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Senior Research Analyst

This job description is out of date. The updated version of this job description is now here.

Position: Senior Research Analyst
Location: Flexible
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 $100 million in 2017 - 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.)

Job description

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.

To apply

Apply here:

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

We plan to respond to all submissions. Please contact with any questions.

Please note:

  • This will be a full-time position. GiveWell's office is in San Francisco; this job may be done from the office or remotely.
  • 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

In 2020, GiveWell tracked $243 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), and media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, NPR, and many others .

We have forty-nine full- and part-time employees and are located in Oakland.

Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job. Here’s a secret: there's no such thing as a "perfect" candidate. GiveWell is looking for exceptional people who want to help create a place where everyone can thrive. So however you identify and whatever background you bring with you, please apply if this role would make you excited to wake up everyday.

GiveWell accommodates flexible and remote working. We support and encourage flexible working, including flexible hours, regular work-from-home days, part-time work patterns, and periodic remote-work stints. The majority of our staff, including senior management, work flexibly in one way or another. Our preference is for staff to work from Oakland. As a general rule, requests to work remotely outside the U.S. will be allowed at GiveWell’s sole discretion and generally for locations that are within three hours of the Pacific Standard Timezone. Exceptions to this general rule may be made, but only in exceptional circumstances.

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. People of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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