Hi. I'm also a PhD student (upcoming fourth year). Last year, I wrote about my process of auto didacting and switching research areas to directly work on FAI. Beyond that advice, I have more which is yet unpublished: select your committee wisely. I purposefully chose those professors who were easy to get along with and who seemed likely to be receptive to longer-term concerns.
I generally recommend working on an alignment research area in your free time, levelling up as necessary. One path I took: make some proposals and demonstrate you can think novel thoughts and do research. Then, get funding to make this your full-time research.
Alternatively, you can just level up while in your program. Check out Critch's Deliberate Grad School and Leveraging Academia.
If you're interested in a Skype sometime, feel free to message me. There's a MIRIx Discord server I can invite you to as well.
Welcome to the journey!