Crossposted to LessWrong

TL;DR: 500 USD bounty for successful applicants referrals 

Background

The PIBBSS Summer Research Fellowship is seeking applicants studying complex and intelligent behavior in natural and social systems, such as ecology, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, neuroscience, sociology, legal theory, political economy, statistical mechanics, social anthropology, linguistics, media studies, and more. 

Accepted fellows will conduct AI alignment research under the mentorship of experienced alignment researchers. 

You can learn more at https://www.pibbss.ai/ or by reading the post Introducing the Principles of Intelligent Behaviour in Biological and Social Systems (PIBBSS) Fellowship.

The extended application deadline is Jan 23rd.

Bounty

  • We are offering a bounty of 500 USD for each applicant you refer who we end up accepting to the program.
  • We are offering a bounty of 100 USD for each applicant you refer, and we end up interviewing (i.e. they get to stage 3 of the application process).

We expect to accept 5-15 fellows and to interview 20-40 applicants.

What does count as a referral? 

Roughly, it means that you were either the first one who informed someone about the fellowship or that your encouragement was the main reason they applied.

How can I claim the bounty?

Fill in this form and list the people you’ve referred for the fellowship, you can add details of your interactions. You should also encourage the people you referred to mention you in their application (we ask them how they learned about the fellowship). We’ll also try reaching out to people mentioned in applications, even when they don’t claim the bounty.

In case the people you referred succeed, we’ll get in touch with you after the end of the application process in mid-March. The final decision about bounty eligibility is ours.

Bounty can also be claimed retroactively, i.e. when you’ve already referred someone, and they applied.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the bounty or the fellowship, you can ask in the comments or reach out to anna@pibbss.ai or contact@pibbss.ai.


 

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I'm curious about why the deadline was extended. I can think of two possible reasons:

  1. Not enough applicants
  2. Applicants rarely had the required skills/interests/qualifications

It seems like either would be great information value. (#1 might imply that interest in this kind of program is lower than expected for some reason. #2 helps people improve the quality of their referrals).

Also, thank you for doing this! Even if #1 is true, this seems like a valuable experiment, and I'm grateful to you for running it.

Thanks :) 

There were multiple reasons

  • We had one extra week we could use for outreach while meeting our deadline for announcing the final decisions. 
  • We've gained outreach momentum last week and it seemed useful to carry it over to this one. We've also come up with additional outreach ideas, including this bounty.
  • A couple of people already asked for a deadline extension.

The amount and quality of the applications we've received so far are within our expectations, which means we haven't made any larger updates about the success of the program. However, a large fraction of the value of the program is determined by the fellows, so we are willing to invest additional resources to identify the top candidates.

Excellent— thank you for clarifying!

Would you be willing to accept a team application (e.g., more than one person applies, and the money is split between them proportionate to time invested)? 

Also, I posted something here and in one of the facebook groups - sharing as a comment, as others might want to use it as a template. I don't need to be paid if anyone is referred through it, but I would like to know.

We strongly prefer individual bounty claims, a team claim would be really hard to judge. If a case like this comes up, I suggest you divide the bounty yourselves.

I expect the most common bounty award will be the case when someone lets their friend know the fellowship exists, and they apply and succeed.

Hi Anna, thanks for explaining. Maybe I have been confusing, sorry. Rather than being interest in bounty claims, I was wondering whether a team could apply to do the fellowship? For instance, say the main applicant seeks 50% of the funding for themself to work part time on the project and for 50% to be offered to 2 others to work 25% of their time. The main applicant does the travelling and so on so there is no doubling up of those costs.

Ah, sorry, Peter, for the misunderstanding! 

That wouldn't be possible. For the purposes of the fellowship, a (near) full-time commitment for 10-12 weeks is needed.