Research positions (various levels)

GiveWell

San Francisco, USA

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Researchers

Positions: Research Analyst / Senior Research Analyst / Senior Fellow

Seniority level: We plan to hire researchers at varying levels of seniority; the application process is the same in all cases.

  • Research Analyst: you have recently completed your undergraduate degree or are in the first 3 years of your career.
  • Senior Research Analyst: you have more than 3 years of relevant advanced education or work experience.
  • Senior Fellow: you have a relevant advanced degree, such as a Ph.D. in economics.

Salary: Our salaries are competitive with other similar organizations and benchmarked for the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where GiveWell is based. The starting salary for Research Analysts starting at GiveWell immediately following their undergraduate education is $65,000 per year. Other salaries are higher and commensurate with experience.

Location: Oakland (preferred); remote work (including international) is possible.

Visa sponsorship: We can sponsor work visas.

Timeline: We're reviewing applications on a rolling basis.

About GiveWell

GiveWell’s research aims to identify the giving opportunities which can most cost-effectively improve the lives of the global poor.

Our top charities accomplish a huge amount of good. They deliver basic commodities (for example, anti-malarial nets or deworming pills) and cash to the global poor. At our recommendation, donors directed $117 million to these charities in 2017. We roughly estimate that, in expectation, these funds prevented 19,000 deaths, dewormed 50 million children and gave cash to 8,300 poor households.1 We also made an additional $16 million in incubation grants to support work that may create even better giving opportunities in the future.

Over the next few years, we plan to roughly double the size of our research team, from a team of 10 today. We're looking for the researchers who can help us expand the scope of our research to cover types of programs we have not yet developed the capabilities to evaluate (including additional direct-delivery programs, technical assistance, and policy advocacy) and become future leaders of our growing research team.

By joining GiveWell you will have the opportunity to influence and contribute to the direction we take, potentially influencing hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.

The role

As a researcher at GiveWell, you will work on a variety of projects.

Responsibilities include:

  • Analyzing interventions (e.g., tobacco taxation, solar panel provision, surgical interventions), including by reviewing existing empirical evidence, building cost-effectiveness models, and speaking with subject matter experts. Examples of this work are available on our intervention reports page.
  • Building cost-effectiveness models to estimate the costs and benefits of a particular intervention. See more on our page about our cost-effectiveness models.
  • Reviewing specific giving opportunities. We receive and solicit grant requests as part of our Incubation Grants program. Researchers evaluate these opportunities, including through discussions with grant applicants, modeling the grant’s expected likelihood of success and cost-effectiveness and soliciting feedback from outside experts.
  • Building relationships with experts relevant to our work.
  • Writing and publishing reports and blog posts. Transparency is a core value of ours and we aim to publish as much supporting information regarding our conclusions as we can.
  • Exploring new areas of research. We expect new hires will help lead our drive to broaden the scope of our research.
  • Managing a team of researchers. As we grow our team, we will be looking for researchers who can move into management roles.

About you

You should have a bachelor's degree (or higher) in a quantitative field such as economics, mathematics, or statistics or equivalent experience. Exceptions may be made for excellent applicants who do not meet this criterion. Senior Fellows should have a relevant advanced degree, such as a Ph.D. in economics.

We expect you will have most of the following characteristics:

  • Passionate about helping the global poor as much as possible, and motivated by having a direct impact on improving their lives. We are looking for people who are passionate about maximizing what can be accomplished with the resources available to help to people in these countries. Typical GiveWell work is often closer to a policy job than an academic job (we think this blog post accurately represents the difference). You should be willing to go as deep as needed, but be comfortable using creative methods to make reasonable estimates and making decisions in the face of uncertainty.
  • Skilled at clearly expressing what you believe and why, often in writing. We aim to be as transparent as possible about what we believe and why. This pertains to our published research as well as our internal communication.
  • Competent in interpreting and critiquing statistical analysis. A basic understanding of causal inference is helpful (for example, understanding the typical limitations of experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational methods). Advanced statistical training (e.g., at the Ph.D. level) is only required for Senior Fellows. We believe a truth-seeking attitude (objectivity, curiosity, open-mindedness, humility) can be as valuable as formal statistical training.
  • Excited by working at a growing, agile organization. GiveWell currently has approximately 25 full-time staff members. This means that we often ask people to contribute outside their core area of focus.

To apply

Apply here: http://www.givewell.org/about/jobs/research-analyst-application

You may also send additional material, such as a letter of recommendation, to support your application; this is not required. Please send those materials to jobs@givewell.org.

We plan to respond to all submissions. Please contact jobs@givewell.org with any questions.

As part of our dedication to the diversity of our staff, GiveWell is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. People of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at jobs@givewell.org.


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