Announcing the new Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research

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Hi all,

Here’s announcing a new project that Laura Pomarius and I have been working on, set to become its own organisation in 2019. Right now we’re primarily looking for (i) startup funding and (ii) promising graduate students in the humanities and social sciences (especially economics and philosophy) to join the new global priorities fellowship. Any questions, please ask below, or contact <laura.pomarius@centreforeffectivealtruism.org>.

Summary

  • The Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research is a project incubated by the Centre for Effective Altruism. (In 2019, we aim to set up as an independent UK charity.)
  • Its main mission is to complement the Global Priorities Institute by promoting academic work that addresses the question of how to use our resources to improve the world by as much as possible. We are especially interested in issues relating to the claim that positively influencing the very long-term future should be altruists’ primary goal. We will mainly do this through funding academic research in economics and philosophy, hoping to broaden out to the humanities and social sciences more generally in the coming years.
  • The main projects we are running at the moment are:
    • The Global Priorities Fellowship: A £5,000 stipend for master’s and PhD students in philosophy and economics, and the opportunity to apply for full PhD funding. Deadline: 27 Dec 2018
    • Major research grants
    • Supporting the Global Priorities Institute in its mission
  • We are aiming to fundraise £1.5 million for the next two years. Of this, we’ve raised £450,000 so far. You can donate to the Forethought Foundation through EA Funds.
  • Some quick links:

Aims

The Forethought Foundation works in close collaboration with the Global Priorities Institute (GPI) at Oxford University to promote academic research in global priorities research, particularly focused on issues around whether and how to positively influence the long-term future. We are therefore interested in supporting excellent research that:

  • Defends or criticises the idea that we should primarily care about the very long-term impact of our actions.
  • Works out the implications of a long-term view for our decisions today.
  • Is of importance for the very long-term future, even if the research is not directly about the idea of long-term impact.

Relationship with GPI

While GPI offers a variety of different programmes for researchers of all stages in their career to get involved at research in Oxford, the Forethought Foundation aims to extend its efforts outside of Oxford University, and support academics worldwide in their research pursuits.

Current and Potential Projects

  • The Global Priorities Fellowship: This fellowship aims to support promising PhD and master’s students in philosophy and economics to contribute to global priorities research, with a particular focus on issues that are of relevance to the very long-term future. Applications are open to full-time students at any stage of their studies, including those starting their programmes in the autumn of 2019. The application deadline is 27 December 2018. Fellows will receive a stipend of £5,000 (about US $6,500) per year of their fellowship and can attend a yearly fellows’ event in Oxford. Fellows will also get an exclusive opportunity to apply for full funding of their doctorate or master’s programme.
  • Major research grants: We don’t currently have an open round for major research grants, but you can register your interest on our website.
  • Supporting the Global Priorities Institute in its mission by taking measures to improve visitor experience, save staff time and advise on strategy.

Team

The team currently consists of William MacAskill (director), Laura Pomarius (Assistant Director), Aron Vallinder (Research Fellow - Philosophy) and Philip Trammell (Research Fellow - Economics). We are considering hiring additional research assistants and operations staff in 2019. For updates on opportunities, please sign up to our newsletter on our website.

Funding Opportunities

We are currently in the process of fundraising for the next two years of operations. Below is a rough outline of what we are planning to spend that money on (over 2019 & 2020). Please note that there is more room for funding on programmes, as there are further ways for us to extend our outreach efforts and scholarship programmes. We expect funding for major research grants to come from directly making recommendations to major donors, and so are not fundraising for that at the moment.

Staff & Contractors: £300,000

Programmes (incl. But not limited to fellowships, small research grants, PhD scholarships): £650,000 - £1 million

Office rent and expenses, travel, software, training, etc: £170,000

TOTAL: £1.12 million - £1.47 million

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