Senior Research Scientist
Upstart is a leading AI lending marketplace partnering with banks and credit unions to expand access to affordable credit. By leveraging Upstart's AI marketplace, Upstart-powered banks and credit unions can have higher approval rates and lower loss rates across races, ages, and genders, while simultaneously delivering the exceptional digital-first lending experience their customers demand. More than two-thirds of Upstart loans are approved instantly and are fully automated.
Upstart is a digital-first company, which means that most Upstarters can live and work anywhere in the U.S. We also have offices in San Mateo, California; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin, Texas.
Most Upstarters join us because they connect with our mission of enabling access to effortless credit based on true risk. If you are energized by the impact you can make at Upstart, we’d love to hear from you!
Upstart’s Auto Lending team is changing the car buying experience. We are the first of its kind to build the most sophisticated machine learning models that are revolutionizing the car buying experience. We’re a fun-loving, hard working group of trail blazers who believe anything is possible with the right team. Our product offers a fully end-to-end digital lending experience which includes our leading AI lending technology. With 53% fewer defaults at the same approval rate and 5x more risk separation than Fico, we are truly changing the game.
At the heart of the auto loan product sits our underwriting models that evaluate the risk of every applicant. The auto underwriting ML team is responsible for researching and building these models and therefore have a direct impact on our company’s success. The team is part of the Machine Learning organization and consists of Research Scientists, Data Scientists, ML Engineers and other highly specialized roles.
Because our challenges are so new, members of the team need strong creative problem-solving skills and the technical background to implement solutions. Our research environment affords team members the opportunity to utilize a variety of statistical and machine learning methods with the freedom and encouragement to pursue alternative approaches to solving problems. We are continuously seeking the next big ideas to move our business forward.
As a Staff Research Scientist with Upstart, you'll enjoy a fast-paced environment with a focus on productionalizing, deploying and training machine learning models. You’ll also have an opportunity to work alongside a talented team that values curiosity, humility, drive and teamwork.
- Position Location - This role is available in the following locations: Columbus, Austin or Remote (#LI-REMOTE)
- Time Zone Requirements - This team operates on either the East or West Coast time zones.
- Travel Requirements - This team has regular on-site collaboration sessions six times annually split between our San Mateo or Columbus office locations. If you need to travel to make these meetups, Upstart will cover all travel related expenses.
What we’re looking for:
- Strong academic credentials with a master's degree in computer science, statistics, mathematics, or other quantitative areas of study; Ph.D. preferred
- Generally 4-5+ years experience in autonomous research and development of high impact production models in the real world
- Full-stack expertise with all steps of the modeling process from ideation to productionalizing code; OR deep expertise in either statistical modeling or machine learning
- Ability to discover and deliver significant improvements to Upstart's core business while setting the standard for quality and velocity
- Programming expertise with Python with proficiency in writing clear, bug-free and well-documented code that runs well and is easily understood
- Proficiency in many, with deep expertise in some- mathematical, statistical learning and machine learning concepts
- Knowledge of machine learning, pipelines and engineering architecture with detailed understanding of building good technical solutions; ability to convert ideas into testable hypotheses and/or next steps
- Ability to lead several projects that may involve multiple team members
- Adeptness in dealing with technical challenges and trade-offs; ability to make reasonable decisions under uncertainty; and to prioritize effectively
- Capable of leading team members on technical best practices, providing constructive feedback and mentoring to junior team members; ability to provide comprehensive and useful design and methodology reviews for ML projects.
- Ability to navigate and work well with cross-functional stakeholders on projects with an understanding of how to deliver appropriate amount of technical communication communication to stakeholders to serve team or business needs
- Ability to communicate technical concepts to a non-technical audience
- Strong sense of intellectual curiosity balanced with humility, drive and teamwork
- Numerically-savvy and smart with ability to operate at a speedy pace
- Enthusiasm for and alignment with Upstart’s mission and values
What you’ll love:
- Competitive Compensation (base + bonus & equity)
- Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage
- Personal Development and Technology & Ergonomic Budgets
- Life insurance and disability benefits
- Clubs and Activities (Game Nights, Fitstarters, Superwomen, Book Club, Investing Club, Money Discussions, Photography Club and Basketball teams)
- Generous vacation policy
- 401(k) and Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP)
- Catered lunches + snacks & drinks
The minimum base pay for this position in Colorado is $155,000 + bonus + equity + benefits. Base pay may vary depending on job-related knowledge, skills, and experience. This information is provided in accordance with the Colorado Equal Pay Act. It is specific to Colorado and may not be applicable to other locations.
At Upstart, your base pay is one part of your total compensation package. The anticipated base salary for this position is expected to be within the below range. Your actual base pay will depend on your geographic location–with our “digital first” philosophy, Upstart uses compensation regions that vary depending on location. Individual pay is also determined by job-related skills, experience, and relevant education or training. Your recruiter can share more about the specific salary range for your preferred location during the hiring process.
In addition, Upstart provides employees with target bonuses, equity compensation, and generous benefits packages (including medical, dental, vision, and 401k).
Upstart is a proud Equal Opportunity Employer. We are dedicated to ensuring that underrepresented classes receive better access to affordable credit, and are just as committed to embracing diversity and inclusion in our hiring practices. We celebrate all cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, and know that we can only become better together.