Life at Academia.edu

Academia’s mission is to accelerate and democratize academic research. Academia.edu is the world’s largest and fastest-growing platform for sharing academic research, with over 160M registered users and growing. Academia’s vision: be the most comprehensive and powerful platform for scientific research and learning.

Job Openings at Academia.edu

Top Engineering Values

Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
  • Committed to Personal Growth

    There’s more than one way to grow your career here.

    At Academia, you don’t have to give up your individual contributor role to progress your career. In fact, we offer three different tracks for engineers: tech lead, manager, and individual contributor (IC). Not every engineer wants to manage people, and we don’t think you have to in order to progress in your career. You may also want to manage and make technical decisions for a project, or simply execute on and write code. Whatever path speaks to you most, we support.


    Team members who have been with us for four years can take advantage of six weeks of fully paid sabbatical leave! Zach, our Director of Product Management, traveled throughout the Middle East and Europe, spending a couple weeks in Egypt, Israel and Palestine, and Italy. Stuart spent three weeks in Yosemite and three weeks at the beach, and Kari, our Head of People Operations, is planning to explore national parks across the US this summer while visiting friends and family along the way.


    Academia is also a great place for those looking to grow their families. New parents are supported with eight weeks of paid bonding parental leave, plus eight weeks of birth parent leave. Last by not least, we also offer an annual learning stipend of $2,000 for you to use toward your professional development. This could include anything from attending a conference or class, to buying books (our library at our San Francisco office was a popular place in pre-pandemic times).

  • Creative + Innovative

    We look for candidates who stand out as creative and innovative.

    At Academia, we love to learn together. We’re looking for people who think outside the box and are willing to collaborate to attack problems from all angles. As an engineer, you can expect to brainstorm with product managers, designers, and user researchers, and we expect everyone to contribute their ideas. To give you a quick glimpse into this process, during one brainstorm, we came up with 21 different ideas for changing our checkout page. Eventually, we coalesced on a few concepts that were similar and implemented them.


    Another great example of innovation at Academia is our mission to build a peer review system that signals both the trustworthiness of papers being shared and claims within those papers. Over 31M people read papers on our platform every month, but they’re not always experts in the field they’re researching, which is why a ranking system is so important. As a new engineer, you might work on solving this problem to ensure we’re distributing high-quality academic research on a wide scale. Other exciting projects you might contribute to include:


    • Build the world’s fastest, highest impact, publishing system and become the dominant player in the $10B academic publishing industry
    • Create a global marketplace for academic courses
      • Be the platform where faculty teach their courses
      • Enable anyone to take academic courses from the world’s leading experts

    There are a lot of interesting projects in the pipeline and we’ll rely heavily on your ability to think creatively and produce original work.

  • Data-Driven

    Every decision we make is backed by data.

    Unlike other startups where people might take their best guess and just wing it, everything we do at Academia is data-driven. Much like the research scientists whose published papers are on our platform, we use hypothesis-driven decision making to guide product and strategy. Instead of proposing an idea, we present a testable hypothesis based on observation and research. By gathering data that supports the need for a new feature or workflow, we can then experiment to determine whether an expected outcome is achieved. From A/B testing a landing page to restructuring our performance review process, everyone at Academia relies on data to inform decision making.

  • Open Communication

    Building trust is vital to our brand.

    Whether you’re a director or an individual contributor, everyone’s voice matters at Academia. We believe transparency is core to building a trusting environment and this starts at the leadership level. Every week our CFO presents financials and Richard is equally open about sharing the latest board deck and funding round. It’s our goal to be as transparent as possible in our communications not only with each other, but also with our partners and customers.


    Engineers at Academia are always part of the conversation about how to solve problems and work closely on cross-functional teams. For each project, a team generally consists of a couple engineers working equally alongside a project manager and UX designer. As Isabel (one of our software engineers) puts it, “People here genuinely believe in the mission and are always looking for ways we can improve both the company and the product."

  • Fosters Psychological Safety

    One of our core values is to treat everyone with kindness.

    We believe kindness is a key ingredient for building a sustainable, successful organization. To that end, we strive for a culture of ongoing respect, diversity, and inclusion that allows kindness to be easily spread. While we value engineering skills, the curiosity to learn and ability to get along well with others is something we actively look for when interviewing. If you’re unfamiliar with parts of our stack that’s definitely not a barrier to joining – we care more about your passion for learning. Regardless of your role or level, we want you to feel comfortable raising your hand and asking for help if you don’t know the answer to something. Every engineer who joins the team is paired with a buddy, someone who is generally on your team and shares a similar skillset. You can feel free to reach out to your buddy anytime to ask a question or get help. We know that by being patient, understanding, and empathetic we do our best work.

  • Actively Practices Inclusion

    We’re proud that we have a diverse and inclusive team, but we won’t rest on our laurels.

    We created an organization within the company called Kaleidoscope that aims to activate change by challenging the system, not people. You can apply to be on Kaleidoscope (we rotate members every two quarters) and also join our #Kaleidoscope Slack channel. The committee has a $25K budget per year and meets to propose events. For example, everyone at Academia is expected to attend one 90-minute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training session per quarter, led by a professional facilitator. Some of the 2021 topics include fostering diversity, gender and pronouns, understanding unconscious bias, and allyship at Academia.


    When it comes to hiring, the Kaleidoscope team also meets twice a month with Stuart, our VP of Talent Acquisition to review DEI in recruitment and discuss best practices and solutions. We also work to ensure we have a diverse hiring pool, which starts at the top of the funnel. To keep us accountable, we make sure DEI hiring goals are data-driven.


    What’s more, if you’d like to level-up your DEI understanding, you can take Shine Diversity’s JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) path, which features advanced trainings like DEI in recruitment, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, anti-racism training, and moving from micro-aggressions to micro-affirmations. We also hold informal events such as watching movies for Black History Month (such as Selma) and Women’s History Month (we watched On the Basis of Sex).


    While we’re actively taking steps to ensure we have a diverse and inclusive environment, we recognize that there’s always more we can learn and improve on. At the end of the day, celebrating our diverse experiences is what will enable us to succeed.

  • Bonded by Love for Product

    We’re on a mission to accelerate science.

    As a PhD student in the U.K., Richard Price (founder and CEO), wanted to have a homepage where he could share his work and build his reputation as an academic. However, to do so, he needed to write his own HTML. He realized this problem must extend to many others, too. Thus, Academia.edu was born.


    While most engineers here don't come from an academic background, we're united by our shared belief that research needs to be more accessible to better the world. And this isn’t hyperbole, we mean it literally. Whether it’s finding the cure to cancer, solving climate change, or evolving artificial intelligence, sharing research is paramount. We have over 160M registered members on our platform and have uploaded over 22M papers. We figure there’s around 100M papers in the world, so we’re around 20% of our way there.


    Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve continued to increase our revenue 50% YOY and are excited to be growing our team to support our growth. Fast. We’re currently at around 75 people and plan to hire another 30 by the end of 2021, then double our team to around 220 by 2022. If you’re mission-driven and ready to make a huge impact by accelerating research, we’d love to hear from you!

  • Flexible Work Arrangements

    We believe the best talent can work from anywhere.

    Academia’s Remote Work Policy allows employees to move to and work from any location in the U.S. For anyone in the Bay Area, people will come into the office 1-2 days a week (once it is safe to do so), but this isn’t mandatory. If you live in the Bay Area and find you’re more productive working from home five days a week, that’s totally fine. And if you’d prefer to move to San Francisco instead of working remotely, we’re happy to offer a relocation bonus to help you do so. We also plan to have regular company retreats (think: renting a huge house or three in Tahoe) where we fly everyone in to bond as a team and brainstorm in-person.

    • We will sponsor a Green Card, as long as you have a valid H-1B. All other H-1B must be a transfer (Engineering, Data Science, Design) and candidates can expect a 3-month turnaround with the State Department (lately it's been less).
    • We will support TN Visas from Canada and Mexico.
    • We will support F1-OPT for STEM.
    • We will support NEW H-1B1 from Singapore and Chile.

    If you’re interested in joining our team, please apply!

Values

  • Committed to Personal Growth
  • Creative + Innovative
  • Data-Driven
  • Open Communication
  • Fosters Psychological Safety
  • Actively Practices Inclusion
  • Bonded by Love for Product
  • Flexible Work Arrangements

Company Properties

  • B2C
  • Remote-OK

Team Members

  • 1 Design Director
  • 3 Designers
  • 3 Engineering Directors
  • 3 Execs
  • 35 Full Stack Engineers
  • 1 Head of Data Science
  • 1 Head of User Research
  • 3 Mobile Engineers
  • 2 PeopleOps
  • 5 Product Data Analysts
  • 2 Product Management Directors
  • 3 Product Managers
  • 5 Recruiting
  • 3 Support
  • 3 User Research
  • 1 VP of Talent

Vacation Policy

We offer 21 days of paid vacation, 11 paid holidays, 8 weeks of paid bonding parental leave plus 8 weeks of birth parent leave, and 6 weeks of fully-paid sabbatical leave for every four years you work here.

Tech Stack

Ruby on Rails, Sidekiq

PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch

React + Typescript

RSpec, Chromatic, Jest, Storybook

CircleCI, Jenkins, Ansible, Terraform

AWS ecosystem (EC2, S3, RDS, Redshift, many others)

Interview Process

Our interview process starts with an intro call with a recruiter. This is followed by a technical screen and then full-day onsite. You'll be given a toy production environment with a model problem, and asked to write code to solve the problem:

  • It’s a toy model of working in an actual production environment.
  • It tests knowledge of web-application fundamentals: client-server framework, distributed systems.
  • It’s fun!

We want to understand your problem-solving skills and your ability to write structured, scalable, production-ready code. We view this as a discussion, and we're more interested in the way you think rather than that you got the right answer. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet some of the engineers on our team, plus the CTO and the CEO. Conversations will range from personal interests to your resume background.