Summer and Winter Fellowships provide an opportunity for early-career individuals to spend three months working on an AI governance research project, learning about the field, and making connections with other researchers and practitioners.
Fellows most often hold a Master’s, or a PhD, but we will also consider candidates with a BA/BSc and relevant work or research experience. Candidates will be considered from a range of disciplines, including, but not limited to: political science, public policy, history, economics, sociology, law, philosophy, and computer science. We are looking for candidates who are strongly considering using their careers to study or shape the long-term implications of AI. Summer and Winter Fellowships are highly selective, with an acceptance rate of around 5% in previous years.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to be a radically transformative technology. The field of AI Governance studies how we can help humanity navigate the transition to a world with advanced AI systems.
To learn more about our research, see our Research page. For general introductions to the research field, we recommend:
Summer and Winter Fellows will join full-time for up to 3 months, in person at our Oxford office, to conduct independent research on a topic of their choice. Fellows will also participate in GovAI research seminars and work-in-progress meetings. Fellows will receive a competitive salary for the duration of the fellowship and support in applying for a Tier 5 visa on acceptance to the programme.
Fellows will spend the first few weeks of the fellowship exploring the research space, before settling on a research proposal with input from GovAI’s Director and other team members. See our research agenda for a non-comprehensive overview of relevant research areas.
Fellows will pursue a research project, with the aim of publishing a report, journal article, or blog post. They will also take time to explore the wider AI governance space. In some cases, we continue to advise fellows on their research projects beyond the end date of the fellowship. You can read about a selection of our alumni and the research projects they worked on below.
Past Summer and Winter Fellows
Past fellows have gone on to work for organisations such as OpenAI, the AI Now Institute, Open Philanthropy, and the OECD and have gone on to further study at leading universities such as MIT, Stanford University, University College London, and the University of Oxford. They have worked on topics including Chinese AI labs’ approaches to AI ethics, the social implications of improved data efficiency in machine learning, the implications of artificial intelligence for the stability of authoritarian regimes, the relevance of the field of mechanism design to AI governance, trends in the availability of computing power, and the likelihood that artificial intelligence will pose existential risks.
Caroline joined the GovAI Fellowship in Summer 2020, after having spent three years at the Beijing office of the public affairs consultancy APCO Worldwide. She completed her fellowship while working as an analyst at Europe’s leading China-focused think tank, MERICS, researching emerging technologies in China. During the fellowship, Caroline worked on a report exploring Chinese AI companies’ approaches to AI ethics, which will be published as a GovAI working paper. She recently started a Master’s in International Policy at Stanford, where she aims to continue her research on issues related to the global governance of AI.
Brian Tse - Founding Director, Concordia Consulting
Brian joined the GovAI team for three months in Summer 2018, with the aim of learning more about the intersection between AI, US-China relations, and the risk of great power conflict. Since his fellowship, he has become an advisor and translator between Western and Chinese AI labs, policymakers, and AI governance researchers. He has worked as a Senior Advisor to the Partnership on AI and now serves as the Founding Director of Concordia Consulting.
Fellowship applications will be open year-round. We will screen applications twice per year, for our summer and winter cohorts respectively. The application process consists of a written submission in the first round, reference collection and a remote work test in the second round, and an interview in the final round. The first page of the application form contains a descriptions of the materials required for the first round.
Summer Fellows will join for three months, between June and September. The application deadline for Summer Fellowships is January 16th. We will begin screening for Summer Fellows in January. We expect to contact referees and reach out to candidates for work tests and interviews in January and expect to communicate final decisions to candidates by mid February.
Winter Fellows will join for three months, between January and April. The application deadline for 2023 Winter Fellowships will be in Summer 2022, with exact dates to be confirmed later this year and applications opening in Spring 2022.
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In exceptional cases, fellows may join us off-season, or we may be able to communicate a decision on an application sooner than the timelines given above. Please feel free to reach out if you would not be able to join during a standard visiting period, would need a decision communicated earlier than the standard timeline, or have questions about the application process.
You should apply if you have an interest in our work and are strongly considering using your career to study or shape the long term implications of advanced AI. In all candidates, we seek high general aptitude, self-direction, and interest in improving one’s work. Summer and Winter Fellowships are highly selective, with an acceptance rate of around 5% in previous years. When assessing candidates we will primarily consider the following criteria:
Relevant expertise: Skills or knowledge that are likely to be helpful for work on AI governance. We recognise that relevant expertise can take many different forms. We also consider evidence that a candidate will be able to develop expertise over time.
Quality of work: The ability to produce clearly written, insightful, and even-handed research.
Judgement: Good intuitions regarding the importance and feasibility of different research directions.
Team Fit: Openness to feedback, commitment to intellectual honesty and rigour, and comfort expressing uncertainty.
Career Fit: Serious interest in using one’s career to contribute to AI governance.
Given the multidisciplinary nature of our work, we are interested in candidates from a broad set of disciplines including political science, public policy, history, economics, sociology, law, philosophy, and computer science. Fellows most often hold a Master’s, or a PhD, but we will also consider candidates with a BA/BSc and/or relevant work experience.