Research Analyst at the Open Philanthropy Project

Research Analyst

The Open Philanthropy Project seeks to hire several Research Analysts in 2018. We are looking for exceptional generalists committed to doing as much good as possible. We intend to invest heavily in training and mentoring these hires, in the hopes that over the long run they will have the potential to become core contributors to the organization.

We recommend submitting applications by April 15, 2018.

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.

The role

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.

Core Research Analyst duties include:

Research Analysts will receive intensive training and mentorship, and over time 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 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, analyst roles specializing in potential risks from advanced artificial intelligence).

Job qualifications

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.

Additional information

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 jobs@openphilanthropy.org 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 consider sponsoring applications for work authorization for exceptional candidates.

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 jobs@openphilanthropy.org.

To apply

The application for a Research Analyst position consists of the three-step process outlined below.

  1. Fill out the application form: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/get-involved/jobs/research-analyst-2018
  2. Upload your resume.
  3. Take our online test. This test is timed, and will take 75 minutes. It must be done in one sitting and can only be accessed once, so click that link only when you have 75 minutes available. This test is borrowed from GiveWell, the organization that incubated Open Philanthropy. The subject matter of the test questions is not directly relevant to our work, but we believe it is a helpful early-stage test.
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