The Future of Humanity Institute is looking for exceptional researchers to join our Macrostrategy team. FHI’s big picture research focuses on the long-term consequences of our actions today and the complicated dynamics that are bound to shape our future in significant ways. A key aspect to this is the study of existential risks – events that endanger the survival of Earth-originating, intelligent life or that threaten to drastically and permanently destroy our potential for realising a valuable future. FHI offers talented researchers freedom to think about the most important issues of our era in an environment with other brilliant minds who are willing to constructively engage with a broad range of ideas.

We are looking to hire across grades and experience levels: Researchers, Research Fellows, and Senior Research Fellows. Applications close 19th October 2020, noon BST.

Given the breadth of this challenge, we are interested in researchers from a broad range of backgrounds, including but not limited to: Philosophy, Computer science, Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, Economics, Political Science, Strategic studies, Behavioral genetics, Macrohistory, Nanotechnology, and Law.  It is common for people working on macrostrategy to have competency and interest in more than one traditional academic discipline.  

Our focus within macrostrategy lies in the impact of future technology capabilities and impacts (including the possibility and impact of Artificial General Intelligence or ‘Superintelligence’), existential risk assessment, anthropics, population ethics, human enhancement ethics, game theory, and consideration of the Fermi paradox. We are looking for individuals who can expand our research in the following areas, however, this is not an exhaustive list of our areas of interest:

  • AI ethics and philosophy of mind: especially questions concerning which computations are conscious and which digital minds have what kinds of moral status
  • Transparency and surveillance: especially questions concerning the role of surveillance in preventing existential risks and how to architect global information systems.
  • Philosophical foundations: for example, questions related to anthropics, infinite ethics, decision theory, computationalism, cluelessness, and value theory pertaining to radically technologically empowered futures.
  • Grand futures: for example, questions related to the Fermi paradox, cosmological modeling of the opportunities available to technologically mature civilizations, implications of multiverse theories, the ultimate limits to technological advancement.
  • Cooperative principles and institutions: theoretical investigations into structures that facilitate cooperation at different scales; and search for levers where a relatively small effort could increase the chances of cooperative equilibria.
  • AI ethics: analysing ethical issues that arise with current uses of machine intelligence or in the context of possible future developments.
  • AI capabilities: seeking a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the current AI systems, and the likely paths along which these capabilities may grow as the field of machine intelligence advances; developing intuitions and theoretical understanding of how key machine learning algorithms scale, their limitations, and their epistemological, computations, decision theoretic properties.
  • Nanotechnology: analysing roadmaps to atomically precise manufacturing and related technologies, including possible intersections with advances in artificial intelligence, and potential impacts and strategic implications of progress in these areas.


We are hiring researchers across our levels of seniority: 

Researchers: You will hold a first degree, with evidence of research potential in a relevant field. You would be expected to pursue independent research projects, with little guidance from more experienced team members. For the Researcher positions apply here

Research Fellows: You will have a Bachelors and/or Masters degree with at least two years of research experience and evidence of research potential in a relevant field for your specialism. Typically, Research Fellows have a PhD or an equivalent amount of research experience. You would possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to pursue independent tracks, with an ability to manage your own research and related activities with little guidance. For the Research Fellow positions apply here

Senior Research Fellows: You would hold a relevant Ph.D. with either post-qualification research experience or equivalent experience in a non-academic setting. Typically, Senior Research Fellows have 5+ years of post-PhD research experience. You would have a strong publication record or equivalent experience in a non-academic setting. Excellent candidates can set up their research teams, under the guidance of the Director. For the Senior Research Fellow positions apply here

If you aren’t sure which two grades applies to you, then please apply to both of them, and we will consider you for the right one. 

Application process

Stage 1:

Candidates apply, submitting

  • A CV, including a link to your professional website or Google Scholar page where possible
  • A cover letter. Your cover letter should be no more than 400 words and should:
    • Explain how you meet the selection criteria for the role, and
    • Outline one research idea, of something you would like to, or would like the FHI to pursue, and why
  • Details of two academic referees and permission to contact them. If you are shortlisted we will take up references. Candidates are advised to let their referees know to expect they may be contacted. 

Stage 2: 

  • Shortlisted candidates submit a 1000 word research proposal, focused on one question, outlining why it is important, and how they would answer it
  • Shortlisted candidates complete trial tasks and are interviewed by the selection committee
  • References are collected
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