Tl;dr: If you’re interested in running an Introductory Fellowship for your local EA group, there are lots of resources, templates, and support available. Most of these resources are collated in this post, which will be updated monthly. (Alternatively, go to the EA Groups Resource Centre page on fellowships, which has advice on running Intro Fellowships and contains almost all the resources in this post.)

Intro

Introductory fellowships (also known as EA Intro/Scholar’s/Seminar Programs) are multi-week reading- and discussion groups for people that are new to EA. Many local EA groups run such programs to build their EA group and to help new members get an in-depth understanding of EA.

In the last few years, a lot of effort has gone into developing curricula and other resources for intro fellowships. This means that it’s now easier than ever to run a program like this – there are lots of resources, templates, and support available. (Though this shouldn’t be taken to mean that it’s easy to run an intro fellowship; it requires a relatively high capacity compared to other introductory events, like speaker events, socials, and weekly meetings.)

This post lists most of the resources I’m aware of. If you’re a new fellowship organiser (or if you just want to see my recommended default resources), start with the section “Recommended resources for your first fellowship”. 

Please feel free to suggest changes and additions in the comments. Also feel free to send me ideas for other intro fellowship resources that would be helpful for you, in the comments or on marie@centreforeffectivealtruism.org, and I’ll either see if I can find any existing resources or consider making it. 

If you’re running or considering running an Introductory Fellowship, you’re welcome to contact me at marie@centreforeffectivealtruism.org for advice, support, and information about facilitator training sessions.

Recommended resources for your first fellowship

If you’re running your first fellowship, this post can probably seem like a bit of a jungle, so I wanted to start out with some well-tested resources that you can default to. I think you can run a great fellowship with just these resources. If you’re new to organising a fellowship, I recommend focusing on running a really good fellowship with these rather than spending lots of time reading through the rest of the resources on this page.

EA Groups Resource Centre: Fellowships: The main and most frequently updated page on fellowships. It contains organising advice, information about funding and support, and a variety of template materials.

EA Intro Program Organiser Pack: This 8-week curriculum was developed by EA Oxford in collaboration with CEA and with feedback from a number of employees at EA organisations. It’s updated regularly, run by a large number of groups, and is currently used by EA Virtual Programs. The folder contains a curriculum as well as guides for facilitators and organisers.

Forum post: Should you organise your own introductory EA program or outsource it to EA Virtual Programs?: Instead of organising your own intro fellowship, you could encourage group members to sign up for EA Virtual Programs’ Introductory EA Program. This Forum post gives advice on which groups should choose which option.

(Semi-)Complete list of resources

General resources

EA Groups Resource Centre: Fellowships: The main and most frequently updated page on fellowships. It contains organising advice, information about funding and support, and a variety of template materials.

Slides with advice from a meet-up of fellowship organisers and facilitators.  

EA Forum Introductory Fellowship tag: See most Forum posts related to intro fellowships. 

Curricula

EA Intro Program: This 8-week curriculum was developed by EA Oxford in collaboration with CEA and with feedback from a number of employees at EA organisations. It’s updated regularly, run by a large number of groups, and is currently used by EA Virtual Programs. The folder contains a curriculum as well as guides for facilitators and organisers. I recommend this curriculum to groups running their first fellowship (see the previous section).

The Arete fellowship: This 9-week curriculum was developed by Harvard EA. It’s updated regularly and has been run by a large number of groups. The folder contains a curriculum as well as guides for facilitators and organisers.

More curriculum options are listed on the EA Groups Resource Centre page on fellowships, including curricula geared towards non-university groups.

Facilitator training

Global Challenges Project's Facilitator Guide: A facilitation guide with advice for both new and intermediate facilitators. 

Group Discussion Facilitator Training Guide: A guide to running your own facilitator training, with a ready-to-use presentation and exercises. EA Virtual Programs uses just the workshop labelled "Mandatory Training" to train their facilitators.

Both of the folders linked to in the “Curricula” section also contain facilitator guides.

Funding

CEA Group Support Funding: CEA provides funding for EA group activities, including advertising, books, food, room rental, and other fellowship expenses (but usually not organiser salaries). This page contains information about how to apply.

The EA Infrastructure Fund: EAIF can provide funding for various fellowship expenses, including organiser salaries in some cases. This page contains information about how to apply.

CEA advice on funding and buying books for the fellowship. 

Advertising and applications

EA Groups Resource Centre: Publicising Introductory Programs: This page contains marketing advice specifically for intro fellowships and a number of editable template marketing materials, including posters, flyers, and graphics for Facebook events.

Forum posts: Yale EA’s Fellowship Application Scores were not Predictive of Eventual Engagement / LSE EA’s Fellowship Application Scores Moderately Predicted Engagement and Discussion Quality: These two Forum posts contribute to the discussion of how selective you should be when choosing which fellowship applicants to accept. Both posts are by groups that ran interviews as part of their application process. 

Template application forms are listed on the EA Groups Resource Centre page on fellowships.

Retrospectives from fellowship organisers

Forum post: How we held a successful 1st Introductory EA Fellowship in the University of the Philippines.

Forum post: Lessons from Running Stanford EA and SERI.

Forum post: A guide to effective altruism fellowships [from Yale EA].

Forum post: EA Geneva’s fellowship: a fellowship model for non-university group.

Criticisms of fellowships

Forum post: We need alternatives to Intro EA Fellowships.

Forum post: Avoiding Groupthink in Intro Fellowships (and Diversifying Longtermism).

Other

Forum post: Should you organise your own introductory EA program or outsource it to EA Virtual Programs?: Instead of organising your own intro fellowship, you could encourage group members to sign up for EA Virtual Programs’ Introductory EA Program. This Forum post gives advice on which groups should choose which option.

Ideas for EA content to subscribe to: A document that can be shared with participants in the final fellowship session to encourage them to subscribe to various EA content.  

Forum post: We should be paying Intro Fellows: This post and the comment section contains discussion of whether or not to pay participants of introductory programs.


 

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3 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:00 PM

Thanks for compiling all of these!

I’m curious if you have any strong opinions on a 4-week fellowship model that some groups use (e.g. Positive Impact Society Erasmus)

No worries!

I don’t have strong opinions on a 4-week fellowship, no! I think my quick take would be that (a) it’s harder to teach the core EA ideas well in 4x1.5h sessions, (b) it’s harder to create a social community/have people become friends in 4 weeks, and (c) the group of people who’d commit to a 4-week program but not an 8-week program is relatively small, at least in a university group context. But I’m not too sure about this. It also seems plausible to me that 4 weeks could be better in  contexts like professional or city groups.

I’d be excited to see a group  running both and comparing the outcomes (e.g., in terms of retention, later engagement, number of friends made, whether participants say they’d like a shorter/longer program).

Hey I'm one of the organisers of the PISE Fellowship and would like to weigh in on some of the points you made:
(a) I agree that it's hard to cover all core ideas of EA well in 4 weeks. For example we were not able to fit in animal welfare.  So for a 4 week model it seems essential to offer things like discussion groups, in depth fellowships, etc. so people can keep learning after the fellowship is over. 
(b) From my experience friendships and social engagement come more from social activities or working together than from a fellowship (might be different for others).  Again here it seems essential when running a 4 week fellowship to offer other ways of socialising and engaging. PISE does this by organising big social events and  by recruiting people into commitees after the fellowship ends.
(c) Anecdotally, multiple people mentioned that they felt like 4 weeks was not a big commitment and joined because of that. I hope we soon have some data that can shed some light on this question.
There will be a longer post about our experience with the 4 week fellowship soon.

In the newly founded EA Delft we are planning to employ a different model. We will first run a 4 week intro fellowship (and advertise it as 4 weeks),  but then throughout offer people to continue the fellowship for another 4 weeks. This way the people only willing to join for 4 weeks will join, but  the ones willing to do the full 8 weeks will get to dive into more topics. We will share our experience and the results we get with this method at some point.