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

by Jameson Quinn1 min read6th Feb 20196 comments

7

Personal Blog

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.

6 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 12:31 AM
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Are you familiar with the ea hotel?

Maybe post on the ea forums?

I am aware of the EA hotel, but since I have a family, I think it's probably not an option. Thanks for the EA forum suggestion; I planned to go there next, but thought here was the best place to start (highest upside-to-downside ratio for a half-baked query).

Looks like you already posted on the EA Forum, but in case anyone else spots this post and has the same question:

I'm an EA Forum moderator, and we welcome half-baked queries! Just like LessWrong, we have a "Questions" feature people can use when they want feedback/ideas from other people.

I just published this, and it's not immediately clear to me whether or not I put it in the right place, as a personal post. I expected to be asked "where do you want to publish this" when I clicked "publish". I'll try to make sure it's in the right place but this interface is not transparent to me.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply

(based on the retracted state it looks like you're no longer confused about this, but for the benefit of anyone else: all posts go to the personal blog section initially, and mods move posts that are a good fit for the frontpage to the frontpage. I'm leaving this on the personal blog section since it deals with EA/rationalsphere internal politics which is something we avoid for frontpage.)

I do agree this is a pretty important question. I agree with Elo you may want to post on the EA Forum. It also may be a good use of the 'question' format.

I think there are basically several organizations (OpenPhil, CEA, BERI, EA Funds) that have various grant programs, with varying degrees of "this seems like it might fit their mission", and a good next step would be to do a breadth first search of their admissions process.

(something I'm hoping can happen sometime soon is for those grantmaking bodies to build more common infrastructure so applying for multiple grants isn't so much duplicated effort and the process is easier to navigate, but I think that'll be awhile)