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In March 2018, Open Phil allocated $5 million to be regranted at Carl Shulman's discretion (a).

Is there a record of the grants he's made so far?




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It has some investigations in progress but hasn't made any grants yet. It was used to back the late-2018 Donor Lottery.

Any update on this? 

(It has now been 2 years since my original post.)

Hi Milan,

So far it has been used to back the donor lottery (this has no net $ outlay in expectation, but requires funds to fill out each block and handle million dollars swings up and down), make a grant to  ALLFED, fund Rethink Priorities' work on nuclear war,  and small seed funds for some researchers investing two implausible but consequential if true interventions (including the claim that creatine supplements boost cognitive performance for vegetarians).

Mostly it remains invested. In  practice I have mostly been able to recommend major grants to other funders so this fund is used when no other route is more appealing. Grants have often involved special circumstances or  restricted funding, and the grants it has made should not be taken as recommendations to other donors to donate to the same things at the current margin in their circumstances.


Are you or the grantee planning to publish the results of the creatine investigation? I think it would be helpful for many in the community, even if it's a null result.

Last update is that they are, although there were coronavirus related delays.

Hey, nudge on publishing this. (Or could you link it to me if it's been published and I missed it?)

They still have not published. You can email Jan Brauner and Fabienne Sandkuehler for it.
Stephen Clare
For anyone finding themselves in this random corner of the Forum: this study has now been published. Conclusion: "Our results do not support large effects of creatine on the selected measures of cognition. However, our study, in combination with the literature, implies that creatine might have a small beneficial effect."
Thanks for this update – these seem like worthwhile things to invest in! Do you have a sense of how you will structure reporting on future grantmaking from this fund?

Not particularly.

Hey Sam, any updates?

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