Applications for this position have closed
The Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) is seeking a full time EA Grants Evaluator who is interested in helping allocate CEA’s £2,000,000 budget to highly promising independent projects run by members of the EA community. Responsibilities include: evaluating EA Grant applications to determine which project proposers we interview and which projects we fund, developing a strong network in the EA community to help proactively spot good uses of EA Grants funding, and developing systems for supporting EA Grants recipients during their grant period.
The Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) aims to create an optimal world by helping to grow and maintain the effective altruism community.
Effective altruism is a global community of people who care deeply about the world, make benefiting others a significant part of their lives, and use evidence and reason to figure out how best to do so. You can read more about effective altruism's guiding principles here.
CEA’s current and recent projects include:
- Run Effective Altruism Funds, philanthropic funds in specific cause areas managed by experts
- Run EA Global conferences and other smaller events for the effective altruism community
- Support community-organized conferences through EA Global X
- Support the community of 3,500+ people who have taken the Giving What We Can pledge to donate 10% of their income to the most effective organizations they can find
- Support local and student effective altruism groups
- Support useful new projects via Effective Altruism Grants
- Deepen our models of community building and current thinking on topics that are relevant to our mission
- Run retreats and workshops to help identify and support people with the largest potential for impact
- Support the community’s online infrastructure through effectivealtruism.org and by managing and improving the Effective Altruism Forum
We are an ambitious team with an ambitious goal: creating an optimal world. To have any chance of achieving our goal, we understand that we as individuals, as an organization, and as a community will need to improve – a lot. As a team we live at the edge of our comfort zones, taking on tasks just beyond our current capabilities so that we are continually improving to meet new challenges. We understand that failure can come both by pushing ourselves too hard and by not pushing ourselves hard enough.
We work together as a team to figure out what we should prioritize, but favor taking action and trying things out so that we don’t get stuck in decision paralysis. We are given the autonomy over our core areas of responsibility to make decisions and take the necessary risks to make progress and increase value in expectation. While we understand that measuring impact is difficult, we think that having a plan beats not having a plan, and having a model beats not having a model.
We focus on working smart, not just hard. We prioritize aggressively. We encourage everyone on the team to speak up when they are unsure of the value of a project or when they have suggestions for how we can improve our team. We believe that the best argument should decide what we do, not the highest ranking person.
Effective altruism has attracted many people of outstanding talent and motivation. We believe that providing those people with the resources that they need to realize their potential could be a highly effective use of resources.
EA Grants aims to provide grants of up to $100,000 to help individuals work on promising projects. The goal of the program is to help fund projects that are not sufficiently large or well-established to receive funding from larger funding sources like the Effective Altruism Community Fund or the Open Philanthropy Project.
We want to use the grants to increase the diversity of approaches within effective altruism. We believe that untested strategies could yield significant information value for the effective altruism community, and will fund projects accordingly. We hope that Effective Altruism Grants will also allow people from less privileged backgrounds (and therefore less financial security) to pursue the highest expected value career paths open to them.
CEA conducted a successful test of EA Grants in 2017 with a budget of £500,000. We have since raised the budget for the project to £2,000,000 with the potential to attract more funding if the project continues to be a good use of funds. We have been accepting and evaluating applications for EA Grants on a referral basis since the beginning of the year, but we have been unable to reopen EA Grants applications to the public because we lack the capacity to evaluate the large number of applications that we expect to receive.
The core responsibility of the EA Grants Evaluator would be managing the flow of applications to ensure that we respond to all applicants in a timely manner. This would involve determining which applicants we choose to interview and, in many cases, determining which applicants we fund and how much funding we provide.
Depending on the skills of the successful applicant, this position could also entail tweaking or overhauling our evaluation process, further expanding the types of projects we are interested in funding, designing better systems for evaluating the successes of past grants, and designing systems to give grant recipients more support after their grants have been made to ensure that their projects are successful.
- Performing a first-pass evaluation of all applications and rejecting those that fail to meet the funding objects of EA Grants.
- Maintaining the database of all applicants and ensuring that we provide timely updates on the status of all applications.
- Collecting the information needed to process each grant after the funding decision has been made, and ensuring the efficiency of the process.
- Creating short write ups describing each grant we make and the rationale behind it.
- Collecting information about past grantees to assess the quality of our decision making process.
- Designing improvements to EA Grants.
- Designing systems to give grant recipients more support after their grants have been made to ensure that their projects are successful.
The ideal candidate will be skilled in three core areas: (1) designing and following complex processes; (2) developing a deep understanding of the core ideas in cause prioritization and; (3) quickly and accurately evaluating whether an applicant is a good candidate for an EA Grant.
More specifically, the ideal candidate will demonstrate the following attributes:
- Demonstrated capacity in designing and following complex processes
- High reliability
- Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication abilities
- Familiarity with the core ideas in cause prioritization
- Ability to quickly determine whether a project in an unfamiliar domain is likely to be high impact
- Ability to render quick, accurate evaluations of individual applicants
- Ability to build a strong network in the EA community
- Preferably, a history of involvement in the Effective Altruism community
We prefer that this position be based out of our office in downtown Berkeley, although we will also consider remote candidates. Our starting salary range is $70-100k, with the possibility of going up to $115k in exceptional circumstances. Benefits include health care and dental coverage, generous paid vacation time, a flexible work schedule, and allowances for self-development and equipment.
CEA is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity at our organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status. We are happy to make any reasonable accommodations necessary to welcome all to our workplace. Please contact us to discuss adjustments to the application process.
How to apply
Applications close at 23:59 BST on Monday 16 July.
By Friday 27 July we aim to have contacted all applicants, to let them know whether they have passed the first round of the application process.