Open Philanthropy recommended a total of approximately $985,926 to enable individuals in the early stages of their careers to pursue work and study related to global catastrophic biological risks.[1]This is an estimate because of uncertainty around tuition costs and currency exchange rates in future years. This number may be updated as costs are finalized. We sought the majority of applications for this funding here. Recipients include: • Toby Bonvoisin ⁠— PhD program in Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the University of Oxford • Katherine Budeski ⁠— Master’s in Global Health and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford • Willow Crombie ⁠— self-study on the analysis of metagenomic data • Katherine Dammer ⁠— Master’s in Security Studies at Georgetown University • Allen Drews ⁠— research on aerobiology and planetary protection at the University of Aberdeen • Zev Goldberg ⁠— Master’s in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases at Georgetown University • Simon Grimm ⁠— work on the Nucleic Acid Observatory • Jun Young (Charlie) Jeong ⁠— Master’s in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University • Antonia Juelich ⁠— postdoctoral research on bioterrorism in the International Security Program at Harvard University • Geoffrey Otim ⁠— development of SynBio Africa • Alessandra Peters ⁠— self-study on biosecurity • Koen Schoenmakers ⁠— internship with Megan Palmer at Stanford University • Cass Springer ⁠— development and prototyping for a new kind of respirator This falls within our focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness. Footnotes ↑1 This is an estimate because of uncertainty around tuition costs and currency exchange rates in future years. This number may be updated as costs are finalized. ## Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative — Support for Kevin Esvelt’s Research Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of$100,000 to the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative to provide support for Kevin Esvelt’s Sculpting Evolution group at the MIT Media Lab.

This falls within our focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.

Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $200,000 to the Effective Altruism Foundation (EAF) to support research and advocacy on potential policy interventions in Europe. EAF plans to use these funds to research interventions in the field of biosecurity. This falls within our focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness. ## 1Day Sooner — General Support (2021) Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of$2,000,000 to 1Day Sooner for general support. 1Day Sooner’s mission is to advocate on behalf of volunteers for human challenge trials (HCTs). They hope to accelerate the development of vaccines for several neglected diseases by organizing volunteers to take part in HCTs, and by advocating for the use of regulatory and financial tools like advance market commitments.

HCTs, which involve exposing volunteers to a controlled dose of a pathogen, require fewer participants and can be completed on a significantly shorter timeline than standard clinical trials. They have historically been used for smallpox, influenza, malaria, and other potentially fatal diseases.

This follows our November 2020 support and falls within our focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.

• A version of this, but asking how many countries would pursue an omnicidal ‘cobalt bomb’ for similar costs (both with and without the assumption that the regular $10 million nuke option is available) • Perhaps also repeated for historical eras to get a larger ‘sample size’ • Quantitatively scope ‘fads in terrorism’ both in ideology and methodology. For example, analyzing the extent to which tactics like suicide bombing, vehicle ramming, plane hijacking, etc. ‘took off’ after one or two successful demonstrations, or the extent to which ISIS inspired lone wolves. • Create a database of the most impressive technical feats accomplished by terrorist groups, or non-state actors such as criminal gangs (e.g. bank heists, drug smuggling with submarines, etc.) • Quantitatively estimate how likely the taboo on biological weapons is to totally collapse, perhaps based on past taboos collapsing • Estimate the rate at which terrorist groups become compromised by government surveillance, destroyed, or disbanded • Survey experts to assess the likelihood that a military will follow omnicidal orders or other catastrophic actions in various situations, such as a nuclear first strike, or in response to a nuclear attack • Estimate the rate at which state secrets, such as information on biological or nuclear weaponry, are leaked. This includes both information about the existence of programs, and also leaks of technical information, research, or blueprints. • Create a database of actions committed by countries or para-state groups that strongly violate international norms and treaties (eg, genocide, seeking of WMDs, sponsoring of terrorist attacks, violating arms control) • Estimate the fraction of individuals who, if given the opportunity, would choose to commit very destructive acts • Estimate the number of biologists worldwide with various different technical skills, and their level of access to funds and equipment • Estimate the fraction of motivated people who could spend years of their time doing something “impressive” by themselves (e.g. building a complicated technical item like a nuclear reactor, or hacking a secure target without being traced). • Forecast the size and budgets of major biotech industry players, by country, company, and/or specific R&D focus • Model the probability that a regime develops and/or deploys biological weapons. This might entail: • Making a database of countries under strong “existential pressure” (real or perceived), and investigating which did and did not seek deterrence of a similar nature. • Numerating historic dictatorships to categorize their decision-making, particularly with regards to acquiring WMDs or committing atrocities. • Creating a historical database getting at the question of what fraction of wars have at least one faction that would ‘take the world with them’ if given the opportunity (e.g. Hitler in bunker scenarios). • Note that negative examples may be very informative, in which there may have been strong pressure to develop or use WMDs or other deplorable strategies, but warfare stayed conventional (Saddam Hussein in 2004, or Ukraine in 2022). We are interested in proposals of any length or scope, ranging from a full time 4-6+ month commitment to a small 10-hour project. In some instances, we might respond to a proposal by suggesting a closer ongoing collaboration. ## How do I apply? Applications are via this Google form, and are due on Sunday, June 5th, at 11:59 pm PDT. You’ll be required to submit: • CVs of any project team members • A research proposal, up to two pages, outlining what you would like to investigate and why. This should include a rough estimate of the project timeline and a budget proposal to account for your time along with any project costs. • If applying as an organization, information about your research organization. Organizations can submit multiple separate proposals if desired; please use one application but keep the budgets separate for each project in the budget document. We expect to fund between$500,000 and $2 million worth of proposals, depending on the quality and scope of proposals. In exceptional circumstances, we could expand this amount substantially. You should hear back from us by June 26th. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any further queries. If you would like to provide anonymous or non-anonymous feedback to Open Philanthropy’s Biosecurity & Pandemic Preparedness team relevant to this project, please use this form. ## Acknowledgements Thank you to Carl Shulman for initially suggesting this research approach and providing comments. We appreciate additional comments/advice from many others, particularly Chris Bakerlee, Rocco Casagrande, and Gregory Lewis. ## Good Forever Foundation — Pandemic Preparedness and COVID-19 Mitigation (2021) Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of$200,000 to the Good Forever Foundation to support projects related to pandemic preparedness and COVID-19 mitigation.

This falls within our focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.

Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $2,921,000 to the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research to support a safety and immunogenicity trial in adults in Nigeria of fractional doses of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The trial has the potential to indicate that smaller doses of these vaccines promote immune responses that are “non-inferior” to those from standard doses. If non-inferiority can be established, this could allow many people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 sooner despite limited supplies, and potentially affect booster recommendations in Nigeria or elsewhere, reducing deaths and other harms from the pandemic. This falls within our work on scientific research, and specifically within our interest in science supporting biosecurity and pandemic preparedness. ## iGEM — Biological Weapons Convention Verification Project Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of$300,000 over two years to the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation to support a project, led by Piers Millett, on verification of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). The BWC, enacted in 1972, bans the development and use of biological weapons, which we believe have the potential to cause significant harm. Verification of compliance with the BWC has been chronically neglected.

This follows our April 2020 support and falls within our focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.

## Biosecurity Funding for Individuals — Work and Study Support

Open Philanthropy recommended a total of approximately \$280,805 to support individuals in pursuing work and study related to biosecurity. Recipients include:

• Will Bradshaw
• Nathan Calvin
• Arielle D’Souza
• Ryan Duncombe
• John Fogle
• Monte MacDiarmid
• Gopal Sarma
• Daniel Wang
• Kyle Webster

This falls under our focus area of biosecurity and pandemic preparedness.