigate to new biological insights which may accelerate our programs. We are a biotechnology company scaling more like a technology company. Recursion is proudly headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Learn more at, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Recursion is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values diversity and inclusion. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, local, or provincial human rights legislation.