Here is the job specification for a research oriented position working for me at Netflix.
We are looking for a very experienced engineer who can take the lead, researching, modeling, presenting, designing and building algorithms that run in a service oriented architecture to support millions of customers. The successful candidate will be a self-motivated, intellectually curious individual. A Doctorate or experience working in a research environment, work with personalization algorithms, machine learning, adaptive systems, and statistical analysis would be a bonus.
I manage a sister group to the one that does the Cinematch star ratings predictions and hosts the Netflix Prize, we use that data as an input along with everything else we know about movies and customers to come up with the actual lists of movies that are shown all over the site. The research position in my group works on algorithms and mining for new data sources.
Also, Netflix is a great place to work, big enough to be interesting and small enough to be fun.