Apply to our University Organizer Fellowship if you want funding for any of the following:

  • Your time spent organizing a university group
  • University group expenses (e.g. food and supplies for events)
  • (If you’re a group leader) The time of other organizers working less than 10 hours per week.

If you want funding for a university student-focused project that doesn’t fit cleanly into the categories above, you can apply through our general form here.

1. Program Summary

This fellowship provides funding for individuals (both students and non-students), who want to work part or full-time directing or supporting university student groups focused on topics relevant to improving the long-term future, including effective altruism, existential risk, rationality, or specific cause areas. Individuals are eligible for funding at any college or university and may apply without a particular university in mind. 

You can find more of our thinking on this program — including why we’re running the program, details on the program’s scope, and how we’re thinking about evaluating organizers — in this post and comment section on the Effective Altruism Forum.

Fellows receive:

  • Funding starting in the following ranges for full-time organizers, pro-rated for part-time organizers:
    • In the US: $45,000 – $80,000 per year for undergraduates, and $60,000 – $95,000 per year for non-undergraduates (including those no longer at university).
    • In the UK: £31,800 – £47,800 per year for undergraduates, and £35,800 – £55,900 per year for non-undergraduates.
    • Funding amounts in other countries will be set according to cost-of-living and other location-specific factors. Exact funding amounts will depend on a number of factors, including city-specific cost-of-living, role, track record, and university.
  • Funding may be awarded for group expenses, commonly ranging from $2,000 to $40,000 per year, depending on the group’s funding needs.

Fellows working full-time in the US will additionally receive a $14,050 annual health insurance stipend.1

Apply here for the university organizer fellowship. If you would like to request additional funding for your group without applying for the fellowship, please fill out the same form (you can indicate what you’re applying for on the form).

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis.

If you have any questions, email us.

If you have any feedback about this page or this program, we’re really interested in hearing it– let us know (anonymously, if you want) on this short feedback form.

2. Program Details

This fellowship supports both students and non-students who want to work part- or full-time supporting university groups.

We are interested in supporting work on a wide variety of student groups, including those focused on:

Candidates may indicate general interest in directing or supporting university groups without having a particular location in mind; we can suggest and discuss potential options during our evaluation process.

Applicants starting new effective altruism groups may be interested in applying for the University Group Accelerator Program, a remote program run by the Centre for Effective Altruism that can help people transition from “a couple of interested organizers” to “a mid-sized EA group”. Applicants organizing at existing groups may be interested in applying to the Organizer Support Program, also run by the Centre for Effective Altruism, which is aimed at helping university group organizers to prepare for the start of the semester.

Applicants may also be interested in looking at the EA Student Groups Handbook and EA Groups Resource Centre for existing resources on running university groups.

2.1 Alternative funding sources

Individuals looking for extremely fast funding (within a few days) for certain common group expenses may want to apply for funding through the Centre for Effective Altruism’s Rapid Group Support Funding.

The Centre for Effective Altruism also supports a larger set of non-urgent group expenses through their Group Support Grants.

3. Application Process

Apply here for the full fellowship and/or for additional university group funding only.

Group leaders may ask for funding for organizers working less than 10 hours per week using either form above, rather than having those organizers fill out a separate application.

The fellowship application asks for:

  • Background information about you
  • Which of the following you’re seeking funding for: personal organizing time, non-organizer group expenses, and/or funding for additional organizers.
  • [If seeking funding for personal organizing time]
    • How many hours, on average, you  want to commit to work per week (minimum 10 hours total over the course of the semester)
    • What group you would like to work on (or if you don’t have a specific group in mind, your preferences over what types of groups you’d like to work on)
    • A brief description of the role or activities you expect to perform
    • Any past experience relevant to your [planned/expected] role
  • [If seeking funding for group expenses]
    • Information about your group and its plans for the upcoming term
    • How much additional funding you’re requesting, and what you would use it for
  • (Optional) References

If you pass our initial screen, we will follow up with next steps, which may include requests for written or video answers to application questions, or an invitation to have an interview with an Open Philanthropy staff member.

Generally speaking, we aim to review proposals within 6 weeks of receiving them, although this may not prove possible for all applications, and is dependent on your timely reply to requests for follow-up information. Candidates who require more timely decisions can indicate this in their application forms, and we may be able to expedite the decision process in such cases.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to this fellowship if I don’t want to work on my university group full-time?

Yes! Most of the grants we make are to individuals (largely students) working 15 hours per week or less.

If I apply and get rejected, is there a “freezing period” where I can’t apply again?

We don’t have an official freezing period, but we generally won’t spend time reevaluating someone within 3 months of when they last applied, unless they indicate on the application that something significant has changed in that time. If you’re considering applying, we encourage you to not to wait; in the vast majority of cases, we think it won’t make a difference whether someone applies now or a month from now.

Should I have prior experience doing group organizing or running relevant projects before applying?

No – prior experience can be a plus, but it’s definitely not necessary, and it’s generally not the main factor in deciding whether or not to fund someone.

 

See answers to more commonly asked questions in our “Ask Me Anything” post.

Expand Footnotes Collapse Footnotes

1. This includes $10,000 earmarked for spending on health insurance (including vision, dental, and other relevant insurance) as well as an additional $4,050 “tax gross-up” to account for taxes paid on the stipend.