Join our team

Researcher

Giving What We Can (GWWC) is looking for a Researcher to help us identify the most effective donation opportunities for a variety of worldviews, and recommend these to our donors. We decided to extend the deadline and now applications close on March 2nd, and we aim to make an offer (provided we find a suitable candidate) by the end of April, with the successful candidate starting as soon as possible thereafter.

This role provides an opportunity to help influence millions of dollars of charitable giving to be more effective. We estimate GWWC as a whole caused ~$83M in donations to high-impact charities through our fundraising and recommendations in 2020-2022. In 2022 alone, GWWC pledgers and other donors gave ~$27M through our donation platform, and reported giving another ~$18M in other ways. Many of these donors are looking to our advice on where to donate. As a Researcher, you will be part of a small team responsible for providing them with high-quality advice, by:

You will also contribute to our internal impact evaluation and other relevant content on our website.

You will report directly to the Director of Research, Sjir Hoeijmakers, and work closely with the rest of the research team.

Responsibilities

  • Evaluating the quality of evaluators' and grantmakers' funding opportunity recommendations and underlying methodology.
  • Helping to determine fund and charity recommendations and select which charities to support via our donation platform.
  • Contributing to GWWC’s internal impact evaluation.
  • Supporting the Research Communicator in drafting and reviewing public content on effective giving (e.g., the website, blog posts, videos, marketing copy) to ensure it meets a sufficiently high epistemic standard while also being compelling.
  • Representing the research team in relationships with key stakeholders outside of GWWC, such as with other charities, evaluators and grantmakers.
  • Working closely with the rest of the GWWC team on cross-team projects and overall strategy.

About you

You are passionate about effective giving, excited by our values and purpose, and want to help advance our key research project of evaluating evaluators to provide donors with a variety of worldviews with the highest-impact recommendations.

Essential skills, traits and experience

  • A passion for making the world a better place
  • Strong grasp of key research concepts in effective giving and effective altruism
  • A scout mindset and a strong commitment to communicating accurately and truthfully
  • Excellent analytical skills; comfort working with quantitative and qualitative frameworks
  • Probabilistic reasoning and calibration; the ability to think in a Bayesian way
  • Prioritisation and judgement; the ability to (re-)focus your time on what’s most important and relevant
  • Ability to work both autonomously and in a team; comfort with working remotely
  • Good reasoning transparency

Desirable skills, traits and experience

  • Experience in impact-focused charity evaluation and/or grantmaking
  • Great written communication skills, especially in translating technical information to be understandable and compelling to the public
  • Generalist skills and flexibility and adaptability to other types of valuable work needed at various times, in addition to the responsibilities mentioned above

Confidence can hold us back. Keep in mind there is no such thing as a perfect candidate, and we value success in application work tests more than previous experience. If you are excited about this role and think that you might be a fit, we encourage you to apply!

Salary, benefits and location

This is a full-time role with a permanent contract after a 3-month probationary period. Location is flexible provided the candidate can attend regular meetings compatible with various time zones (the research team is currently spread across Europe, North America, and Australia). In general, do not let your location or time zone hold you back from applying.

Salary for candidates is based on this calculator (which is explained in more depth here). To use the calculator:

  • Click file -> and make a copy.
  • Input your "level" and see the "bands" tab for some guidance. We expect a fairly junior hire for this role would be 2B, with 4B being on the more senior end. For reference, Michael Townsend is currently 3H.
  • Estimate your years of experience adjusted for relevance to GWWC (e.g., we might weigh a year of working at GiveWell as an analyst as 1 year of experience, but could weigh experience in consulting somewhere anywhere from 0.2–0.8 per year, depending on how much we expect the work had relevance to the role).
  • Set your FTE to 1 to see an estimate of what the full-time salary would be.
  • Choose a city with the cost of living closest to the city you would work from.

An approximate salary range for a candidate based in Oxford would be £36,958–£54,110.

Benefits and policies depend on location, but we aim to provide benefits equally wherever we can. See here for an example of an offer to a US candidate — we have similar benefits in other locations.

Process

Our hiring process involves four stages (applicants will be compensated for their time spent on stages 2-3):

  1. Application form (~2 hours)
  2. Written work test (~2 hours)
  3. Work trial (~10 hours)
  4. Interview, online over Zoom (~1 hour) and reference checks.

We will close applications on 2nd of March and aim to make an offer (provided we find a suitable candidate) by the end of April, with the successful candidate starting as soon as possible thereafter.

See also here to get a sense of our approach from a hiring round we did in early 2023.

Please contact Michael at michael.townsend@givingwhatwecan.org to discuss any potential accommodations, or with any questions about the process or the role.

About GWWC

GWWC is on a mission to create a world in which giving effectively and significantly is a cultural norm.

We believe that charitable donations can do an astonishing amount of good. However, because the effectiveness of different charities varies wildly, it is important that we donate to the most effective charities if we want to have a significant impact.

We are focused on increasing the number of donors who prioritise effectiveness, and helping them to maximise their charitable impact throughout their lives. We are best known for the Giving What We Can Pledge, where 8,983 people have pledged to give over 10% of their lifetime income to high-impact charities. To date, our pledgers — representing over 100 countries — have donated an estimated $333 million USD to high-impact charities, and have committed nearly $3 billion more via their lifetime pledges.

The GWWC team is hard-working and mission-focused, with a culture of open and honest feedback. We also like to think of ourselves as a particularly friendly and optimistic bunch.

In all our work, we strive to take a positive and collaborative attitude, be transparent in our communication and decision-making, and adopt a scout mindset to guide us towards doing the most good we can do, including by evaluating our own impact and learning from the results. To learn more, check out our current strategy.

Diversity & inclusion

We’re an equal opportunities employer and value diversity at our organisation. We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability. We’re happy to make any reasonable accommodations necessary to welcome all to our organisation.