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TL;DR: We are excited to announce our Research Training Program. This online program is designed to equip participants with the tools and skills needed to identify, compare, and recommend the most effective charities and interventions. It is a full-time, fully cost-covered program that will run online for 11 weeks. 

Apply here!

Deadline for application: July 17, 2023
The program dates are: October 2 -  December 17, 2023


So far, Charity Entrepreneurship has launched and run two successful training programs: a Charity Incubation Program and a Foundation Program. Now we are piloting a third - a Research Training Program, which will tackle a different problem.    

The Problem:

  • People: Many individuals are eager to enter research careers, level up their current knowledge and skills from junior to senior, or simply make their existing skills more applicable to work within EA frameworks/organizations. At the same time, research organizations have trouble filling a senior-level researcher talent gap. There is a scarcity of specific training opportunities for the niche skills required, such as intervention prioritization and cost-effectiveness analyses, which are hard to learn through traditional avenues. 
  • Ideas:  A lack of capacity for exhaustive investigation means there is a multitude of potentially impactful intervention ideas that remain unexplored. There may be great ideas being missed, as with limited time, we will only get to the most obvious solutions that other people are likely to have thought of as well. 
  • Evaluation: Unlike the for-profit sector, the nonprofit sector lacks clear metrics for assessing an organization's actual impact. External evaluations can help nonprofits evaluate and reorganize their own effectiveness and also allow funders to choose the highest impact opportunities available to them- potentially unlocking more funding (sometimes limited by lack of public external evaluation). There are some great organizations that carry out evaluations (e.g., GiveWell), but they are constrained by capacity and have limited scope; this results in several potentially worthwhile organizations remaining unassessed.

Who Is This Program For?

  • Motivated researchers who want to produce trusted research outputs to improve the prioritization and allocation decisions of effectiveness-minded organizations
  • Early career individuals who are seeking to build their research toolkits and gain practical experience through real projects
  • Existing researchers in the broader Global Health and Well-being communities (global health, animal advocacy, mental health, health/biosecurity, etc.) who are interested in approaching research from an effectiveness-minded perspective

What Does Being a Fellow Involve?

  • Similar to our Charity Incubation Program, the program focuses on learning generalizable and specific research skills. It involves watching training videos, reading materials, and practicing by applying those skills to concrete mini-research projects. Participants learn by doing while we provide guidance and lots of feedback.
  • You will also focus on applying skills, working on different stages of the research process, and producing final research reports that could be used to guide real decision-making.
  • Frequent feedback on your projects from expert researchers
  • Regular check-in calls with a mentor for troubleshooting, guidance on research, and your career 
  • Writing reports on selected topics
  • Opportunities to connect with established researchers and explore potential job opportunities
  • Assistance with editing your cause area report for publication and dissemination

What Are We Offering?

  • 11 weeks of online, full-time training with practical research assignments, expert mentoring, feedback, and published output 
  • "Shovel ready" research topics that are highly promising yet neglected
  • Stipends to cover your living costs during, and potentially after, the program (Please reach out if you have dependents or childcare costs, to ensure financial constraints don't hinder your participation)
  • Our complete researcher's toolkit, including templates, methodologies, and resource access
  • Connections with established researchers

Fellows Leave With:

  • An understanding of generalizable research methodologies and experience applying them
  • handbook on “How to do research for change” 
  • portfolio of published intervention reports
  • A portfolio of charity evaluations shared with CE charities and other aligned organizations, making them decision-relevant
  • Opportunity to directly use your research to affect decisions of CE charities, foundations, and other organizations
  • Certification in Intervention Comparison and Charity Impact Evaluation

Ongoing Support:

  • Job search and application assistance to help you land a role in an impact-focused organization or research field
  • Access to concrete opportunities within the EA ecosystem and the wider research community
  • Membership in the CE community and access to our extensive network

Apply Now!

Application Process:

The application process consists of four stages. We encourage everyone to apply to Stage 1, as it is the best way to assess your fit for the program. Subsequent stages require increasing time investment, but only if we believe it is worth pursuing.


The team behind this program:

  • Karolina Sarek is the Co-founder and Co-Executive Director of Charity Entrepreneurship (CE). For a long time, she was the Director of Research at CE. Karolina also serves as a Fund Manager at Effective Altruism Animal Welfare Fund and is a board member and advisor for various EA nonprofits and think tanks.
    ​Before CE, she co-founded an organization to improve the impact of nonprofits and social enterprises, worked on measurement and evaluation, and was a researcher in for-profit companies and academia. At the age of 22, she became a university teaching fellow.
     
  • Erik Hausen was previously a Research Manager with J-PAL and with Michael Kremer’s (Nobel Prize winner in economics) research team. Additionally, he has been a Senior Research Advisor for Charity Entrepreneurship and co-led the GiveWell-incubated organization Charity Science Health (which later merged with Suvita).
     
  • Leonie Falk is the Lead Research Analyst for Global Health, Development, and Well-being at Woodleigh Impact, a charitable foundation committed to funding the most impactful organizations. She also previously co-ran the EA Cause Innovation Bootcamp. She is a graduate of Charity Entrepreneurship's Incubation Program and has previously worked with non-governmental organizations in India and Kenya.



 

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:03 AM

This is really exciting, nice work on putting it together. Do you have any plans to put the teaching materials (even if that’s just a reading list) online at any point? I think I’m not the right sort of person to do the course but I’d love to slowly work my way through a reading list in my own time.

This is exactly my thought right here. I would like to go through the materials but full time is too rapid for me currently.

Thanks Shakeel! I think a big value of the program would come from applying learned skills to practical projects and getting a lot of feedback and guidance from expert researchers when doing so. With those sorts of skills, it is best to lean into learning by doing. That makes it somewhat harder to make “public goods” material that will bring a similar amount of value to the program. 

That being said, we are planning to write a research handbook similar to the one we have for the charity incubation program. We probably won’t publish version 1 developed for the upcoming program in October, but we hope to publish version 2 made next year. :) 

Makes total sense — thank you, and looking forward to the handbook!

Thank you very much for doing this. However, I'm surprised by the claim that "research organizations have trouble filling a senior-level researcher talent gap". I've worked as an animal advocacy researcher in EA orgs for five years and had the title of senior researcher. I am looking for a researcher job right now and I can't even find anywhere to apply for, at least without a PhD. Well, GiveWell is hiring but I don't want to work in global health. I was loosely following animal welfare researcher and non-longtermist generalist researcher open jobs at EA orgs this whole year and that was the situation most of the time. I found maybe 7 jobs I could apply for (although I wasn't genuinely looking for a job until now so I might have missed some). Most of them would've required me to compromise on what topics I work for or where I live. In two cases where I talked to people advertising these jobs, I was told that there was a lot of competition (I wasn't rejected from these jobs so I wasn't told that as an excuse). For an animal welfare job that required to do cost-effectiveness analyses, people with a background in cost-effectiveness analyses in global health applied. I basically concluded that at least for now, I either need to make up my own topics and apply to EA funds to research them, or to change my career. So I was a bit surprised by this claim. But I don't want to overstate my surprise, perhaps the situation in global health, mental health, and biosecurity is different.

This looks super exciting, I'm keen to see how it goes! I'd love to know more about you evaluated the need for this program, and where you'd expect the majority of roles for this kind of research to be (e.g. grantmaking organizations, charities themselves, other meta organizations?) in the next few years.
 


Thanks Vaidehi! We have established two Theories of Change (ToCs): an initial ToC for the first, pilot program and another for the program's long-term implementation. With the ambitious goal of piloting this program this year, our priority is to ensure its high value before any potential scaling up, hence the difference between our short-term and long-term ToCs. We are focusing on getting the program up and running, but I will be happy to share the ToC diagram once we are done with the outreach and vetting sprint.

About the expected roles, our curriculum for the upcoming October program is designed to prepare participants for roles in a) grantmaking organizations, b) direct charities in need of research staff, and c) research or evaluation organizations. Training will encompass generalizable research skills, intervention prioritization research, in-depth exploration of specific problem areas and potential interventions within them, as well as conducting external evaluations of charities.

In the longer term, we may expand the variety of research career tracks available.

We also want the research conducted during the program to be immediately applicable and informative for organizational decision-making. So training is not the only output in our ToC, and the other one is producing and disseminating decision-relevant intervention reports and charity evaluations.

It says this is 11 weeks of online, full-time training - to clarify, what does this look like in practice on a weekly basis? 35-40 hours per week? 

It seems there isn't an expectation for people to look for new researcher roles at the end of the program and your target audience is also for existing researchers who are already working (presumably full time) in orgs - are they able to complete the program whilst also working full time? Should people apply if they are not able to take time off? 

Extremely cool! I was just saying to someone how nice it would be to have a mini degree specifically in impact analysis, with the bits of econ and stats that I would need to know... and here we are! I just started a research-y role with SoGive. I think the material from this course could be really helpful as I get started, but I won't be able to take 11 weeks off for quite some time. I imagine the teaching and feedback is at least as useful as the reading material and assignments. Do you think you'd ever make this program available for part-time students?

Great work, I am really excited to see this! Wanted to add that my personal experience (particularly at Ready Research when we briefly focused on trying to provide research and publication experience) has given me the impression that there is a massive demand for researchers and research training but insufficient resources and training. In a sense doing and reading research is at the heart of nearly all EA activities and almost universally useful.

I agree (of course ;) ), and that’s what we've noticed as well. Particularly, there are some crucial research skills that are not being taught elsewhere but are commonly used in EA/when one aims to have a significant impact. For example, prioritization research, calculations of cost-effectiveness at different levels of depth, issues of moral weights, etc. We aim to address this gap as well as provide training in generalizable research skills for example literature reviews. If you know people, who are interested in such a training program, feel free to send them information about it. We would love to see applications from them.

Really excited by this and all of the work the CE team has been pumping out!

 

Quick question regarding programming: You say the first month is about learning and the second about applying, but that the course is 11 weeks. What is the extra time dedicated to?

The split between learning and applying is a little bit less distinct than the post might have suggested, I edited it for clarity. Generally, we are trying to emphasize learning through doing projects which means that we expect that after an initial overview week (week 1) we would break down learning goals into smaller sections to accomplish as participants are walking through the different steps of the research process (weeks 2-10). The additional 11th week is for conducting more research and producing reports that will be disseminated among organizations that could use it for their decision-making.

Sounds good!

"Shovel ready" research topics that are highly promising yet neglected

Do you have a list that could share?

We are still finalizing the list as some ideas come from CE (promising ideas we didn’t have the capacity to research in their respective years), but others will come from foundations interested in research that could affect their decisions. Some of the ideas will also be developed during the program as part of learning how to do idea prioritization, and some may come from other partner organizations.

If it helps, we expect that ideas may come from many cause areas CE is focusing on such as global health and development, biosecurity/health security, governance and health governance, farmed animal welfare. In the majority of those areas, we have a mixture of direct delivery, policy, and meta ideas. But the ideas may go beyond that as well depending on input from partner organizations and foundations.

Thanks for clarifying!

Hello CE team!

Thank you for setting up this very exciting pilot program! I have a question about the following practical aspect:

  • Stipends to cover your living costs during, and potentially after, the program (Please reach out if you have dependents or childcare costs, to ensure financial constraints don't hinder your participation).

Could more information be shared about the stipend that will be provided (amount or if determined per person, what is taken into account) so that I can factor this practical aspect into weighing whether to apply?

Thank you!

Hi Cecilia! 

We offer up to 2,000 USD per month for the duration of the program. 

The amount may vary from person to person, with some participants choosing not to take a stipend (e.g., those who would take paid time off from work to attend the program) to others taking the maximum amount (because they have to quit their job to attend). 

If you think that amount would not be sufficient to cover your cost of living, please contact us, and we can discuss this on a case-by-case basis.