Spencer Ericson

Research @ Seeking an EA role
72 karmaJoined Jan 2023Working (0-5 years)Seeking workVancouver, BC, Canada



I found EA when I got my first pay cheque and googled "most effective charities." I was about to move to Vancouver and thought about starting a city group... but then I got here and found out we already have one, so now I help organize EA Vancouver/UBC a little bit!

I have a BA in Psychology from Waterloo. I used to be a fundraising coordinator, and I brought in a decent chunk of donor revenue for our little organization. But then I published a paper (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogpsych.2023.101551) and realized that research is what I really love.  I did the first test task for Charity Entrepreneurship -- a weighted factor model on my own career options -- which only confirmed my high fit for research.

Now, I'm taking a break from work. I'm polishing up my risk tolerance/entrepreneurial skills to prepare myself for eventually starting a high-impact charity. I'm getting a self-paced certificate in project management, and I'd like to run a hackathon by next summer.

I'm also currently seeking an EA research job, preferably with some management responsibilities. My favourite cause areas are animal welfare and global health/development. I also have a budding interest in how current/future AI poses a serious risk to our mental health and understanding of truth.

Other things I love:
- I'm a true animal lover: a vegan and a pet sitter.
- I've been told I give great advice, and I love mediating and motivating.
- Nothing beats Ethiopian food.

How others can help me

Please reach out if you have any research job leads.

How I can help others

Please reach out to me for advice on fundraising and managing mental illness. I can also help with undergrad-level psychology research.


the difference in expectations vs reality regarding micro-aggressions and sexual advances is uniquely large in EA.

Weak agree vote! I definitely expect more ethical behaviour irl from EAs than I expect from other people. But I also get the good behaviour that I expect from almost every EA that I've interacted with in Vancouver and briefly in SF.

It's more distressing for me to hear reports of micro-aggressions and inappropriate sexual behaviour from people in EA than to hear similar reports in my other communities, because it's more unpleasantly surprising and comes apart more from my expectations.

Do you mean to say they're "unique to" EA, or that they "feel uniquely bad in" EA?

(I see that this is old) Etsy's product reviews for every product in the seller's shop are all on every product page. There might be some fancy sorting bringing the more relevant reviews to the top, I'm not sure. So with a model like this, you could review one job posting, and people could see that job posting review on all the company's other job postings.

Thank you so much for writing this post, Joey! I was one of the people who recently emailed you about the potential impact of a "CE light." I was hoping it would be a way to take people who didn't have a lot of connection/money constraints on founding (would likely found soon anyway) and make them much more impactful before launch.

But looking at it through the lens of competition for mid-level funding helps me see the weaknesses in that. Why move an 80%-good charity closer to launch, when 80%-good isn't what we need, and we would be much better served by putting more resources in a 100%-good charity?

I'm glad other people had similar questions so you could make this post! Your post, especially the CE founder pool case study, answers all the questions I had at this point about the idea.

Here is some info related to recommendations #1 and #9 about lighting. https://meaningness.com/sad-light-led-lux David Chapman has put quite a bit of research into maximizing lux per dollar. I intend to try a similar setup to him with some Jeep lights and a voltage transformer to get 40,000-60,000 lux in my room. I'm going to add a smart plug so I can use an Apple Shortcuts automation to have the lights turn on with my wake-up alarm.