You can talk to EA Funds before applying

by evhub2 min read28th Sep 20217 comments

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Effective Altruism Funds
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Cross-posted to LessWrong.

One thing I have realized as a fund manager for the EA Long-Term Future Fund is that there are a lot of grants that I would like to make that never cross our desk, just because potential applicants are too intimidated by us or don’t realize that their idea is one we’d be willing to fund if only they applied.

To try to remedy that problem, I’m going to start offering the following service: if you have any idea of any way in which you think you could use money to help the long-term future, but aren’t currently planning on applying for a grant from any grant-making organization, I want to hear about it. Feel free to send me a private message on the EA Forum or LessWrong. I promise I’m not that intimidating :)

Not only that, but having talked about this with some of the other EA Funds managers, many of them were willing to extend the same offer as well:

For example, here are some of the sorts of grants I’m often excited about but that I rarely see anyone apply for:

  • “I want to transition to a career in something longtermist, but that transition would be difficult for me financially and I’d like to have some extra financial reserves to make it easier.”
  • “I think I would be more productive in my longtermist job if I had more money to spend on things that would save me time.”
  • “I have an idea for a longtermist project I want to work on, but I don’t want to commit to definitely working on that project for the duration of a long grant and want freedom to change my mind and switch to a different project if I want.”
  • “I have an ambitious idea for a project that I think would benefit the long-term future, but I think it would take a lot of money, more than what I normally see LTFF grants being given out for.”

Really, though, I don’t want to anchor anybody too much on these specific ideas—if you have any idea of any way in which you think you could use money to help the long-term future, I want to hear about it.

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Trying my luck here but would I also be able to get funds for academic projects (my research interests are in Metascience/Innovation/Growth)?

Academic projects are definitely the sort of thing we fund all the time. I don't know if the sort of research you're doing is longtermist-related, but if you have an explanation of why you think your research would be valuable from a longtermist perspective, we'd love to hear it.

Since it was brought up to me, I also want to clarify that EA Funds can fund essentially anyone, including:

  • people who have a separate job but want to spend extra time doing an EA project,
  • people who don't have a Bachelor's degree or any other sort of academic credentials,
  • kids who are in high school but are excited about EA and want to do something,
  • fledgling organizations,
  • etc.

Hello! A quick question about deadlines. 

Context: I'm considering applying for PhD funding (Economics PhD on EA-aligned research).

The EA fund's  official website says: "The Long-Term Future Fund will respond with a funding decision within six weeks, and typically in just three weeks. If you need to hear back sooner (e.g., within just a few days), you can let us know in the application form, and we will see what we can do." (same for IF) 

Whereas  the EA forum  apply now post says: "The upcoming application deadlines and funding decision dates are: 7 Mar 2021, decision by 2 Apr 2021 13 Jun 2021, decision by 9 Jul 2021 3 Oct 2021, decision by 29 Oct 2021 6 Feb 2022, decision by 4 Mar 2022 5 Jun 2022, decision by 1 Jul 2022 2 Oct 2022, decision by 28 Oct 2022" (and the deadlines seem to apply to all three funds not just animal welfare)

The answer seems important in deciding whether I should send my application in by tomorrow.

I'm almost certain that the website is correct.

I think the post you link to is outdated. It was superseded by this newer post.

I'd therefore encourage you to submit your application!

(But note that I'm a fund manager for the EAIF, not the LTFF, and so cannot speak for the LTFF.)

Thank you very much!

I've updated that post.