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I founded Effective Thesis 3 years ago and have been running and developing it since, but now I’ve concluded its time for me to move to another role. Anyway, I’d like the project to continue flourishing since I believe it makes a lot of sense and is a great opportunity to have a significant positive impact. I and other collaborators managed to get some traction with it, having hundreds of talented students from all around the world applying for and using our services each year. We have seen some flashes of impact already and I believe there is much more to unfold and be created. There is definitely room to improve the project further, be it via alternative outreach strategies (as suggested here), improving the service and advice we give to students, starting offering some new service or some other, yet unexplored, way. The project currently fills a niche of helping future researchers decide what they will focus on throughout their careers which seems to be neglected in the current academic process. I believe building on this niche might have a large potential. I’m now looking for someone to make use of this potential who I could hand over the management of the project to, with me staying in the consultation, mentoring and supportive role as needed.
What is the Effective Thesis project
Effective Thesis is a project that aims to assist students in their final thesis topic choice and direct their attention to areas that have the potential to greatly improve the world. It does this by offering students to engage with profiles of several high impact research directions for each discipline, offering to connect them with researchers working in these directions who can help with the specific topic choice, giving feedback on their existing ideas and research career tips, and inviting them to the online community of other students focusing on similar directions.
Here are the previous reports from 2017 when the project began, 2018 impact report with a description of the project's history and most recent 2019 report outlining my thoughts on future project development.
The hope is that this could be potentially high-leverage as we are focusing on a particularly crucial juncture in people’s trajectories. More generally, within the broader goal of generating new impactful research, this project focuses more on the junior side of research career trajectories, trying to create new junior researchers who are not necessarily dependent on EA funding.
The project team consists of 3 additional volunteers who work on it 10-15 hours per week, one of which is already well acquainted with most of the inner workings and processes. In present, she spends most of her time coaching new students and collecting final feedback from those who have finished the coaching process. Two other recently hired volunteers focus on managing our facebook community of students, informing them about new relevant opportunities related to research careers, and improving our web design. Additionally, there is a team of about 4 volunteer web developers who help with website redesign as needed. Finally, we have a list of our coaches, researchers in various domains, who we connect students to.
Here is who I imagine this could be a good fit for:
Type of work: Project management - overseeing and owning the whole Effective Thesis project; being responsible for its strategic thinking, development and execution; being responsible for the continuation of the project and its health (including securing enough funds and talents), working with volunteers and being able to step up and do any task that is needed to achieve project goals
Time requirements: At least 20 hours per week. Anyway, given the "owning mindset" needed for the role, there might be longer weeks and shorter weeks - it's good to be flexible to put a little extra time if needed. The start would be asap, ideally in December.
Personality and experiences: being responsible, having the “owning” or “take charge” mindset, proactive, comfortable with independently and creatively tackling various types of tasks, being good at strategic thinking could be useful; good knowledge of the EA concepts and community; academic experience and credentials might be beneficial (although not necessarily required); ideally having some previous experience with project management
Funding situation: The salary for the 0,5 FTE would be 1450 USD/month (pre-tax) and is secured for the next 11 months. Larger involvement would likely be possible if desired. After that, you would be expected to fundraise for yourself and other members of the project (with my help and advice if needed).
If you’d be interested in taking this role or know anyone who might be, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Similarly, please reach out if you’d be interested in volunteering and becoming part of our small team at Effective Thesis.