Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Senior Reinforcement Learning Researcher

3+ months agoLaurel, MD

Are you passionate about creating intelligent, autonomous systems with real-world impacts?

Do you take pride in developing intelligent systems with super-human levels of decision making?

Do you thrive in an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and creative environment?

If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.

We are seeking a Senior Reinforcement Learning Researcher for the Artificial Intelligence Group in the Research and Exploratory Development Department to help us invent the future and bring intelligent systems from concept to reality. We are a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers focused on groundbreaking impact at the intersection of machine learning, neuroscience, and robotics, particularly with regard to national security and healthcare applications. We want someone who is highly skilled and motivated to support and lead projects that enable robots to reliably accomplish their missions in the wild - this means learning through targeted exploration, partnering with humans, and improvising when necessary.

As a Senior Reinforcement Learning Researcher ...

  • Your primary responsibility will be to contribute toward and lead fundamental research in artificial intelligence through participation in sponsor-focused projects. This includes, but is not limited to, projects related to building intelligent agents using continual learning and deep reinforcement learning techniques.
  • You will provide technical leadership and vision for multidisciplinary research teams to bring next-generation intelligent systems to real-world, safety-critical mission applications with robustness to uncertainty and contextual shifts.
  • You will lead and collaborate on technical proposals to grow and define artificial intelligence research for intelligent systems.
  • You will communicate research vision, results, and impact to internal management, sponsors, and the broader scientific community through papers, presentations, and technical reports.


You meet our minimum qualifications for the job if you...

  • Have a M.S. degree in a relevant field such as Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Mathematics, Optimization, or equivalent and 5+ years of work experience.
  • Have strong programming skills in languages and libraries commonly used in AI research, such as Python, PyTorch, TensorFlow, and OpenAI Gym.
  • Have excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to articulate complex technical issues effectively and appropriately for a wide range of audiences.
  • Have a track record of publishing your research in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at technical conferences.
  • The ability to obtain a Secret security clearance. If selected, you will be subject to a government security clearance investigation and must meet the requirements for access to classified information. Eligibility requirements include U.S. citizenship.
  • Can demonstrate that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. To ensure the safety and well-being of the community, APL has established a policy requiring that all staff be vaccinated against COVID-19. All staff members must provide proof of full vaccination or have an approved medical or religious accommodation by their start date.

You'll go above and beyond our minimum requirements if you...

  • Have a Ph.D. in a relevant field.
  • Have 5+ years of experience.
  • Have experience with project management or leading small teams.
  • Have experience in writing technical proposals or another form of business development.
  • Have experience working with robotic systems.
  • Have experience working with high-performance computing clusters.

Special Working Conditions

  • Some travel to conferences, local sponsor sites, or support for field testing may be required.

Why work at APL?

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) brings world-class expertise to our nation's most critical defense, security, space and science challenges. While we are dedicated to solving complex challenges and pioneering new technologies, what makes us truly outstanding is our culture. We offer a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere where you can bring your authentic self to work, continue to grow, and build strong connections with inspiring teammates. At APL, we celebrate our differences and encourage creativity and bold, new ideas. Our employees enjoy generous benefits, including a robust education assistance program, unparalleled retirement contributions, and a healthy work/life balance. APL's campus is located in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. Learn more about our career opportunities at