Position: Senior Research Analyst
Location: San Francisco, CA
Timeline: There is no firm deadline for applying.
We are looking for a Senior Research Analyst with a strong background in causal inference and quantitative research methods (either through academic coursework at the graduate level or previous work experience) to work on assessing the evidence and cost-effectiveness of interventions such as immunization campaigns, bednet distribution, breastfeeding promotion, etc.
Our top charities - to which we directed over $110 million in 2015 - are identified and evaluated largely based on intervention evidence and cost-effectiveness. In addition, we recommend a number of grants to early-stage organizations carrying out strong interventions, and studies that could improve the evidence for interventions, in the hopes that these grants will lead eventually to new top charities. (More on our page devoted to this work.)
A Senior Research Analyst will focus on the following:
- Creating a prioritized list of promising interventions.
- Assessing the evidence behind an intervention: can it be causally linked to improving people's lives? All evidence should be approached in a critical, open-minded way, recognizing the case both for and against attributing causality. We do not exclusively consider randomized controlled trials, nor do we use them uncritically.
- Assessing the cost-effectiveness of an intervention: all things considered, how much good can be accomplished per dollar spent? Our cost-effectiveness models are often fairly complex and require creative approaches to making a number of judgment calls. More about our cost-effectiveness estimates here.
- Assessing the room for more funding for an intervention: what does the global gap look like, and how practical would it be to increase delivery with increased funding?
- Working alongside staff evaluating funding opportunities to (a) evaluate evidence provided by organizations seeking funding and (b) consider the similarity between the program the organization implements and the existing evidence.
- Staying up to date on relevant academic literature that may lead to new ideas for interventions to consider for funding.
Qualifications and characteristics
- Master's degree (or higher) in economics or statistics or equivalent experience. Exceptions may be made for outstanding applicants who do not meet this criterion.
- Passionate about finding great giving opportunities and making the world a better place.
- Value intense discussion and debate.
- Strong critical thinking skills; able to approach all claims (including their managers') with skepticism.
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
- Comfortable with open-ended questions, where no clear precedents or guidelines exist.
- Value the intensity and open-endedness of a small organization over the stability and comfort of a larger corporation.
You may also send additional material, such as a letter of recommendation, to support your application; this is not required. Please send those materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We plan to respond to all submissions. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
- This will be a full-time position in San Francisco, where GiveWell is based. This is an office-based job that can partly be done remotely.
- We first ask candidates to work for us (with compensation) on a trial basis before we make a full-time offer. In general, this period will last around three months, though we are flexible regarding the terms (e.g., spreading the equivalent number of hours over a longer period of time, telecommuting). There may be exceptional cases where we are willing to forgo the trial period.
- We will consider sponsoring applications for work authorization for exceptional candidates.
GiveWell started as a group of finance professionals trying to do as much good as possible with their personal donations. Since 2007, it has been a full-time independent research group. We publish our charity recommendations, research, and the full details of our analysis publicly at www.givewell.org.
In 2015, GiveWell tracked $110 million in donations to our recommended charities as a direct result of our research. Our research has received accolades from Peter Singer (who featured it in his manifesto on giving, The Life You Can Save), Nicholas Kristof (who featured it in Half The Sky), the Hewlett Foundation (a current funder of GiveWell) and media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN and NPR (see our press page for more).
We have eighteen full-time employees and are located in San Francisco.
As part of our dedication to the diversity of our staff, GiveWell is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.
Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.
If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.