Applications for this position have closed.
The Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) is hiring several Campus Specialists to increase the number of highly talented and motivated university students who apply the principles of effective altruism to their lives and careers.
CEA wants to create a world where effective and impartial service to others is a core commitment of more global leaders, thinkers, and philanthropists. Robust, intellectually vibrant communities at major universities are crucial to achieving that goal.
University is a deeply formative time when people try out identities and build their basic worldview and life philosophy. Experiences at university have shaped the values and life paths of hundreds of Nobel Prize winners, world leaders, and billionaires. According to Open Philanthropy’s survey of selected longtermists, respondents on average first heard of EA/EA-adjacent ideas when they were college-aged. Local groups were most frequently on the respondents’ list of the biggest contributors to their own positive impact, and within local groups most credit was given to university groups.
We want to build on this success, and ensure that bright and passionately altruistic students encounter the best possible version of effective altruism as an intellectual body, a discipline, and a community at their university. We want them to see their university EA group as one of the best places they could go if they truly want to make a difference in the world. We want the conversations they have with fellow students in the group about ethics, epistemics, economics, and science to be the most challenging and rewarding part of their undergraduate experience, and have a lasting impact on the way they shape their lives and careers.
As a Campus Specialist you’ll make this happen by building a flourishing EA hub we are calling a Campus Centre - a fully-developed university community that includes dozens of engaged students and support for people with different high-priority skills and cause area interests.
Doing this well could create a lot of value. One rough estimate from 80,000 Hours is that someone working in one of the most impactful roles creates millions of dollars of value per year. We think that the best Campus Specialists will contribute to creating around ten of these people each year (albeit with some delay before they start doing their most impactful work, and an adjustment for counterfactuals which would reduce the impact several-fold) - meaning that a Campus Specialist could create tens of millions of dollars of net present value per year.
As a Campus Specialist you will:
- Assess which activities are most effective at creating highly engaged EAs, and develop a strategic plan for your university.
- Manage your team of dedicated Campus Specialist Interns and volunteers to execute on this strategic plan.
- Conduct user research about your current programmes and identify opportunities to improve them.
- Create and test innovations that could improve the effectiveness of your Campus Centre.
- Share your learning with peers across other Campus Centres and scale up innovations you’ve tested that are particularly effective.
- Recruit additional Campus Specialist Interns and grow your team.
This will look different for each Campus Specialist, but it may involve:
- Ensuring every EA-interested student at your university gets a high-fidelity introduction to effective altruism - for example by running seminar programmes, high-profile speaker events, or tailored online outreach.
- Closely mentoring students and connecting them to experts in the EA community.
- Running bootcamps for in-demand skills, creating a prestigious, selective fellowship, or partnering with the university to create official university programmes.
For exceptional Campus Specialists, we’ll aim to coach you to grow into a Campus Director - a more senior and entrepreneurial version of the role in which you’ll:
- Hire and manage your own team of full-time staff, set a culture and vision, and scale quickly to take on ambitious projects.
- Have even more scope to set the strategic goals of your Campus Centre.
- Have an increase in salary and updated job title commensurate with your new role.
You’ll be a great fit for the role if you:
- Are passionate about effective altruism - you’re impact-driven, truth-seeking, and motivated by impartial welfare. You follow EA research and enjoy thinking about how to improve the world as much as possible.
- Respond well to feedback - you're excited to continuously learn and grow in your role. You are humble and approach new ideas with openness and curiosity.
- Can communicate effectively about effective altruism - you are familiar with each of the major cause areas EAs often prioritise (animal welfare, global health & development, reducing global catastrophic risk), understand different worldviews, and can demonstrate independent thought in applying EA concepts. You are excited to develop a greater depth of experience in concepts or areas with which you’re less familiar.
- Have a track record of inspiring others - you are able to get people excited about ideas, and take action based on those ideas. This may be in the context of EA, but we’d also be happy to see this experience in other contexts.
We’re especially excited about Campus Specialists who we think have the potential to become excellent Campus Directors. That might be you if you have or could develop:
- Good interpersonal and social skills - you can build rapport with a diverse range of people, resolve conflicts, and you make sure to bring people along when you’re discussing ideas. You can navigate working with a new team, and build strong friendships with students.
- An entrepreneurial mindset - you’re able to complete ambitious, self-directed projects (EA or otherwise).
- A strong understanding of community building strategy - you understand the goals of CEA, and the Campus Specialist programme. Where you disagree, you’ll be able to collaboratively truth-seek with your manager.
- Coaching or management skills - you could manage a team of a dozen or more volunteers in your role, alongside several full-time staff.
- This is a full-time position where you’ll work nearby one of our focus universities.
- We welcome applicants from overseas and we’ll sponsor visas where possible.
- We’d love for you to start as soon as possible. Most candidates will need to start by June 2022 to participate in our summer onboarding programme, but we may be able to make exceptions for an exceptional candidate.
- Starting salary depends on a number of factors, including location and experience. For a Campus Specialist with no work experience the starting range in the US is $66,900 - $80,000, depending on location. The equivalent range for the UK is £42,200 - £46,300 You can find out more about our approach to compensation here.
- We offer health, dental and vision insurance, flexible work hours, a £2k annual training budget, ergonomic equipment, 25 days of paid vacation, and more.
- Our application process includes: one or more trial tasks, interviews, a reference check, and an onsite work trial for the top candidates.
- We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from self-identified women and people of colour who are excited about contributing to our mission. The Centre for Effective Altruism is an equal opportunity employer. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, or have any other questions about applying, please contact our Head of People Operations, Caitlin Elizondo, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are committed to protecting your data. See our Job applicant privacy notice | CEA for more information.
What benefits will I get?
Here’s what you’ll get as a Campus Specialist:
- Two-year employment at CEA: In your initial two years as a CEA employee, you’ll get guaranteed job security (1), a competitive salary (2), health insurance, a top-quality laptop, and more.
- An intense focus on personal development: You’ll have a dedicated advisor who will provide regular feedback on your ideas and progress. Our Campus Specialist managers are experienced community builders who have founded ambitious EA field-building projects. You’ll also get a £2,000 personal development stipend to pay for productivity coaching, external management training, and guaranteed access to 80,000 Hours advising in 2022.
- A critical role in CEA’s university groups strategy: To give you full context and a chance to share input on CEA’s university groups strategy, you’ll attend specialised Q&A sessions with CEA leadership (Max Dalton and Joan Gass), and have the option to attend a CEA team retreat.
- A systematic way for your innovations to be scaled: You’ll share data from your Campus Centre to help us identify successes. You’ll participate in conversations about our key uncertainties, and set up experiments with other Campus Centre leaders to test ideas. If your innovations are successful, they will be scaled to other Campus Centres, and potentially across hundreds of university groups.
- Integration into professional networks: We’ll host a variety of specialised retreats with staff from other EA orgs. We’ll cover your flights to EA Global and EAGx conferences, and give you coworking space in the offices shared by CEA, the Future of Humanity Institute, and the Global Priorities Institute for when you’re in Oxford. We’ll also cover flights to the UK for these events, and hold an in-person summer onboarding programme for Campus Specialists.
- 30% time to work on other projects: We want to set you up for success after your initial two years, so we’ll let you set aside 30% of your work hours for other work. Examples might include doing research, applying to grad school, trialling at another organisation, or launching a startup outside your Campus Centre.
- A job where you talk to lots of interesting people: People currently working as Campus Specialists say that one of the best things about their job is that it’s fun - you spend your days working with a community of interesting people on ideas that motivate you. As well as students at your university, you’ll share ideas, resources, and successes with your cohort of Campus Specialists.
Can I run a cause-specific group?
Yes. Campus Specialists will increase the number of highly talented and motivated university students who apply the principles of effective altruism to their lives and careers. That doesn’t have to be through a typical EA group model - you could focus entirely on any priority area like existential risk, animal welfare, or global health and development.
Do I need to have attended a focus university?
No. You’ll need to work nearby one of our focus universities, but you don’t need to have attended one. The current students at the university will provide you with the on-the-ground-knowledge you need to be effective in your role.
What might I do after my initial two years on the Campus Specialist programme?
After two years as a Campus Specialist you’ll have demonstrated experience with management (of people and projects), recruitment, strategy, and communication, all while regularly meeting with professionals from across the movement at conferences and retreats. Depending on what projects you pursue, you might have built aptitudes in organisation-running, communication, entrepreneurship, and community building.
Here’s what you might do next:
- Become a Campus Director: described above.
- Campus Specialist Management: You could become a regional director, responsible for a number of Campus Centres.
- Entrepreneurship: CEA has close links with EA Funds and Open Philanthropy. Campus Specialist managers can endorse strong performers to explore (or further continue) other entrepreneurial opportunities in the space.
- Other EA roles: Past full-time group organisers have gone into research management at GovAI, community health at CEA, and operations at Forethought.
- Research or graduate study: as a Campus Specialist, you can spend 30% of your time working on other projects, including research or applying to graduate programmes.
- Non-EA roles: with the skills you’ve built, you’ll be well-positioned to enter a range of non-EA career paths.
Do I have to commit to two years?
No. We’ll commit to hiring incoming Campus Specialists for two years, and Campus Specialists will commit to one academic year initially.
- In the unlikely event that a Campus Specialist is underperforming, and we need to end their employment early, we’ll offer an exit grant of six months’ salary.
- Starting salary depends on a number of factors, including location and experience. For a Campus Specialist with no work experience the starting range in the US is $66,900 - $80,000, depending on location. The equivalent range for the UK is £42,200 - £46,300. You can find out more about our approach to compensation here.