FHI will be awarding up to two scholarships for the 2020/21 academic year for DPhil students starting at the University of Oxford whose research aims to answer crucial questions for improving the long-term prospects of humanity. Candidates will be considered from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to computer science, economics, international relations, mathematics, philosophy, and public policy. Our goal is to choose the very best students and support them as they begin work on some of the greatest challenges the human race faces.

About the scholarship

As one of the recipients of the Future of Humanity Institute scholarship, you will become part of a group of exceptional students working on crucial questions for humanity across a range of disciplines.

You will receive:

  • Fully paid University fees for the duration of your fee liability;
  • A generous grant for living expenses of at least £19,000 per year;
  • Desk space in the Future of Humanity Institute’s office, which is shared with the Global Priorities Institute and Centre for Effective Altruism;
  • Access to regular seminars and working groups, including those run under FHI’s Research Scholars Programme;
  • The opportunity to network with world-leading researchers and to participate in social occasions and lively lectures held at FHI.

The scholarship will be awarded for the duration of your fee liability, subject to satisfactory academic progress.


To be eligible for a Future of Humanity Institute scholarship you must be starting a full- or part-time DPhil programme in the 2020/2021 academic year in a relevant discipline. You can be either a Home/EU or an overseas student. Your supervisor does not need to be attached to the Future of Humanity Institute.

FHI is an interdisciplinary institute. Eligible departments for the FHI DPhil scholarship are Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, History, Law, Mathematics, the Oxford Internet Institute, Philosophy, Physics, Politics and International Relations, Public Policy, Sociology, Statistics, and Zoology. In exceptional circumstances, applicants from other departments may be considered.

To be eligible for the scholarship your research should be aimed at answering crucial questions for humanity. There will be a preference for candidates working in existing FHI research areas of: global priorities research and macrostrategy; AI strategy; AI safety; and reducing catastrophic risks from biotechnology.

The application process

Applications will be open in January-February 2020. Eligible candidates will be invited to prepare the following materials, and upload them to this form:

  • A cover letter of 300-600 words explaining:
    • If you are optimistic, how you hope your research might be of substantive importance for the long-term future;
    • Your largest concerns about the ways in which your research might fail to achieve that potential;
    • The most plausible ways in which you foresee your research could have negative consequences;
    • Anything else you think it is important for us to know;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A copy of the research proposal you submitted as part of your DPhil application;
  • FHI will also request your full DPhil application from your department for use in the selection process for longlisted candidates.
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