Join our companies in their quest to drive powerful, positive, change that endures.

AI Research Intern (PhD)



Software Engineering, Data Science
Munich, Germany · Berlin, Germany
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2023

Who we are

Helsing is a defence AI company. Our mission is to protect our democracies. We aim to achieve technological leadership, so that open societies can continue to make sovereign decisions and control their ethical standards.

As democracies, we believe we have a special responsibility to be thoughtful about the development and deployment of powerful technologies like AI. We take this responsibility seriously.

We are an ambitious and committed team of engineers, AI specialists and customer-facing programme managers. We are looking for mission-driven people to join our European teams – and apply their skills to solve the most complex and impactful problems. We embrace an open and transparent culture that welcomes healthy debates on the use of technology in defence, its benefits, and its ethical implications.

The role

At Helsing we deliver AI-based capabilities and the enabling infrastructure that allow semi-autonomous platforms to localise, navigate, and perceive the world in real time. You will have the unique opportunity to shape the future of AI in one of the most challenging sectors, where performance needs to be paired up with high generalisation capabilities and strong robustness against adversarial attacks.

The day-to-day

  • Design and implementation of novel algorithms to solve challenging computer vision problems
  • Experimental design, implementation, and execution to evaluate new algorithms

  • Collaboration with and support of other researchers across the company

  • Communication of research agenda, progress, and results

  • Internships are 16 to 24 weeks long and have various start dates
  • Specific projects will be designed in collaboration with successful applicants

You should apply if you

  • Are in the process of obtaining a PhD in robotics, computer science, engineering or related field

  • Have experience in conceptualising, implementing and thoroughly evaluating advanced AI-based systems

  • Have excellent communication skills and the ability to report and present research findings clearly and efficiently both internally and externally

  • Are passionate about keeping up to date with current research and enjoy reimplementing / extending papers on state-of-the-art Deep Learning-based approaches

  • Possess solid software engineering skills, writing clean and well-structured code in Python and/or languages like Rust, or modern C++

  • Experience with machine learning software platforms such as PyTorch, Jax, TensorFlow, etc

Note: The above bullet points describe the ideal candidate. None of us matched all of these at once when we first joined Helsing. We encourage you to apply even if you believe you meet only part of our wish list.

Nice to have

  • A proven track record of achieving results as demonstrated in accepted papers in top-tier conferences such as CVPR, NeurIPS, ICLR, ICCV, ECCV, SIGGRAPH, ICRA, IROS, etc

  • 3D computer vision and geometry expertise

  • Strong maths and optimisation skills

  • Interpersonal experience: cross-group and cross-culture collaboration

Join Helsing and work with world-leading experts in their fields

  • Helsing’s work is important. You’ll be directly contributing to the protection of democratic countries while balancing both ethical and geopolitical concerns.

  • The work is unique. We operate in a domain that has highly unusual technical requirements and constraints, and where robustness, safety, and ethical considerations are vital. You will face unique Engineering and AI challenges that make a meaningful impact in the world.

  • Our work frequently takes us right up to the state of the art in technical innovation, be it reinforcement learning, distributed systems, generative AI, or deployment infrastructure. The defence industry is entering the most exciting phase of the technological development curve. Advances in our field of world are not incremental: Helsing is part of, and often leading, historic leaps forward.

  • In our domain, success is a matter of order-of-magnitude improvements and novel capabilities. This means we take bets, aim high, and focus on big opportunities. Despite being a relatively young company, Helsing has already been selected for multiple significant government contracts.

  • We actively encourage healthy, proactive, and diverse debate internally about what we do and how we choose to do it. Teams and individual engineers are trusted (and encouraged) to practise responsible autonomy and critical thinking, and to focus on outcomes, not conformity. At Helsing you will have a say in how we (and you!) work, the opportunity to engage on what does and doesn’t work, and to take ownership of aspects of our culture that you care deeply about.

What we offer

  • A focus on outcomes, not time-tracking

  • Competitive compensation

  • Relocation support

  • Social and education allowances

  • Regular company events and all-hands to bring together employees as one team across Europe

  • A hands-on onboarding program (affectionately labelled “Infraduction”), in which you will be building tooling and applications to be used across the company. This is your opportunity to learn our tech stack, explore the company, and learn how we get things done - all whilst working with other engineering teams from day one

Helsing is an equal opportunities employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability or gender identity. Please do not submit personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, data concerning your health, or data concerning your sexual orientation.

Helsing's Candidate Privacy and Confidentiality Regime can be found here.