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Cross-posting this job description from the Effective Thesis website.

Are you a visionary leader looking for a chance to make a large impact? We’re seeking an Executive Director to lead our nonprofit organisation into a new era of greater impact, excellence and sustainability.

Key details

Effective Thesis seeks a visionary Executive Director to lead our nonprofit organisation into a new era of strategic and operational excellence. You will drive long-term impact and sustainability through innovative and high-impact activities. As a member of our young, diverse team, you will enjoy remote work flexibility, while honing your leadership skills and expanding your network. If you’re passionate about significantly improving the world and have the skills to transform our organisation, we want to hear from you!

Hours: Preference for a full-time 40 hours/week role but we will consider capacity as low as 30 hours/week

Work Location: Fully Remote (Candidates should be able to work in UTC+1 for at least 3 hours per day).

Deadline: Applications close 22 March 2023 23:59 Pacific Standard Time

Ideal Start Date: May 2023 (with flexibility to start later)

Apply here

For more details about the role, why it’s impactful and how to tell if you’re a good fit please read below.


About Effective Thesis


Effective Thesis is a non-profit organisation. Our mission is to support university students to begin and progress in research careers that significantly improve the world. We do this primarily by helping students identify important problems where further research could have a big impact and advising them on their research topic selection (mostly in the context of a final thesis/dissertation/capstone project). Choosing a final thesis topic or a PhD topic is an important step that can influence the rest of a researcher’s career. We support students in this choice by providing introductions to various research directions and early-career research advice on our website and offering topic choice coaching. Additionally, we provide other types of support to address key bottlenecks in early stages of research careers, such as finding supervision, funding or useful opportunities.

Here is our 2022 report outlining our activities, impact, and future plans.


We are a fully remote team of 8 employees (with 5 close to full-time and 3 around 10h/week) and 6 long-term volunteers, who help run our research opportunities newsletter. We operate mostly in UTC+1 (Central European) timezone. Candidates should be able to work in UTC+1 for some share of their work hours. 

The team you are joining is young, agentic, diverse in skill set and is connected through shared motivation to contribute to our mission. 75% of our employed team are women/non-binary people and team members are based in 6 different countries across Europe, UK and Asia. Our culture is start-up-like. We value creative problem solving, open communication and collaboration. We have regular online socials, optional weekly coworking and in the coming year we will have multiple in-person retreats in Europe or the UK. You can expect a thorough onboarding experience including a week of in person co-working with the full-time team in the UK and additional in person meetings with the Managing Director.


About the Role

As Executive Director, you will have the opportunity to lead the way for Effective Thesis to reach its full potential, learn and hone essential leadership skills and work with a wonderful team of people across the world. This remote role comes with a large degree of freedom in when and how you work. You can expect a steep learning curve, a growing network and lots of opportunities for personal and professional growth.


  • Take the organisation to the next level of strategic and operational excellence
  • Improve our Theory of Change and organisational direction
  • Identify and prioritise the development of our highest impact activities
  • Find novel and innovative ways to increase our impact
  • Secure long-term funding
  • Carefully evaluate and report our counterfactual impact


This role includes taking full ownership of the organisation, which breaks down into the following responsibilities.

  • Strategic leadership
    • High-level work on our Theory of Change
    • Identifying organisational priorities and creating long-term and short-term plans
    • Deciding which activities Effective Thesis should run
    • Planning and allocating organisational capacities
  • Networking
    • Attending relevant conferences and events, making personal connections with relevant people in our stakeholder environment, e.g. those running similar organisations, academic & non-academic researchers, funders, etc.
  • Consulting with a board of directors (we are building our new board right now but responsibilities will likely include:)
    • Having (online) meetings with our board of directors
    • Informing the board of our strategic direction and other relevant metrics
    • Seeking and implementing the board’s advice
  • Impact Evaluation
    • Creating impact assessments bi-annually (every 6 months)
    • Deciding which information the reports should include
  • Fundraising
    • Writing grant proposals and communicating with funders
    • Ensuring sustainability of Effective Thesis through securing long-term funding
  • Legal & financial operations
    • Handling funding and making sure all expenses are covered 
    • Communication with accountant
    • Arranging working contracts, nonprofit status, and other legal documentation 
  • Hiring (together with the Managing Director)

Our Managing Director is currently responsible for team management, internal operations and strategic support, as well as support in Hiring. We expect the two roles to work closely and complement each other. Thus, there is some degree of flexibility to allocate responsibilities between Executive and Managing Director based on individual strengths and preferences.


Key characteristics of a successful candidate

  • A visionary leader with a track record of successfully owning projects, leading teams or scaling up organisations
  • Proactive mindset with strong strategic and operational skills to take the organisation to the next level of excellence
  • Ability to identify and prioritise highest impact activities and find innovative ways to increase impact
  • Experience or ability to fundraise and secure long-term funding for the organisation
  • Strong networking skills to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders, including funders, researchers, and similar organisations
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills to work collaboratively with the team, board of directors, and external stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically and creatively, and to make strategic decisions
  • Experience or ability to inspire and lead a diverse and remote team

Desirable characteristics

  • Proven experience in impact evaluation and ability to report counterfactual impact
  • Experience in university environment or research work
  • Strong network and involvement in the effective altruism community
  • Experience working in small (1-10 people) remote organisations
  • Experience with legal and financial operations
  • Ability and excitement to travel to or within Europe and the UK

We acknowledge that impostor syndrome sometimes discourages excellent candidates from applying and want to explicitly and warmly encourage you to apply even if you feel like you do not fulfil all of the above criteria.


Benefits to you

  • Learn and hone essential leadership skills
  • Work remotely with a large degree of freedom in when and how you work
  • A steep learning curve and lots of opportunities for personal and professional growth
  • A role that allows you to grow your network
  • Work with value-aligned colleagues
  • Join a team that is young, agentic, has diverse skill sets and is connected through shared motivation to contribute to our mission
  • Work on a meaningful and impactful project
  • Enjoy generous leave policies to support your work life balance

As Executive Director, we expect that most of your impact comes from ensuring Effective Thesis’s success by elevating the organisation’s strategic and operational excellence, enhancing our Theory of Change and organisational direction, prioritising high-impact activities, exploring creative methods to increase impact and accurately report our counterfactual impact. This might be a unique opportunity for you to have a potentially outsized counterfactual impact by ensuring the long term future of the organisation by securing funding.


Compensation and logistics

We want to identify and attract the most promising candidates and are willing to tailor working conditions based on your needs. While we have a preference for a full-time 40 hours/week role we will also consider capacity as low as 30 hours/week

Compensation: The expected annual salary will be between 80,000 USD and 90,000 USD depending on relevant experience and skills.

We may be able to consider a slightly higher salary for an ideal candidate who brings significant relevant work experience. Please contact us if compensation is the primary factor that would prevent you from applying.

Benefits: You will enjoy 25 days of annual paid leave (for full-time work) plus the freedom to take and be compensated for national holidays of your country of residence. We offer this special benefit to enable our international team to partake in cultural holidays meaningful to them. You also have access to a $200/month office equipment budget to support your remote work setting. Team members are self-employed and have a contracting relationship with our non-profit legal entity (registered in the Czech Republic) and are thus responsible for managing taxes, insurance and retirement plans themselves in accordance with national law in their country of residence.

Work Location: Fully Remote (Candidates should be able to work in UTC+1 for at least 2 hours per day).

Deadline: Applications close 22 March 2023 23:59 Pacific Standard Time

Ideal Start Date: May 2023 (with flexibility to start later)


Should you apply?

We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and warmly encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from women, black people and people of colour who are excited about contributing to our mission.

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, or have any other questions about applying, please contact silvana.hultsch@effectivethesis.org.

Apply here


Application process

Our recruitment process consists of five stages.

Stage 1: Please fill out our application form, which should take up to 30 minutes. 

Stage 2: Initial interview (30min)

Stage 3: Take home work test (2h)

Stage 4: In depth interview (1h) + Reference checks (we will ask you for up to 2 references when you get to stage 4)

Stage 5: Work trial (compensated)

We plan to conclude Stage 5 by latest April 22nd and aim to make the hiring decision as soon as possible after.

To ensure high quality decision-making, the final hiring decision will be made by Effective Thesis’ board of directors, with recommendations from the hiring team consisting of the Managing Director (Silvana Hultsch), our Marketing and Communications Director (Diwangna Kathuria) and the outgoing Executive Director (David Janku).

Feel free to reach out to silvana.hultsch@effectivethesis.org if you have any questions about the role.

Apply here!





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