(I work at Open Phil and am involved in running this program.)We're planning to post an update about this on the program page very soon, likely in the next week or so.
Open Phil is accepting applications from impacted FTX grantees (see our post here), and we’ve been giving donors the option to either contribute to that effort (effectively funging us), or to request that we forward particular kinds of applications to them (with the applicants’ permission). If you’re a 6-figure-or-more donor and are interested in either of the two, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note that we may have to prioritise earlier/larger donors if we get a large volume of requests.)
Another update: We have recently removed the deadline and applications are now open until further notice.
Update: We (Open Phil) have decided to extend the deadline for this program until June 1st 2022 (from January 21st originally).We’re currently reviewing our plans for this program and there is some possibility that we’ll eventually switch to a model on which we continue accepting applications indefinitely/until further notice, rather than opening and closing the program for applications at particular times each year. (We’re already evaluating applications on a rolling basis, but are requiring candidates to apply by the abovementioned deadline.)
Posting this comment as a reminder that applications for this year's round of this program will close on January 21st 2022.
We recently re-opened the biosecurity scholarship program for applications (deadline: January 1st 2022) - see here.
See this section of the program page linked in the post:
If you meet the application criteria for our program for people looking to pursue careers related to global catastrophic biological risks, please apply only to that program. Our plans for that program are currently somewhat in flux, but we expect to start accepting applications sometime in the fall of 2021.
The main reason has to do with capacity/turnaround times. Our experience is that a lot of candidates apply very close to the deadline, and prospective grad students typically have to accept their offers in mid-April, so if we had set our deadline in, say, mid-March instead, this would have given us only c.4 weeks to process these applications (which as it happens is already going to be a busy period for the relevant team members for other reasons). The earlier deadline gives us more wiggle room, although it does come at the cost you highlight. Candidates who don’t apply in time for our deadline and find out in February/March that they’ll require funding may want to consider applying to the Long-Term Future Fund.
We did consider asking for less detailed information in the financial information section for the exact reason you point out, but we ultimately felt that the current approach struck the best balance between a number of countervailing considerations. (For example, having to ask all of the most promising candidates to provide additional information at a second stage would have added to turnaround times, which would in turn have required us to set earlier application deadlines.)
Note that the financial section of our application form already requires applicants to provide meaningfully less granular information than the CSS/FAFSA forms and most of the university-specific financial aid forms I have seen, so I’m hoping that this won’t be too onerous on candidates.
Thanks - I’ve now added something along those lines to the description.