Does the EA community do "basic science" grants? How do I get one?

byJameson Quinn14d6th Feb 20195 comments


I'm graduating in either May or August of 2019 with a PhD in statistics. During my studies, I've made progress on several projects related to voting theory. Since these are not directly related to statistics, I haven't managed to finish these up and publish them cleanly. I think that:

  • Voting theory is relevant to EA, both in immediate terms (better decisionmaking in current real-world settings) and in more speculative terms (philosophical implications for the meaning of "friendly", "coherent volition", etc.)
  • If I had 6 months post-graduation to work exclusively on this, I could finish several projects. I don't think it's conceited of me to think that these contributions I, specifically, could make would be valuable.
  • I'd be willing to pay an opportunity cost for doing that, by earning about half of my market salary.
  • If I want that to happen, I have to be looking now for whom to ask for the money.

Obviously, there are a lot of details behind each of those points above, and separately from this post, I'm busy clarifying all those details (as well as working on my thesis). But I think it's also the right time for a post like this. If anybody is willing to have a deeper talk with me about this, or has any suggestions about whom else I should be talking to, I'd very much appreciate any tips. And I'd be happy to answer questions in comments.