Senior Research Associate
Posted on: June 24, 2022
Salary: Our salaries are competitive with peer organizations
like private foundations, academic institutions/think tanks, and
the World Bank, and are benchmarked for the cost of living in the
San Francisco Bay Area, where GiveWell is based. We adjust the
salaries of remote employees based on the federal geographic
location adjustment database. Location: Oakland, California
(preferred). Full-time remote work is possible. As a general rule,
requests to work remotely will usually be allowed for locations
that are within three hours of the Pacific Time Zone. Exceptions to
the time zone rule may be made in rare circumstances. Flexibility:
We support and encourage flexible working, including flexible
hours, regular work-from-home days, part-time work patterns, and
periodic remote-work stints. The majority of our staff, including
senior management, work flexibly in one way or another. Visa
sponsorship: We can sponsor work visas. However, please be aware
that processing times can be much longer than usual right now and
are subject to specific country circumstances. Currently,
international remote work is possible. Timeline: We're reviewing
applications on a rolling basis. About GiveWell GiveWell is
motivated by the simple question: how can we do as much good as
possible? In our efforts to answer this question, our researchers
search for and recommend outstanding philanthropic giving
opportunities. We focus on global health and poverty alleviation
programs in the lowest-income parts of the world because that is
where we've found we can have the greatest impact, according to our
criteria. We direct funding to outstanding giving opportunities in
two main ways: We continuously review our giving recommendations,
and this analysis is available, for free, on our website. Based on
our recommendations, donors have given more than $800 million to
our recommended programs since our founding in 2007. In 2020 alone,
GiveWell donors contributed more than $170 million to our
recommendations, which we estimate will avert between 29,000 and
48,000 deaths and provide parasitic worm treatments for over 12
- Grants to promising opportunities. GiveWell also recommends
grants to projects whose impact is less directly measurable but
might be even greater than that of our recommended charities. Past
grants include support for an initiative to improve the uptake and
implementation by governments of evidence-based policy and the
first randomized controlled trial of mask-wearing in a low-income
country to increase mask use and prevent COVID-19 transmission.
Going forward, we expect to broaden the scope of what we consider
funding. We will remain driven by our search for funding
opportunities that can save or improve lives the most. The role As
a Senior Research Associate at GiveWell, you will work on a variety
of projects. Senior staff work closely with new hires and attempt
to tailor your assignments to those best suited to your abilities.
- Analyzing interventions (e.g., tobacco taxation, solar panel
provision, surgical interventions) at various levels of depth to
refine our view about the cost-effectiveness of a particular
intervention and recommend either deprioritization or further work.
Researchers review existing empirical evidence about intervention
impacts, build preliminary cost-effectiveness models, and speak
with subject matter experts about particular interventions.
Examples of this work are available on our intervention reports
- Building cost-effectiveness models to estimate the costs and
benefits of a particular intervention. These models take into
account a wide variety of considerations, including: one's prior
estimate for an intervention's impact, the strength of the
evidence, the size of the effects, the similarity between the
context in which an intervention was studied and will be
implemented, negative and/or offsetting effects, and how funding
this intervention would affect decisions by other actors (e.g.,
local government, donor governments). See more on our page about
our cost-effectiveness models .
- Reviewing specific giving opportunities. We receive and solicit
requests for funding on an ongoing basis as part of our Incubation
Grants program . Researchers investigate each of these
opportunities to determine whether or not they should receive
funding. Reviewers discuss each grant opportunity with the applying
organization, consider its plans and assess the likelihood it will
achieve them, estimate the cost-effectiveness of a grant and
forecast its likelihood of success. When necessary, they solicit
feedback from outside experts (e.g., academics, government
officials) about the opportunity.
- Building relationships with experts relevant to our work, for
example, academics who specialize in interventions we are reviewing
(e.g., malaria, deworming, tobacco taxation), leaders and program
staff at organizations we are considering for funding, and program
staff at foundations who are also evaluating where to allocate
funds. See summaries from some of these conversations on our
conversations page .
- Publishing reports and blog posts on our website. Transparency
is a core value of ours and we aim to publish as much supporting
information regarding our conclusions as we can. Researchers write
up our findings and reasoning for publication on our website or
summarize key points from their work in blog posts .
- Exploring new areas of research. We are currently building our
team and substantially expanding the scope of our research. We
expect new hires will help lead this expansion by assessing areas
of global health and development that appear promising but which we
have not sufficiently considered to date, such as policy-oriented
interventions . More in this blog post . Our researchers also
generate and share ideas for funding opportunities that might be
better than the current organizations we recommend. About you You
should have a bachelor's degree (or higher) in a quantitative field
such as economics, mathematics, or statistics or equivalent
experience (-6 years). Exceptions may be made for excellent
applicants who do not meet this criterion. We expect you will be
characterized by many of the below qualities. We encourage you to
apply if you would use the majority of these characteristics to
- You are passionate about helping improve global health and
alleviate global poverty as much as possible.
- You are highly skilled at critically analyzing and synthesizing
empirical research and understanding how a body of evidence may
apply to real-world problems.
- You are able to plan an efficient approach to exploring
complicated questions, including identifying and focusing on the
most decision-relevant aspects of a project.
- You consider the big picture, asking questions like: is this
project appropriately formulated and the best use of my time? What
is GiveWell getting wrong in our research?
- You clearly communicate what you believe and why, as well as
what you are uncertain about.
- You ask a lot of questions, and are curious, rather than
defensive, when interrogating your own or others' work.
- You are able to execute research that holds up under scrutiny
from others and over time.
- You are respectful, effective, and efficient in your
interactions with colleagues as well as external parties.
Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job.
Here's a secret: there's no such thing as a "perfect" candidate.
GiveWell is looking for exceptional people who want to make a
positive impact through their work and help create an organization
where everyone can thrive. So whatever background you bring with
you, please apply if this role would make you excited to come to
work every day. We plan to respond to all submissions. Please
contact email@example.com with any questions. If you need
assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact
us at firstname.lastname@example.org . As part of our dedication to the
diversity of our staff, GiveWell is committed to the principles of
Equal Employment Opportunity and to making employment decisions
based on merit and value. We are committed to complying with all
federal, state, and local laws providing Equal Employment
Opportunities, as well as all laws related to terms and conditions
of employment. We desire to maintain a work environment free of
harassment or discrimination due to sex, race, religion, color,
creed, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or
gender expression, citizenship, physical or mental disability,
marital status, familial status, ethnicity, ancestry, status as a
victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, age, or any other
status protected by federal, state, or local laws. We will consider
for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction
records. GiveWell, aka The Clear Fund (a tax-exempt 501(c)(3)
public charity), was founded in 2007. We serve donors across the
Globe; GiveWell's donors are based primarily in the United States,
United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Canada. This work is
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share
alike 3.0 United States License
Keywords: Givewell, Oakland , Senior Research Associate, Other , Oakland, California
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