The Open Philanthropy Project seeks to hire 1-3 Senior Research Analysts in 2018. We are looking for exceptional generalists committed to doing as much good as possible. We intend to invest heavily in these hires, in the hopes that over the long run they will have the potential to become core contributors to the organization. People who perform successfully in these roles may have significant influence over Open Philanthropy’s overall allocation of capital and grantmaking/investment strategies.
Note: we created this posting in order to help clarify that Research Analysts with high levels of experience and performance will be recognized as such, via their title, compensation and expectations. We are using essentially the same process to evaluate Research Analyst and Senior Research Analyst applicants, with the main difference being that offers for the latter will come with higher expectations and compensation. So, there is no need to apply for one role if you have already applied for the other.
The application window for this role is now closed.
About the Open Philanthropy Project
The Open Philanthropy Project identifies outstanding giving opportunities, makes grants, follows the results, and publishes our findings. Our main funders are Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook and Asana.
We aim to do as much good as possible with the resources we have. Rather than choose focus areas based on funders’ personal passions, we stress openness to many possibilities and have chosen our focus areas based on importance, neglectedness and tractability. We’re particularly interested in high-risk, high-reward giving that may be too unconventional or long-term for other funders. Our current giving areas include global health and development, scientific research, criminal justice reform, farm animal welfare, biosecurity and pandemic preparedness, and potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence.
We currently give away over $100 million per year. We expect our giving to grow, in line with our current funders’ goal of giving away the vast majority of their wealth within their lifetimes. We also aspire to become a key source of giving recommendations for other major philanthropists.
We are primarily looking for exceptional generalists who have the potential to develop in a variety of directions and take on many possible roles in the future.
We will tailor this role and its responsibilities based on levels of education and experience. Senior Research Analysts will have substantial autonomy over their priorities and research directions within the areas where they demonstrate excellence. Senior Research Analyst responsibilities may include:
- Estimating the cost-effectiveness (according to various measures of “good accomplished” per dollar spent) of potential grants, and of potential broad commitments to different focus areas in order to guide Open Philanthropy’s overall allocation of capital.
- Critically assessing the impact of past grants and programs.
- Open-ended research drawing from many fields in order to inform our understanding of technical, philosophical, and historical questions with substantial significance for our philanthropic strategies. Examples of past outputs from this sort of work include our published content on forecasting, farm animal welfare under different systems, moral patienthood, historical examples of philanthropic field-building efforts and timelines for transformative artificial intelligence. More potential topics are here.
Over time, Senior Research Analysts will become highly experienced with our approach to reasoning transparency, cost-effectiveness analysis, critical evidence assessment, grant investigation, and balancing thoroughness with efficiency. As a result, over time Senior Research Analysts could:
- Take on Program Officer roles (primary responsibility for identifying and recommending giving opportunities), especially for neglected causes where it’s difficult to hire people with pre-existing expertise and networks.
- Take on increasing responsibility for helping to determine what our focus areas should be and how we should allocate capital between them.
- Become managers.
- Become well-suited to important roles that require similar skills, both outside and inside the organization. For example, senior analyst roles specializing in potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence) inside the organization. Outside the organization, Senior Research Analysts would become well-suited to work at other organizations in fields relevant to our focus areas where they gain expertise while working at Open Philanthropy, and/or as founders of new organizations that should be created in cases where we can’t find an appropriate external grantee.
We are looking for generalists and are open to applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds. The best candidates will have:
- Passion for the Open Philanthropy Project’s core values of impact maximization and openness. Familiarity with effective altruism is a plus.
- Comfort thinking in terms of expected value and using systematic, quantitative frameworks.
- Strong self-direction and self-motivation.
- Comfort with open-ended questions, where no clear precedents or guidelines exist.
- Directness and openness in giving and receiving feedback.
- Comfort with intense discussion and debate, including challenging one’s manager.
- A drive to question and improve everything about the organization rather than taking it as given.
- 4+ years of experience (including graduate studies) in a quantitative discipline (or a technically-oriented part of analytic philosophy). Exceptions may be made for outstanding applicants who do not meet this criterion.
If you are unsure whether to apply for this position or our Research Analyst position, please make your best guess about which is a better fit and we will ensure that you are considered for the appropriate role.
This position is in San Francisco, where Open Philanthropy is based. This is an office-based job that can partly be done remotely.
The ideal start date will be in June of 2018, though we are flexible on this point. We may offer some candidates work with us on a trial basis for 3-6 months. That said, we haven’t finalized what our process will look like, and we will likely handle each late-stage candidacy on a case-by-case basis. We encourage interested parties to contact us at email@example.com with any questions about whether our process will work for them, or to simply apply (in which case we can discuss the process at the interview stage).
We will sponsor applications for work authorization as needed, though we cannot guarantee that such applications will be accepted.
As part of our dedication to equal employment opportunity and the diversity of our staff, the Open Philanthropy Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local law. We especially encourage applications from women and minorities.
If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application window for this role is now closed.