New releases: Global Priorities Institute research agenda and posts we’re hiring for

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The Global Priorities Institute has released a new research agenda, and is now hiring researchers and a maternity cover to run its operations. Please consider applying, or sending this to others you know who might be interested in applying!

 

What is the Global Priorities Institute?

The Global Priorities Institute is a research centre at Oxford University. Its aim is to develop the intellectual roots of the EA movement with an academic level of rigour and detail, and to spread EA theory and concerns throughout academia. Although effective altruism is gaining increasing traction in the non-profit world, it has gained comparatively little within academia so far. That is problematic because many of the world’s most talented researchers are academics, and would, therefore, have a lot to offer in answering the central question of effective altruism: how a given unit of resources can do the most good. In addition, academics are the authorities consulted by policymakers and the media, and they teach the next generation of leaders. It is likely that an important mechanism for getting society to a position where the major decisions in the world are made by determining what the worldwide priorities are in terms of importance, neglectedness and tractability, will be getting these principles accepted within academia. GPI seeks to make this happen. 

 

New research agenda

GPI has just released its new research agenda. It’s a work in progress, so we would be very grateful for comments! Its central question is how we can use our finite resources to do the most good, although we also plan to do some research on the nature and strength of people’s motivation and obligations to care about that question. How to use resources to do the most good can roughly be split into two areas of research: determining which problems are most important to work on (you might call this ‘working out what cause to prioritise’), and working out what the best means are for solving those problems. Within the first area we would work on questions such as to what extent the value of our actions is driven by their effect on the long-term future, and how likely it is that the long-term future has positive value. Examples of promising topics in the second area are what the best ways are for donors to coordinate, and whether we should be giving now or saving for the future.

 

Hiring

GPI is currently hiring three posts, to put our research agenda into practice.

Why work at GPI?

By working with GPI, you can have great impact on the world by contributing both to immediately answering foundational questions about how to do the most good and to building the groundwork for improved global decision making. You’ll be part of a close-knit team who all care about getting detailed and reliable answers as to improve the world most. You’ll be based in a stimulating office shared with the Future of Humanity Institute and the Centre for Effective Altruism, where there are frequent joint seminars and a many opportunities for collaboration.

Roles we’re hiring for:

Maternity cover to run operations (March-Sep 2018):

What is the job? This role will ensure the smooth set up of GPI by managing all operational aspects. Crucially, it will allow GPI to maintain momentum at the stage of coming into existence, and thereby not only facilitate excellent research during the period of the role, but also enable more going forward. Due to the early stage GPI is at, the position is fairly flexible. It’s likely to include the following: fundraising, liaising with Oxford University, overseeing processes such as finding new office space, managing GPI’s finances, supporting visiting researchers and setting up seminars and work in progress groups. There may be opportunities for longer-term involvement with GPI following this 6-month period, for individuals who are a good fit to the Institute. The role reports to the Director of GPI, and has a salary range of £31,604 – £33,518 p.a.. The title of the position is Researcher. If you’d like to know more about the role, see this page and please reach out to Michelle Hutchinson who currently holds the position.

Who are we looking for? For this role, we need someone who cares deeply about effective altruism and global priorities research, and who has excellent organisational skills. They also need good communications skills (both interpersonal and in writing), and an analytic mindset. It would be beneficial to have either a strong background in operations or in academia (for example, having recently finished or currently undertaking a Philosophy or Economics PhD). The ideal candidate would have experience fundraising and managing budgets. In particular, you should apply if you’re excited about getting a new project off the ground and about facilitating important research.

You can apply here, and the deadline is 12pm GMT Jan 4th 2018. Applicants for the post must submit a CV, a supporting statement and three references. The post is visa eligible.

 

Research Fellow in Philosophy and Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy (Each 4 years, starting Sep 2018)

What are the jobs? Research posts in Philosophy, the focus of which is research on global priorities and publishing that research in top academic journals. At least 50% of each researcher’s time should be spent on topics directly related to the GPI research agenda. You would participate in shaping the research agenda, and would attend and present at GPI seminars and work in progress groups. You would be based in the Oxford Philosophy department, which is one of the largest and highest ranked in the world. There is no requirement for teaching or other non-research duties, though we would endeavour to find teaching for those who would like to do some. The posts report to the Director of GPI, Prof Hilary Greaves. The Research Fellow in Philosophy is a Grade 7 job, salary range £31,604 – £33,518. The Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy is a Grade 8 job, salary range £39,992 – £42,418. Although the posts are fixed term for 4 years, we hope to build a long-term team. Therefore, if researchers turn out to be excellent fits for the roles, we would hope to provide them with new contracts in future.

Who are we looking for? These roles require a PhD in Philosophy (completed or near completion). The PhD need not be directly related to the research agenda, but you must be able to show genuine interest in high-impact research related to the research agenda, and to effective altruism and global priorities research in general. We are looking for people who care deeply about having an impact with their work, and who are able to produce excellent, independent research. The successful candidates are likely to be producing work of a quality similar to that of a good graduate student in a top department. To apply for the Senior Research Fellow position, you should already have a strong publication record. If you are currently completing or have recently (within 1 or 2 years) completed your PhD, you will likely be a better fit for the Research Fellow position.

Please apply through these links: Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow, by 12pm GMT Jan 4th, 2018. Applicants for both posts must submit a CV, a supporting statement, three references as well as a sample of your best philosophical work. Short-listed candidates will have to submit a research proposal. For more details, see the GPI website or get in touch.

The posts are visa eligible.