ML Research Engineer

ML Research Engineer

Berkeley, California

About METR

METR is a non-profit which does empirical research to determine whether frontier AI models pose a significant threat to humanity. It’s robustly good for civilization to have a clear understanding of what types of danger AI systems pose, and know how high the risk is. You can learn more about our goals from our videos (overall goals, recent update).

Some highlights of our work so far:

  • Establishing autonomous replication evals: Thanks to our work, it’s now taken for granted that autonomous replication (the ability for a model to independently copy itself to different servers, obtain more GPUs, etc) should be tested for. For example, labs pledged to evaluate for this capability as part of the White House commitments.
  • Pre-release evaluations: We’ve worked with OpenAI and Anthropic to evaluate their models pre-release, and our research has been widely cited by policymakers, AI labs, and within government.
  • Inspiring lab evaluation efforts: Multiple leading AI companies are building their own internal evaluation teams, inspired by our work.
  • Early commitments from labs: Anthropic credited us for their recent Responsible Scaling Policy (RSP), and OpenAI recently committed to releasing a Risk-Informed Development Policy (RDP). These fit under the category of “evals-based governance”, wherein AI labs can commit to things like, “If we hit capability threshold X, we won’t train a larger model until we’ve hit safety threshold Y”.

We’ve been mentioned by the UK government, Obama, and others. We’re sufficiently connected to relevant parties (labs, governments, and academia) that any good work we do or insights we uncover can quickly be leveraged.


  • Producing tasks/benchmarks that can determine if a model is dangerous
  • Running experiments to determine how elicitation techniques affect results on our evaluation suite
  • Running evaluations internally, and potentially support external partners in governments and/or frontier AI companies in performing evaluations for autonomous capabilities
  • Improving the tooling that researchers use for designing and running evaluations
  • Collaborating with evaluation science researchers to develop a robust evaluation procedure

What we’re looking for

  • Have significant Python programming experience and/or ML research engineering
  • Have experience using LLMs

Strong candidates may also have experience with:

  • Developing robust evaluation metrics for language models (Or for humans! Designing work tests or coursework may be relevant.)
  • Handling textual dataset sourcing, curation, and processing tasks involving many human workers

Bonus Skills

  • Threat-model-relevant subject-matter expertise (in order to help assess the models’ abilities in these areas):
    • Large model inference and training compute optimization, especially for non-standard hardware setups
    • Complicated distributed system setups for many LM agents, secure command-and-control
    • Cybersecurity
    • Cybercrime, fraud, KYC, authentication
  • Familiarity with AI lab infrastructure and relevant technical or security constraints on serving and working with large models
  • Design + data visualization skills: Generating novel ideas for improving the usability of evaluation tools and providing an interaction experience that unlocks insights about the data or the model
  • Skilled at hiring and managing a small team
    • Identify our talent needs and recruit world-class employees
    • Harness them effectively, providing direction and motivation and fostering their growth


Deadline to apply: None. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Salary range for research engineers: $180,000—$420,000 USD

Apply for this job

We encourage you to apply even if your background may not seem like the perfect fit! We would rather review a larger pool of applications than risk missing out on a promising candidate for the position. If you lack US work authorization and would like to work in-person (preferred), we can likely sponsor a cap-exempt H-1B visa for this role.

We are committed to diversity and equal opportunity in all aspects of our hiring process. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We welcome and encourage all qualified candidates to apply for our open positions.

Registering interest is short/quick — there’s just a single required question, which can be answered with a few bullet points. Register interest!