Careers at the Centre for Effective Altruism

Our mission is to build and nurture a global community of people who are thinking carefully about the world’s biggest problems and taking impactful action to solve them. We hope that this community can help to build a radically better world.

To foster this community, we run conferences, support hundreds of local groups, and provide online resources and forums for discussion.

We are looking for people to join us in that work.

Open roles

We are actively looking for people to fill the following roles:

  • Head of Communications

    Application deadline: Friday, March 22nd 2024, 11:59 am GMT

    Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. All applications must be submitted by Friday, March 22nd, 2024, 11:59 pm GMT.

  • Recruiting Specialist - Expression of Interest

    Application deadline: Wednesday, April 3rd 2024, 1:00 am BST

    Please note, this role is an expression of interest so we may be slow to process submissions.

FAQs

Contents

What is the application process like?

The full hiring process for many roles looks something like this:

  1. Filling out the application
  2. An initial application screen (possibly including a short video/phone call)
  3. An invitation to take 1-2 work tests designed to simulate the work you would do if hired and/or evaluate certain skills important for success in the role.
  4. A remote interview
  5. A 2-10 day paid trial to allow you and us to see what it would be like if you worked at CEA. You’ll be able to meet the team, including our Executive Director and the person who would be your manager. This might include a visit to our Oxford office, depending on your location and availability.
  6. Reference checks
  7. The employment offer

We believe it’s worthwhile to invest significant time in hiring in order to build the strongest possible team. We realize our hiring process is unusually demanding, and we offer monetary honorariums for completing our work tests — partly to ensure financial constraints do not keep candidates from applying, and partly to demonstrate that we respect and appreciate the time that applicants put into these tests.

We aim to adapt our process as much as possible to accommodate disabilities and other commitments you have. If you have any questions about applying, please reach out to jobs@centreforeffectivealtruism.org.

What are “expressions of interest”?

In most areas, we have funding and management capacity to take on additional excellent staff. We want to share the roles we might be interested in hiring for, even if we’re not actively running a full round at this time. We hope this will give a better sense of the types of talent we would like to add, and allow people to find roles that might be a good fit for them.

Therefore, we are accepting expressions of interest for a variety of roles. We generally have some flexibility with these roles, and might adapt them for excellent candidates. We will assess applications on a rolling basis, using the process described above. Because we are not actively focused on hiring for these roles, we will typically review applications more slowly than we do for other roles, and will tend to have a higher bar for inviting you to the next step of the process.

We recommend that you apply even if you’re not sure if you’re a good fit. We aim to make this first step as simple as possible; you won’t have to invest much time. Many of CEA’s strongest contributors thought they were longshot candidates based on their backgrounds.

Some of the positions listed on this form don't yet have full position descriptions on our site. If you'd like to learn more about a given position, please reach out to jobs@centreforeffectivealtruism.org

If you don’t see a role that suits you, but you feel you might be a strong contributor in some other way, you can select “None of the above” and briefly explain why.

Submit an expression of interest

What impact could I have?

We are aiming to build a world where leaders, thinkers, and philanthropists are guided by impartially altruistic, truth-seeking principles. We think this could help to reduce existential risk, poverty, and suffering, and give us the capacity to build a more resilient and flourishing world.

To achieve this, we work with students and young professionals — especially those we think have a strong chance of becoming world-class researchers, entrepreneurs, or leaders — who want to learn about the most pressing problems the world faces, and to find the support and mentorship they need to help solve those problems. We believe this can be an extremely high-leverage approach, but we know it can be really hard to do well. You can read more about our thinking on our strategy page.

Our programs are frequently cited (e.g. on the EA Survey) as helping people to get involved or stay involved with effective altruism. Our own case studies and other data sources also suggest to us that we are helping people to enter extremely promising career paths.

Our programs are also growing quickly, and we think that they have potential to expand further. For instance, we are a long way from reaching all of the most promising university students. There are lots of projects that we think could be very impactful, but that we don’t have the capacity or skills to execute. If we make you an offer there’s a significant chance that the role would not (immediately) be filled by someone else.

You can also have impact by helping us to improve! We appreciate working with people who will constantly challenge us to do better, and help to improve the quality of our existing projects.

“I deeply appreciate how focused on impact and actually doing good CEA is. Because of this, I've been able to raise concerns I've had about strategy and had them taken seriously.” — Nicole Ross

How will I learn and grow?

One of our four team values is “collective growth”. On top of the basics,1 we invest in helping employees to grow in a variety of ways.

  • We work with all staff to help them identify areas for improvement, via annual, in-depth, growth-focused performance reviews, as well as more regular check-ins.
  • We try to shape roles around people’s strengths, and focus development on extending and supplementing those strengths.
  • We then work with staff to set development plans. These plans generally focus on getting relevant hands-on experience, but we are happy to pay for specialized training and mentorship where that would be helpful.
  • We expect managers to account for staff members’ individual strengths and differences, and we provide them with support and training to assist in this.
  • There are optional staff-organized meetings and Slack channels where we support each other’s personal growth goals.
  • We also hold all-staff training with external experts (e.g. on survey design).

Roles at CEA are often open-ended and challenging, but include lots of feedback and support. This can be a good environment for learning a wide variety of skills quickly, but it’s less suited to becoming an expert in one thing, or for people who prefer a more pre-defined career track.

“Working at CEA has been a dream job for me. I get to work with people who share my values and epistemic norms in a way that I wasn’t able to find working as a lawyer. I have had the opportunity to provide support and get feedback from teammates who have different skills than I do, and their weekly feedback helps me continue to grow in my role after more than 5 years.” — Amy Labenz

What benefits do you offer?

Currently, our benefits include:

  • Health: We offer comprehensive health, dental, and vision coverage as well as £5,000 mental health support allowance.
  • Retirement: We provide all staff a 10% pension contribution (UK) or equivalent salary boost elsewhere.
  • Flexible Work: We want staff to be able to work when and where they feel most productive. Staff are generally free to set their own schedules, and many work remotely, or from home one or more days per week.
  • Training: We offer all staff a £5,000 professional development allowance, and we might offer more if there are additional compelling opportunities for you to learn.
  • Time Away: We offer 25 days of paid vacation per year, plus public holidays. We encourage staff to use their full allowance. We also offer up to 14 weeks of paid parental leave, leave for bereavement, and options for unpaid leave.
  • Equipment and office: We will pay for high-quality and ergonomic equipment (laptop, monitors, chair, desk, etc.), both in the office and at home (if you work remotely).

“CEA really cares about making sure that staff are happy and have everything they need to do their jobs well. [...] It’s very clear that if you need support, you’re going to get it.” — Barry Grimes

Do I need to move?

Around half of our current staff are remote, and we have a strong remote culture. We prefer applicants who are able to work in time zones between US Pacific time and Central European Time, but we already have some contractors who work outside those time zones.

We still think that there are benefits to being co-located with colleagues. So we have a hub office in Oxford, UK, which we share with the Future of Humanity Institute, the Global Priorities Institute, EA Funds, and the Forethought Foundation. We encourage staff to work from and visit the hub office when possible, and about half of the team regularly works from the office.

We hold in-person staff retreats 2-4 times per year, to discuss our plans and build strong working relationships.

Can you sponsor visas?

If you want to work in our Oxford office but don’t have the right to work in the UK, we may be able to provide visa sponsorship.

What compensation can I expect to receive if hired?

We set salary based on a formula that accounts for prior experience, location, and relevant comparables. We do this to reduce bias, and to allow us to make our principles more transparent to staff.

Our salary levels for the same role tend to vary significantly based on the candidate’s location and prior experience. For some roles, the scope and responsibilities of the role might also vary, depending on the candidates available. Therefore, any accurate range is very wide. We’ve found that when we share a range, candidates often expect a salary towards the top of that range, which sometimes conflicts with our commitment to having a consistent policy for compensation.

This often makes it hard for us to give a realistic general salary range. We aim to pay competitively enough that salary isn’t a dealbreaker for candidates who would otherwise be interested in taking a role with us. Please ask if you would like more information on salary, and we can give you more information based on your location and experience.

What are we looking for?

The specifics of what we are looking for depend on the role; details can be found in each job description. In general, we’re looking for people who have many of the following traits:

  • Eager to work in accordance with our team values;
  • Self-motivated, hard-working, and independent;
  • Able to communicate clearly in writing and in person;
  • Comfortable working in a team;
  • Deeply motivated to act on and improve our strategy.

I hope to work at CEA in the future. What should I do now?

This will depend on the role, of course, but some of the following actions might help:

  • Work on a challenging open-ended project (e.g. a start-up, a side project, or as part of an established business or non-profit).
  • Gain specific skills - e.g. web development, writing, research, events - ideally with a successful mentor.
  • Write regularly. Consider writing on the EA Forum or starting a blog.
  • Get experience promoting the ideas of effective altruism (online or in-person).
  • Use 80,000 Hours’ research to analyze your own career plans.

How can I find other high-impact jobs?


Footnotes

  1. Like setting clear role descriptions, having annual performance reviews with self-assessment and feedback to managers, setting quarterly goals and reflecting on how they went, and having weekly one-on-one meetings with your manager.