Introduction

The EA Infrastructure Fund made the following grants between September and December 2021:

  • Total grants: $2,445,941
  • Number of grants: 68
  • Acceptance rate:[1] 78.5%
    • This was somewhat, though not massively higher than usual. E.g., in both the previous and subsequent 4-month periods the acceptance rate was just under 71%. We suspect the unusually high acceptance rate during the period covered by this report was mostly due to an unusually large fraction of applications from EA university groups, which tend to have a higher acceptance rate than other applications we receive.
  • Payout date: September–December 2021
  • Report authors: Max Daniel (chair), Michelle Hutchinson, Buck Shlegeris, Emma Williamson (assistant fund manager), Michael Aird (guest manager), Chi Nguyen (guest manager)

 

In addition, we referred 5 grants totalling an additional $261,530 to private funders. See the "Referred Grants" section below.

 

For capacity reasons, we only provide an abbreviated strategic update that doesn’t include all relevant recent and upcoming developments at the EAIF and EA Funds more generally. A more comprehensive update will follow within the next few months. 

  • The EA Funds donation platform is moving to Giving What We Can. 
  • We are working on a new process for sharing information about the grants we are making that will reduce the delay between our grant decisions and their public reporting. Therefore, this is likely going to be the last EAIF payout report in the familiar format.
  • We appointed Peter Wildeford as fund manager. Like other fund managers, Peter may evaluate any grant we receive, but we are especially excited about his expertise and interest in global health and wellbeing and animal welfare, which we think complements the more longtermism-focused profile of the other fund managers.
  • Ashley Lin and Olivia Jimenez joined the EAIF as new guest managers. Chi Nguyen and Michael Aird left after their guest manager tenure, though Michael will still occasionally handle applications he is especially well placed to evaluate (for instance because he evaluated an application by the same applicant in the past). Olivia has since left as well to focus on other EA-related projects.
  • We appointed Joan Gass and Catherine Low as fund advisers to increase coordination with the CEA Groups and Community Health teams, respectively. Joan Gass has since resigned from her role as adviser to focus on other EA-related projects, and we added Rob Gledhill and Jesse Rothman (both at CEA) as advisers instead.

 

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Highlights

  • We continue to be very excited about the Global Challenges Project (GCP) led by Emma Abele, James Aung, and Henry Sleight. We supported GCP with $174,000 to cover the salaries of their core team as well as salaries and expenses for university groups managed by GCP. We first funded the GCP team in May 2021 and are impressed by their achievements to date, which include running an Oxford-based summer program for university group organizers, taking on EA Books Direct, and advice and other services for university groups
  • We were impressed with the track record, plans, and team of the Norwegian effective giving website Gi Effektivt, and supported them with a grant of $270,500 that exceeded their original ask.
  • We funded Luca Parodi ($20,000), creator of the Instagram account School of Thinking, to produce additional Italian-language content on EA, longtermism, and rationality. We haven’t reviewed the content Luca created since we made the grant, but we were excited to fund experiments with content creation on platforms with thus far little EA-related content. 

Grant Recipients

In addition to the grants described below, 2 grants (totalling $11,667) have been excluded from this report at the request of their recipients.

Grants evaluated by Chi Nguyen

  • Charity Entrepreneurship (CE) ($300,000): 2022 cycle of the CE Incubation Program
    • Charity Entrepreneurship has been running a yearly charity incubation program since 2019. In the past, they have incubated around five charities per year. This grant pays for running the 2022 cycle of the charity incubation program. The 2022 cycle will likely focus on policy interventions in global health and wellbeing.
  • Gus Docker ($54,000): General support for the Utilitarian podcast
    • The Utilitarian podcast features in-depth conversations about science and philosophy from a utilitarian perspective. The podcast is run by Gus Docker. Past podcast guests and topics include Anders Sandberg on grand futures, Kent Berridge on the science of pleasure, and Sharon Hewitt Rawlette on the feeling of value. While effective altruism is not the same as utilitarian thinking, the podcast discusses topics that are relevant to both utilitarianism and effective altruism. This grant pays for Gus Docker’s work on the podcast as well as some podcast equipment.
  • Gavin Leech ($4,000): Exploring specific mental health problems of members of the effective altruism community
    • Gavin Leech is investigating mental health problems that might hold back people in effective altruism, with a special eye on executive dysfunction and the university environment. Gavin works with a professional psychotherapist on this project. This grant is to run a survey to characterize the problem better and to explore potential interventions. Depending on the outcome of this survey, the EA Infrastructure Fund might pay for future pilot interventions.

 

Grants evaluated by Michelle Hutchinson

  • Gi Effektivt ($270,500): 
    • Norwegian giving platform providing tax deductibility and a smooth user experience for donating to top global development charities. We funded significantly more than their original ask because we were impressed by the track record and competence of the team, as well as the specificity of their ideas.
    • The funding includes: a professional branding agency to redesign the website, a developer, an advisor who specialises in advising large donors and paid podcast marketing.
    • We would have been even more excited had the website been more integrated with other parts of effective altruism, so that people donating through the website had a clearer pathway to becoming interested in other ways of doing good (such as donating to animal welfare organisations and using their time as well as money to help others). 
      • The website does have a page on the Giving What We Can pledge, encouraging people to commit 10% or more of their income over the course of their careers.
  • Effektiv Spenden ($233,000):
  • German giving platform providing tax deductibility and a smooth user experience for donating to top global development, climate change and animal welfare organisations.
  • The funding allows for a step change in the investment made in the project, including hiring two new staff members. Given their track record to date, such a step change seemed warranted to me. 
    • In addition to the giving platform, they’ve set up an EA coworking space in Berlin which seems to be appreciated by people from a number of organisations.
  • My hope would be that in the medium term giving platforms like this could be self-sustaining. But advance funding for rapid growth is harder to acquire from users of the platform and other ‘clients’, so this seems like a good opportunity for EAIF.
  • As with Gi Effektivt, my personal inclination would be for them to broaden the range of charities recommended a bit, and to have clearer ways on the website for people to deepen their engagement (both by pledging to donate more, and to think about other ways of doing good).
  • Ge Effektivt ($105,000): 
    • Swedish giving platform aiming to introduce new donors to effective giving. They provide tax deductibility and a smooth user experience for donating to top global development, climate change and animal welfare organisations. 
    • The most recently launched of the three, initially as a translation of Gi Effektivt. 
  • Markus Magnuson ($100,000): 
    • Funding for a six-month pilot to provide free tech development and support to EA organisations.
    • The types of support he proposes offering include ongoing support with computer/software issues, fixing broken websites, security audits, improving website SEO. It would also involve early-stage support such as setting up websites. 
    • In the longer run, I’m excited for Markus to be paid by the EA organisations he works for. It seems like a better funding model to have organisations centrally fundraise and then use the contractors that suit them best, rather than having certain contractors subsidised. 
    • But it should be useful to help Markus build up a portfolio that demonstrates area-specific competence and be able to get references from clients at similar organisations to his prospective clients. 
      • In particular, we talked to an organisation that felt they had the funds to pay for a tech contractor but didn’t have the bandwidth to figure out which would suit them well and would prefer a recommendation from a similar org, and another org that would be happy to work with a contractor but didn’t have the funds. This grant will hopefully bridge that gap.
  • Damon Pourtahmaseb-Sasi ($19,500): funding to provide pro bono therapy for EAs.
    • This will provide 6 months of free therapy to 5 clients in the EA community who are interested in working on reducing existential risk but are unable to start therapy due to low income.
    • Counselling seems helpful for improving some people’s mental health, but is a relatively expensive intervention and therefore people often hold off on getting it. 
    • It does not seem to be a foregone conclusion whether a therapist who is useful to one person will be useful to another, but there seem to be some correlations in the kinds of issues EAs face and the kinds of things they find helpful (for example, they typically prefer therapists who are well versed in the evidence base of different potential interventions and happy to explain their methods).
      • Damon seems to have been decidedly helpful for a number of EAs in the past
  • Stephen Clare ($17,910): 
    • Funding for Stephen to study for a graduate diploma in Economics at Birkbeck University. He currently works for the Forethought Foundation, before which he was at Founders Pledge. He thinks that his research will be importantly improved by more grounding in economics.
  • EA Giving Tuesday, a project of Rethink Charity USA ($14,700): Coordination and support to maximise donors’ chances of directing Facebook’s matching funds to highly cost-effective nonprofits.
    • The project seems to have been helpful for the community in previous years in making it easier to participate in the fundraiser and get matched funding. Getting matching donations from Facebook requires being very quick off the mark, so having someone talk you through how to do that seems to be useful. 
    • I’m excited about these kinds of practical endeavours for mobilising and supporting EAs to take action in effective ways. 
  • High Impact Medicine (Hi-Med) ($12,500): 
    • Doctors seem to be an unusually good target audience for EA to me because if you’re an altruistic, analytic, conscientious young person becoming a doctor seems like a pretty obvious path to go down. 
    • EA Medics exists to support people in medicine who identify as EAs. Hi-Med aims to get med students and doctors to start engaging both with high-impact philanthropy and with choosing their future career path based on maximising their impact.  
  • Bob de Ruiter ($10,000): An emergency fund for effective altruists
    • This fund would allow donors to effectively recoup 50% of their donations to a specified list of charities, should they need to. 
    • The initial grant is intended to assess the feasibility of setting up such a fund. It will primarily pay for Bob de Ruiter’s salary for a portion of his time. In addition it pays for legal and accounting advice.

 

Grants evaluated by Emma Williamson and Buck Shlegeris

  • Cambridge Effective Altruism CIC ($200,000): Build and grow the EA ecosystem in Cambridge.
    • This grant funds Cambridge Effective Altruism to get office space for Cambridge EA, pay facilitators for various fellowships, and hire various full-time employees to work on various movement building projects. Cambridge EA has done some great work in the past, in particular by setting up the AGI Safety Fundamentals program, which I (Buck) think has been very valuable, and the people who run Cambridge EA seem energetic, enterprising, and competent, so I’m very excited to see them try to do more things.
  • Global Challenges Project (previously Student Career Team) ($174,000): Salaries and expenses for managed student groups, and contractor salaries for core team.
    • I (Buck) am very excited about the work that GCP has done over the last year. In particular, I think that their Oxford summer program seems to have been very valuable, and I think they have been doing a good job of thinking about student group strategy.
  • Ayuda Efectiva (formally Fundación Ayuda Efectiva) ($85,000): Cover the 2022 funding gap of an organization promoting EA ideas and services in the Spanish-speaking world.
    • Ayuda Efectiva is a professional organisation promoting effective altruism in Spanish-speaking countries. They are currently focused on promoting effective giving in Spain. Ayuda Efectiva are also the donation platform of choice for Spain-based EAs and GWWC pledgers. They also maintain https://altruismoeficaz.es + associated social media profiles + the “EA in Spanish” newsletter, and host https://riesgoscatastroficosglobales.com The  funding is to support their operational costs for 2022.
  • Jeroen Willems ($65,500): Top up and grant renewal of “A Happier World”: 12-month salary for Jeroen Willems to continue making YouTube videos.
    • Jeroen has made a variety of high quality YouTube videos, some of which were very well-received by the EA community. I think it’s good for EA to have high-quality YouTube videos, and to have video-making experience.

Group organising grants

  • James Lin ($60,000): 6-month salary + accommodation to move to Boston to work full time on Harvard and MIT EA community building projects. Also supports biosecurity community building projects.
  • Ivan Burduk ($26,399): 12-month 0.4FTE salary to grow the EA community in NZ/Aus via event organization, group support, and systems improvement
  • UCLA EA ($17,380, $25,098): Fall and winter budgets for club activities including organizer incentives
    • Run by Kris Chari and others, this grant covers funding for UCLA EA’s operational costs. More specifically, it provides funding to pay lead organizers and facilitators, run 6 intro fellowship groups, run weekly dinners, host a research program, host workshops, experiment with a marketing campaign, and lead various other events. 
  • Daniel Wang, Brown EA ($22,620) - This is retroactive funding for work that he did over the last few years.
  • Effective Altruism at UCL ($20,247) - Funding for Autumn Term (Sep-Dec 2021) to building up UCL's EA society
    • This grant provides funding for EA UCL’s operational costs - including running a fellowship, laptop funding, hosting intercollegiate socials for King’s College, Imperial, UCL, and LSE, attending Oxford’s weekly talks, and more. 
  • Jack Ryan, Berkeley Good Futures Society ($20,000)
  • Effective Altruism ANU ($15,000) - 8-month part-time salary to support 2 community-builders at EA ANU in Canberra
    • This funding pays for Nick Anyons and Jenna Ong to each work with a quarter of their time for around 8 months. Their time is spent running the Effective Altruism ANU group with events including a weekly talk series, reading group,  Introductory EA fellowship, social events and preparing for the EAGx conference in Canberra. 
  • EA University of Auckland ($15,000) This project seeks to create a core student membership for EA University of Auckland (EAUoA). It focuses on running EA Programs and careers workshops for moving students ‘down the funnel’. 
    • UoA has a relatively new EA group. This funding supports Mac Jordan to work for 6 months (scaled back from 1 year) to build a core student membership at the university and run events. 
  • Carnegie Mellon Effective Altruism ($13,080) - Support for community-building for CMU EA.
    • This grant was for operational costs and salaries for CMU EA. The grant has terminated early due to the fact that the head organizer is taking time off to work on another project, although CMU EA is still running.
  • EA Durham ($12,387) - 40 week part-time salary to support a community-builder working to expand EA Durham. 
    • This grant covers the cost of organizing and running introductory and in-depth fellowships, experimenting with new EA related projects, ‘aid with and scrutinize the existing EA Durham programs’, and more. The goal of these activities is to increase the number of engaged and highly engaged EAs at Durham. 
  • Portland Effective Altruists and Rationalists (PEAR) ($11,800)
  • Effective Altruism at New York University ($10,000) - 7-month part-time salary and additional funds to establish/expand the EA student organization at NYU.
    • This grant aims to cover the functional costs of running a speaker series, intercollegiate collaborations, and fellowship programming for NYU. 
  • Anonymous, EA organizing in India ($10,000)
  • Haverford College EA ($9,000) - 20-week (1-semester) salary (0.35 FTE) to increase capacity for building the Haverford College Effective Altruism group.
    • Haverford is working on building the strength and longevity of the Haverford EA group with a focus on building social connections and finding the next organizers for the group. This involves running weekly discussions, the intro fellowship, 1:1s, an AI student seminar, and more. The money granted primarily covers salary costs. 
  • EA University of Wisconsin–Madison ($8,900) - Semester-long funding to commit more time to grow and refine EA UW Madison, an up-and-coming EA uni group
    • This funding covers the salaries of the presidents of UW-Madison to run introductory fellowships and in-depth programming. 
  • Caltech Effective Altruism ($8,656)
  • Harry Taussig ($8,075): Funding for an EA retreat for intro fellows from UPenn, Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr.
  • EA Williams($6,712): 
  • Marc Serna Rius - Running a group introducing local humanitarians to Effective Altruism in South-West and North-West Cameroon ($6,696)
  • Anonymous SSC/ACX meetup group ($6,578)
  • Effective Altruism at Georgia Tech ($5,760 and $3,000) - 6-month part-time salary for two organizers to cofound an Effective Altruism group at Georgia Tech and run 6 intro EA fellowship cohorts in Fall 2021.
    • In Fall 2021, EA at Georgia Tech runs an intro fellowship with 34 members, social events, and intercollegiate activities with Emory and the University of Georgia. I (Emma Williamson) think that they’ve been able to scale fairly rapidly and am quite happy with their work. Quantity is not always a good metric in community-building. In this case however, I think a good indicator of their hard work is that, despite being relatively new, they’ve had 145 applications to their Spring 2022 programs, including their intro program, Precipice reading group, and AGI Safety Fundamentals alignment program. 
  • University of Southern California, Aman Patel and George Stiffman ($5,760) - University organizer salaries for Dec 2021-May 2022 to build self-sustaining fellowship → leadership pipeline
    • With their grant, USC aims to uplevel 4 passionate fellows, maximize intro fellowship participation, set up strong organizational processes (such as facilitator reflections; reading CEA organizing advice; creating fellowship feedback forms, and tracking the cost and outcomes of our events and time spent), and increase top-of-funnel awareness for their club. While George Stiffman is no longer on the grant due to an alternative offer, Aman Patel has been able to achieve most of the goals originally listed. 
  • Effective Altruism Uppsala ($5,500) - Community building support for the next 4 months in Uppsala, Sweden.
    • This grant provides a salary for an organizer to host recurring events, give books, and other operational activities. The head organizer estimates that they can have a ‘5-minute introduction to EA for about $2-5 a person’. 
  • Effective Altruism Malaysia ($4,473) - Retroactive funding for EA Malaysia, plus a $700 exit grant. 
  • Aryan Yadav, animal welfare group in Bristol ($4,395) - Funding to start an Animal Welfare subgroup at the Bristol University EA group. 
    • This project aims to connect people to animal welfare careers and get connected to the wider EA community via a seminar program. A more ambitious goal is to get  the university to incorporate animal welfare into their research. This funding supports that endeavor by funding Aryan’s salary to work on this. 
  • EA St Andrews ($3,100) - Salary for student mentors who provide EA education and career advice for students new to EA through weekly sessions.
    • EA St Andrews has 8 mentors. They run 2:1s in their SPEAK program (an alternative version of their intro fellowship) as well as one-off educational and social events. 100% of the grant is going to salary for the mentors. 
  • Amherst College Effective Altruism ($3,059) - Semester-long funding to run a college EA group
    • Amherst’s primary goal was to secure succession before the primary organizer left in December. They also would like to continue intro fellowship facilitating, distributing EA-related books, and hosting events. 
  • Kuhan Jeyapragasan, for organising EA activities in Boston ($2,800)
  • Baksa Gergely Gáspár, for EA Budapest and EA ELTE ($2,400)
  • Swarthmore Effective Altruism ($1,600) 
  • Claremont Effective Altruism ($1,500) - ​​Funding to run/grow a university EA org, to make up for gaps where funding from the school is insufficient.
    • This grant provides funding for Claremont EA’s advertising materials, running meetings, giving games, and discretionary costs. 
  • Chicago Rationality ($750)

 

Grants evaluated by Max Daniel

  • EA Norway ($80,740): Funding for an Operations Associate (1 FTE) and a community-builder at the University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (50% for 6 months).
  • James Ozden ($63,117): Five months of funding for two full-time researchers evaluating the cost-effectiveness of nonviolent protests. One researcher is James himself, the other will be hired by James specifically for this project, the output of which will be available at https://www.socialchangelab.org/. (The $29,167 portion for the second researcher is conditional on the EAIF being satisfied with the hire recommended by James.) This builds upon preliminary research undertaken by James while supported by Charity Entrepreneurship.
  • Leilani Bellamy and Lenny McCline ($49,100): Ten weeks of funding to start a new organization that aims to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all operational needs involved in events that other EA organizations may want to run.
  • MTÜ Efektiivne Altruism Eesti ($34,213): One year of funding for a community builder at EA Estonia.
  • Pablo Stafforini ($31,300): Five months of funding, during which Pablo will spend 80% of his time on the EA Wiki hosted on this Forum, and 20% on exploring other projects. This is a renewal of our previous grant to the EA Wiki, with the additional objective of supporting Pablo in identifying projects that might be even more impactful for him to focus on going forward. This approach is based on Nuno Sempere’s evaluation of the EA Wiki, our impressions of the Wiki so far, and conversations with Pablo.
  • Sophia Brown-Heidenreich ($19,500): Three months of funding to enable Sophia to explore her fit for a career in the area of improving institutional decision-making.
  • Nadia Montazeri ($13,727): Funding for equipment and coaching for two EA community builders in Zurich, Switzerland. 
  • Joshua Clymer ($7,200): Funding for Joshua to explore several project ideas, including building an app that would help EA community members find EA-relevant tasks or projects they could help with.
  • Charlotte Darnell ($5,400): Funding for Charlotte to host regular online meetups for previous participants of the ‘Building a Better Future’ (BBF) course. BBF refers to the high school outreach project by Alex Holness-Tofts that we previously funded. This funding will also allow Charlotte to explore options for continuing BBF in future years, for instance by looking for potential cofounders. (Alex likely won’t be available to run another course next year.)
  • Olivia Jimenez ($5,000): Supplies for a retreat after EAG London, including COVID tests. 
  • Everett Smith ($4,672): Flights and accommodation to travel to Oxford, Cambridge (UK), and the San Francisco Bay Area, to help a new community member network and explore career opportunities.
  • Anonymous ($4,000): Funding to enable a student community-builder buy a new laptop after their old one broke and to get other productivity-enhancing equipment.
    • The same remark as for the last similar grant applies: If we receive a larger volume of similar applications in the future, we will put together a more systematic policy for when we fund productivity-increasing equipment and for how to determine the size of such grants. (We had already made this grant by the time that last payout report had been published, and overall have not yet received a sufficiently large volume of similar applications to warrant further action.)
  • Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute ($1,700): Compensation for Nuño Sempere’s evaluation of the EA Wiki
    • Nuño estimates that he spent 50–80 hours of his time on the evaluation, and that other people contributed 15–20 person-hours through editing and providing comments. Most of this was done as work for QURI, and covered by QURI’s existing budget. This grant was intended to cover 30 hours of Nuño’s time not paid for by QURI.
    • Pablo Stafforini, whose work and grant was evaluated by Nuno, agreed to this evaluation being conducted and published.
    • We would be interested in funding similar evaluations of other projects funded by the EAIF. If you are interested in conducting such evaluations, please email max@effectivealtruismfunds.org.  

 

Grants evaluated by Michael Aird

  • Paal Kvarberg ($40,000): Funding for 6-8 months of a team working part-time toward getting high-quality EA-relevant materials used in ethics classes in Norway. 
    • This pilot project will involve only background research/planning, creating materials for one or a small number of secondary school subjects, getting those materials used by a small number of teachers, and evaluating the pilot. 
    • If this goes well, the team intends to seek further funding to scale up to a larger number of subjects and age levels and across more schools/universities in Norway, and then potentially replicate a similar model and set of materials internationally.
  • Luca Parodi ($20,000): 6 months of part-time work (plus relevant expenses) on Italian-language EA/longtermism/rationality-related content creation and community building. 
    • Luca has been running the Instagram account School of Thinking alongside other work. He wanted to spend more time on that and on various other content creation and online/in-person community building efforts, such as potentially creating videos, a podcast, blog posts, or (later) online courses.
  • EA Mental Health Navigator Service ($19,600): 6 months of part-time work by Emily Jennings, $3000 for other expenses, and $1000 for Danica Willibank’s time spent selecting and onboarding Emily.
    • EA Mental Health Navigator “aims to boost EA community well-being by connecting EA community members with mental health resources”.
    • Danica had been spending ~2-5 hours/week leading the project for a few years, without pay. This funding allowed Danica to select and onboard a 20 hour/week project manager (Emily), pays for the first 6 months of Emily’s work on the Navigator, and allows Emily to cover some other expenses based on what she ends up thinking would be most useful (e.g., stipends for volunteers).  
    • See also Emily’s November 2021 post on the history and goals of the project.
  • Ben Williamson ($9,640): 3 months of part-time work on Effective Self-Help (ESH), an initiative to research and communicate effective & efficient ways people can improve their own wellbeing and productivity.
    • In Introducing Effective Self-Help, Ben overviews the project, its goals, and potential arguments against the project’s value. He describes its three main potential routes to impact as:
      • “Increasing the productivity of people doing high-impact work
      • Helping a large audience make small improvements to their wellbeing
      • Attracting new people to the EA community through an interest in self-improvement.”
  • Sam Nolan ($6,656): 3 months of part-time work (a) inspecting GiveWell cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) and (b) creating tools to make it easier to create/inspect CEAs. 
  • Adriana Arauzo ($4,500): Laptop, phone, and other expenses (e.g., software, books, other useful equipment) for Adriana to do community-building and test/build fit for other high-impact roles.
    • As Max notes above: If we receive a larger volume of similar applications in the future, we will put together a more systematic policy for when we fund productivity-increasing equipment and for how to determine the size of such grants.
    • Adriana’s plans included organizing a Latin American version of SPARC, contributing to various decisions and projects for EA for Spanish Speakers, and a research project.
    • References were positive about Adriana’s community building work and her future impact potential.

 

Grants referred to private funders

  • Claire Wang ($100,000): 12-month salary and expenses for providing support for AstralCodexTen (ACX) meetups worldwide. This grant enabled Claire to provide advice to organizers, run a Discord to coordinate organizers, visit meetups in six East Coast cities, and to offer organizers reimbursements for meetup expenses.
  • Ashley Lin ($68,000): 9-month salary for a gap year to engage deeply with EA, support and lead meta-EA projects, and to explore starting new projects.
  • Anonymous ($55,000): 3 months of salary to identify a new EA megaproject to launch 
  • Amodas Inc ($25,000): 12 months of funding to research and create an AngelList Rolling VC fund for EA-aligned startups
  • Anonymous ($13,530): Funding for time spent developing a software bot to do cryptocurrency arbitrage more efficiently.
    • The grantee will then make the bot available to some EA individuals/institutions so they can make money with it.
    • This project is partly intended to help the grantee explore their personal fit for writing trading bots, after which the grantee could potentially do something like working at Alameda Research or Lantern Ventures, raising significant funding for EA-aligned projects.

 

  1. ^

    For technical reasons, the given acceptance rate is an imperfect estimate based on data for a sample of grants that has a large overlap with, but is not fully identical to the grants covered by this report. Note also for the purpose of this post the acceptance rate is defined as the number of grants we substantively evaluated and then made ourselves divided by the number of grants we substantively evaluated and then rejected; that is, the following kinds of grants – which collectively make up less than 20% of applications – are not included in either the numerator or the denominator: applications we immediately rejected for obvious irrelevance (“desk rejections”); applications withdrawn by applicants before we finished our evaluation; and applications that were funded by other funders, either based on our recommendation or independently.

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3 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:43 AM
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Thanks for publishing the acceptance rate! I think that's useful information to share.

Interesting to see the sheer diversity of grants! How open is the Infra fund to funding career transition (e.g. grad school)? I previously applied in a rush but probably need to refine my application and justification a more. I'd be curious to know how open the fund is to this type of activity.

Also, I was curious, I see some individuals are receiving upwards of $50k for a few months of overhead while others are receiving well below $50k for 12 months worth of overhead. Can you explain the reasons behind this? Did these higher-granted individuals specifically develop a development plan justifying the associated costs or was the higher grant for other reasons.

Thanks for your feedback and your questions!

I'd be curious to know how open the fund is to this type of activity.

We are very open to making grants funding career transitions, and I'd strongly encourage people who could use funding to facilitate a career transition to apply.

For undergraduate or graduate stipends/scholarships specifically, we tend to have a somewhat high bar because 

  • (a) compared to some other kinds of career transitions they involve providing funding for a relatively long period of time and often fund activities that are useful mostly for instrumental reasons such as getting a credential (it's a different matter if someone can do intrinsically valuable work on, say, AI safety or biosecurity as part of their degree); and
  • (b) there often are other sources of funding available for these that are allocated by criteria that partly correlate with ours – e.g. all else equal we care about someone's potential for academic excellence, which also helps getting merit-based scholarships.

That being said, we have made grants covering undergraduate or graduate studies in the past.

Also, I was curious, I see some individuals are receiving upwards of $50k for a few months of overhead while others are receiving well below $50k for 12 months worth of overhead.

Could you point to some specific examples? That might help me give a more specific answer. 

In general, a couple of relevant points are:

  • Some grants are funding part-time work, which naturally receives a lower total salary per month.
  • Grantees have widely varying levels of work experience, and differ in other ways that can be relevant for compensation (e.g. location-dependent cost of living).
  • That being said, inconsistent grant sizes are a known weakness of our process that we are working on fixing by developing some kind of 'compensation policy.'
    • In the meantime, if you're an EAIF grantee and think you are receiving insufficient compensation for your work, either on an absolute scale or compared to what comparable work earns elsewhere in EA contexts, I strongly encourage you to reach out to us and request an increase in funding. While we may not approve this in all cases, we will never hold such a request against anyone, and in the only case I can recall in which we did receive such a request we very quickly concluded that the original grant was too small and provided a follow-up grant.