The Cambridge Existential Risks Initiative (CERI, pronounced /ˈkɛri/) has opened applications for an in-person, paid, 10-week Summer Research Fellowship focused on existential risk mitigation, taking place from July to September 2022 in Cambridge, and aimed at all aspiring researchers, including undergraduates.
To apply and find out more, please visit the CERI Fellowship website.
If you’re interested in mentoring fellows on this programme, please submit your name, email and research area here, and we will get in touch with you in due course.
The deadline to apply is April 3 2022 23:59 UTC.
The CERI Fellowship is a fantastic opportunity to:
- Build your portfolio by researching a topic relevant to understanding and mitigating existential risks to human civilisation.
- Receive guidance and develop your research skills, via weekly mentorship from a researcher in the field.
- Form lasting connections with other fellows who care about mitigating existential risks, while also engaging with local events including discussions and Q&As with experts.
Why we are running this programme
Our mission as an organisation is to reduce the probability of an existential catastrophe. We hope to do this by creating more opportunities for aspiring researchers, thus increasing the number of people with the motivation, skills, relevant knowledge, relationships and career options to mitigate existential risks. Upcoming posts will give more concrete and specific theories of change for our main cause areas.
What we provide
- A generous stipend of £5,600 (approx. $7,400) for 10 weeks.
- Mentorship from a researcher working in a related field.
- Free accommodation at a Cambridge college, plus food, all travel expenses and a desk to work with other fellows at our office in central Cambridge.
- Opportunity to work on a group research project with other fellows.
- Networking and learning opportunities through various events, including trips to Oxford and London.
What we are looking for
We are excited to support a wide range of research, from the purely technical to the philosophical, as long as there is direct relevance to mitigating existential risk. This could also include social science or policy projects focusing on implementing existential risk mitigation strategies.
Incredibly successful projects would slightly reduce the likelihood that human civilization will permanently collapse, that humans will go extinct, or that the future potential of humanity will be permanently reduced. A secondary goal of this project is for fellows to learn more about working on existential risk mitigation, develop relevant skills, and test their fit for further research or work in this field.
Who we are looking for
Anyone can apply to the fellowship, though we expect it to be most useful to students (from undergraduates to postgraduates) and early-career individuals looking to test their fit for existential risk research. We particularly encourage undergraduates to apply, to develop their research experience.
We are looking to support proactive individuals from a wide range of subject areas who have a high potential to do impactful work in the future. Candidates will be assessed both on ability to contribute to the existential risk research community and motivation to reduce existential risks.
The application process
The first stage consists of essay-style questions, and is the main portion of the application process. We will evaluate applications on a rolling basis and applicants who progress to the next stage will be invited for a short interview, which is the final stage. Successful applicants will be notified by mid/late April, and afterwards we will work with accepted fellows to develop their project ideas and pair them with relevant mentors. We hope to accept 20-30 fellows.
We want to help people work on important problems even if it is not at CERI, so in that spirit, we also encourage you to check out the other programmes listed here.
Please check out our Frequently Asked Questions section first.
If you would like to ask about potential project ideas or anything else about the programme which is not covered in our FAQs, please come along to one of our office hours. You can also email us at email@example.com.
If you have any feedback, please submit it via our anonymous feedback form.
This post is a project of the Cambridge Existential Risks Initiative. It was written by Nandini Shiralkar, who is the Founder of CERI. Thanks to Dewi Erwan, Rudolf Laine, Will Aldred, Jamie Bernardi, Herbie Bradley, Lin Bowker-Lonnecker and Ray Amjad for helpful feedback.