To apply for the Worldview Investigation Philosophy Researcher position at Rethink Priorities, please click "Apply Now" on our careers website (https://careers.rethinkpriorities.org/) to respond to the prompts in the application form and submit your CV. We ask that you spend no more than 1.5 hours preparing your responses to the prompts.
Application Deadline: March 19, 2023, at the end of the day in US/Eastern (EST) time zone.
Note Before Applying: We invite anyone who is interested to apply, and will assess applications primarily based on anonymised prompt answers so please ensure they represent your fit for the position well. We will advance candidates to the next stages based on their quality of responses during our hiring process, putting only minimal weight on CVs and references. Please do not include a cover letter, photograph, or headshot of yourself, or any personal information that is not relevant to the role for which you’re applying (including marital status, age, identity traits, etc.). Additionally, please do not ask our staff members involved in the hiring process to meet with you – to ensure fairness, we try to minimize these interactions, and requests for meetings with the hiring committee members during the process will be declined.
About the Position
We are looking for a Philosophy Researcher to temporarily join our Worldview Investigation Team to conduct research on a variety of cross-cutting topics.
This position offers a significant opportunity for thoughtful, and curious individuals to shift priorities, research areas, and philanthropic spending strategies of major evidence-based, high-impact non-profit organizations through interdisciplinary work analyzing and publishing on cross-cutting topics including, but not limited to:
- Moral uncertainty
- Decision theory including risk aversion and ambiguity aversion
- Intervention cost-effectiveness for humans, non-human animals, and possibly digital minds
- Sensitivity of different interventions in longtermism, global health, and animal welfare to theoretical considerations (i.e. population ethics, theories of welfare, moral uncertainty)
- Interspecies welfare comparisons
The work will involve getting up to speed with the literature in different fields, contacting experts, writing up reasoning in a manner that is understandable for experts and non-experts alike, and engaging with quantitative models.
To encourage and support affiliations with leading universities worldwide, we are happy to accommodate applicants who wish to keep their current university affiliation (e.g., with teaching buy-outs for professors).
This is a temporary, 1-year position (with a 3-month probationary period) with an opportunity for a year renewal and/or a permanent employment offer at the end of the first year. This role is fully remote and we are able to legally hire in many countries. While we welcome applicants from all time zones, you may be expected to attend meetings during working hours between UTC-8 and UTC+3 time zones, where most of our staff are based. This role is open to part-time (minimum 20 hours per week) and full-time candidates; however, we have a preference for candidates who are able to work full-time.
As a Worldview Investigation Philosophy Researcher, your main responsibilities will include:
- Evaluating strength of evidence, risk of bias and generalizability to motivate and inform conclusions and/or new research studies.
- Writing summaries or reviews of the existing research, distilling key actionable insights, generating ideas for future research directions, and potentially including additional analysis.
- Preparing reports and manuscripts, carefully documenting research studies, including methods, data, analysis, conclusions and actionable insights for grantmakers and advocates and communicating research to a wide variety of audiences, including other researchers, funders, advocacy groups, and the general public.
- Providing detailed review of other team members’ work, especially where it may overlap with areas of personal expertise.
- Developing a co-operative working relationship with other researchers in the relevant space and participate in fostering free exchange of ideas in the community of researchers.
- Coordinating with external stakeholders, including philanthropic foundations, and other research organizations across the relevant communities (this involves communicating instructions on the research protocol to coworkers and others with clarity and precision).
- Contributing to high-level organizational strategy.
What We Are Looking For
Skills and Competencies:
- Ability to quickly develop an understanding of existing academic and advocacy research literature in unfamiliar areas of study.
- Strong analytical skills accompanied with steadfast curiosity and a willingness to wrestle with large and complex problems.
- An aptitude for mathematical reasoning, and some familiarity with statistics.
- Attention to detail and a commitment to maintaining high quality and accuracy in all research output.
- Willingness and ability to learn and apply new approaches to accomplish tasks, as required.
- A disposition that favors evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills demonstrated through the authorship of philosophical papers or peer-reviewed articles.
- A deep and enduring commitment to high standards of ethics in research including, but not limited to, matters of data use and storage, handling of privileged information, attribution of credit, conflicts of interest, protocol compliance, and correction of errors.
- Comfort reaching out to and helping to identify relevant experts.
- Familiarity with G Suite (particularly Documents and Sheets), and Asana (or similar project management software).
Knowledge and Experience:
- A PhD or equivalent knowledge in moral philosophy, decision theory, or epistemology.
- Some familiarity with evidence-based, high-impact charitable giving.
- Experience reviewing and critically assessing original research across multiple disciplines.
- Demonstrated track record of developing, leading and completing excellent research, including quantitative analysis where appropriate.
- Some knowledge of empirical research methods, principles, techniques and philosophies.
- Prior experience managing or collaborating with multidisciplinary teams, including but not limited to economists, philosophers and cognitive scientists.
What We Offer
- Annual salary between the following ranges for a full-time position, prorated for part-time work:
- $100,500 - $118,500 USD pre-tax
- £77,900 - £91,529 GBP pre-tax
- €89,544 - €105,582 EUR pre-tax
- The exact salary will be based on the candidate’s prior relevant experience and corresponding title level, and calculated using RP’s salary algorithm. RP does not negotiate salaries to ensure fairness.
- Compensation is not restricted to the currencies listed above. Payments may be made in different currencies and payment intervals depending on the location of applicants and legal requirements.
- Opportunity to contribute to a fast-growing, high-impact organization — our research is used by key decision makers who influence the distribution of hundreds of millions of charitable dollars.
- Fully remote environment, including flexible work hours and location.
- Comprehensive global benefits package (while they vary by country, we make every effort to ensure that our benefits package is equitable and high-quality for all staff).
- Generous paid time off (PTO) leave, including, but not limited to:
- Forty (40) days PTO (excluding local, public local holidays) proportional / prorated according to how many hours per week the employee works
- “Mandated” mid- and end-year, organization-wide breaks (if the temporary employment contract falls within the break timeline)
- Unlimited (within reason) personal and sick leave
- Technology and in-person co-working stipends in the equivalent of $500 each.
- A caring team that values respectful work relations and a healthy work-life balance.
- Opportunities to grow/advance your career and engage in professional development.
- Low administrative bureaucracy.
- We don’t provide snacks but we could mail you a box of Oreos if you want!
Extension requests: We will try to accommodate extension requests that are made before the deadline and are up to five (5) days. We generally cannot accommodate extension requests made on or after the application deadline, or are longer than 5 days, and cannot accept late submissions to ensure fairness to other applicants.
Language: Please submit all of your application materials in English and note that we require professional level English proficiency.
Travel: Travel is not an essential requirement for this position. However, a majority of our staff travel a few times per year for conferences, team and all-staff retreats, and other work-related purposes. In most cases, travel is not mandatory, but encouraged. If, for any reason, you would prefer not to travel for work, please do not be discouraged from applying. Depending on the event, we can likely make accommodations, such as allowing virtual participation when possible.
Accessibility: We’re committed to running an inclusive and accessible application process. We warmly invite you to reach out to email@example.com with any questions or accessibility requests such as chat box use during interviews.
Inclusivity and fairness: RP is committed to building an inclusive, equitable, and supportive community for you to thrive and do your best work. We’re committed to finding the best people for our team, so please don’t hesitate to apply for a role regardless of your age, gender identity/expression, political identity, personal preferences, physical abilities, veteran status, neurodiversity or any other background. We provide reasonable accommodations and benefits, including for example, flexible work schedules and locations, mental health coverage in medical benefits (as available), as well as technology budgets and professional development time that can be used, for example, to purchase assistive technology or engage in job coaching.
Other: Visit our Career Opportunities webpage if you’d like to know more about our hiring process, culture, and what working at RP is like.
About Rethink Priorities
Founded in 2018, Rethink Priorities
(RP) is a nonprofit organization that addresses global priorities—important and neglected issues—by researching solutions and strategies, and mobilizing resources, and empowering our team and others. RP’s mission is to generate the most significant possible impact for others in the present and the long-term future.
Our cause areas include animal welfare, artificial intelligence, climate change, global health and development, and other work to safeguard a flourishing long-term future. RP also aims to understand and support those working on these issues.
Rethink Priorities works as all of the following:
- A consultancy doing commissioned work in response to demands from organizations doing high-impact work.
- A research institute driven by research agendas we set according to our own priorities.
- A think tank aiming to inform public policy to improve the world.
- An accelerator, incubator, and base for priority projects.
Some of our recent accomplishments include:
We welcome you to review our database of published work here