This is a cross-post from https://80000hours.org/2022/02/expression-of-interest-research-assistant/
80,000 Hours is considering hiring a research assistant.
- As a research assistant, you’d work with our research and writing team, and in particular our CEO, Benjamin Todd, to produce new research and popular articles about high-impact careers and do research on organisational strategy.
- We’re looking for someone with a preexisting understanding of our organisation’s priorities (including longtermism and effective altruism), plus an aptitude for research and the ability to learn quickly.
- This is a London-based role, and can be either part-time or full-time, with a full-time starting salary of around £50,000-£70,000.
Note: This announcement is an expression of interest, rather than a formal hiring round. We’re not sure what the field of candidates is like, and want to get a sense of that before deciding whether to do a hiring round.
Because of this, we have a high bar for considering enquiries, and typically won’t be able to respond to everyone who reaches out.
Why 80,000 Hours?
80,000 Hours’ mission is to get talented people working on the world’s most pressing problems. The effective altruism community, of which we are a part, is growing in reach and now includes funding bodies with over $40 billion to allocate in total. But how do we turn all those resources into long-term impact? This is the problem 80,000 Hours is trying to solve.
We’ve had over eight million visitors to our website (with over 100,000 hours of reading time per year), and more than 3,000 people have now told us that they’ve significantly changed their career plans due to our work. 80,000 Hours is also the largest single source of people getting involved in the effective altruism community, according to the most recent EA Survey.
If you join us as a research assistant, you’d help shape some of the most widely read ideas in effective altruism.
As a research assistant at 80,000 Hours, you’d provide research and writing support to our research team (especially our CEO Benjamin Todd), helping them produce pieces that:
- Communicate important ideas in effective altruism
- Inform readers about the best ways to tackle pressing global problems
- Give advice to help readers pursue high-impact career paths
If you’re interested, you could also help with research into organisational strategy, such as:
- Exploring potential avenues for expansion
- Understanding the scope of our audience
- Identifying the top priorities we should help with
Research support can include gathering and analysing data, conducting literature reviews, or helping organise interviews with experts. Writing support can include editing, formatting, or drafting parts of pieces.
Some of the types of pieces you’d help work on include:
- Research articles — e.g. How replaceable are the top candidates in large hiring rounds? Why the answer flips depending on the distribution of applicant ability
- Career reviews — e.g. software engineering
- Problem profiles — e.g. for extreme risks from climate change
Who we’re looking for
We’d be most excited to hear from people with:
- Strong knowledge of and commitment to the ideals, philosophical arguments, and values of effective altruism
- High conscientiousness, and the ability to learn quickly and independently
- A track record of producing high-quality qualitative and quantitative research, especially into topics related to effective altruism and longtermism
- Demonstrable experience writing for broad audiences
We’re aware that factors like gender, race, and socioeconomic background can affect people’s willingness to apply for roles for which they meet many but not all the suggested attributes. We’d especially like to encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply.
We’re open to this role being either part-time or full-time. If full-time, we expect it to be an in-person role, based in London, though you can work remotely for up to three months of the year if needed. If that won’t work for you, please reach out anyway (and let us know in your email). We can sponsor visas.
The salary will vary based on your skills and experience, but to give a rough sense, the starting full-time salary would be approximately £55,000 per year.
The start date of the role is flexible, but we would expect you to start during 2022 and prefer you to start as soon as you’re able to.
For full-time, in-person staff, our benefits include:
- The option to use 10% of your work time for self development
- 25 days of paid holiday, plus bank holidays
- Standard UK pension, with 3% contribution from employer
- Private medical insurance and long-term disability insurance
- Gym, shower facilities, and free food provided at our London office
Interested? Get in touch.
If you’re a researcher with a track record and an interest in 80,000 Hours’ mission, please submit the following materials:
- A brief explanation (under 2,000 characters) of your interest in 80,000 Hours’ mission
- One research writeup (broadly defined) written to be accessible to a non-expert (can be unpublished)
- One writing sample written for a broad audience (can be research-based, or not)
While there’s no hard deadline for getting in touch, we encourage you to submit your materials before the end of March. We’ll reach out to discuss a potential role if we think you’re a particularly great fit.