Research Fellows

We are looking to hire one or more Research Fellows. We are interested in candidates from a range of disciplines who have a demonstrated ability to produce excellent research and who care deeply about the lasting impacts of AI. The role would offer significant research freedom, access to a broad network of experts, and opportunities for collaboration.

Applications for Research Fellow positions are now closed.


About the Team

GovAI was founded to help humanity navigate the transition to a world with advanced AI. Our first research agenda, published in 2018, helped define and shape the nascent field of AI governance. Our team and affiliate community possess expertise in a wide variety of domains, including AI regulation, responsible development practices, compute governance, AI-lab corporate governance, US-China relations, and AI progress forecasting.

GovAI researchers have advised decision makers in government, industry, and civil society. Most recently, our researchers have played a substantial role in informing the UK government’s approach to AI regulation. Our researchers have also published in top peer-reviewed journals and conferences, including International Organization, NeurIPS, and Science. Our alumni have gone on to roles in government; top AI labs, including DeepMind, OpenAI, and Anthropic; top think tanks, including the Centre for Security and Emerging Technology and RAND; and top universities, including the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

GovAI also runs a range of programmes – including our Summer/Winter Fellowship Programme and our Research Scholar Programme – to support the career development of promising AI governance researchers. We are committed to both producing impactful research and strengthening the broader AI governance community.

About the Role

Research Fellows will conduct research into open and important questions that bear on AI governance. We are interested in candidates from a range of disciplines who have a demonstrated ability to produce excellent research and who care deeply about the lasting impacts of AI, in line with our mission. The role would offer significant research freedom, access to a broad network of experts, and opportunities for collaboration.

Research Fellows are expected to set their own impact-focused research agenda, with guidance from other members of the team; they are also expected to offer supervision and mentorship to junior researchers, such as our Summer and Winter Fellows, and to participate in seminars. However, Research Fellows will dedicate the substantial majority of their time to research projects of their own choosing. They will be encouraged to collaborate and co-author with other members of our community but may also focus on solo projects if they choose. 

We are committed to supporting the work of Research Fellows by offering research freedom, expert guidance, funding for projects, productivity tools, limited obligations on one’s time, access to a broad network of experts and potential collaborators, and opportunities to communicate one’s research to policymakers and other audiences.

For promising researchers who lack sufficient experience, we may consider instead offering one-year visiting “Research Scholar” positions.

Qualifications and Selection Criteria

We are open to candidates with a wide range of research interests and intellectual backgrounds. We have previously hired or hosted researchers with backgrounds in computer science, public policy, political science, economics, history, philosophy, and law. 

You might be a particularly good fit if you have:‍

  • Demonstrated ability to produce excellent research
  • Deep interest in the lasting implications of artificial intelligence, in line with our organisation’s mission
  • Established expertise in a domain with significant AI governance relevance
  • Self-directedness and desire for impact
  • Commitment to intellectual honesty and rigour
  • Good judgement regarding the promise and importance of different research directions
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
  • Proactivity and commitment to professional growth
  • Strong interest in mentorship
  • Broad familiarity with the field of AI governance

There are no specific educational requirements for the role, although we expect that the most promising candidates will typically possess several years of relevant research or policy experience.

Salary, Location, and Duration

Contracts are full-time and have a fixed two-year term, with the possibility of renewal.

We prefer for Research Fellows to work primarily from our office in Oxford, UK. However, we also consider applications from strong candidates who are only able to work remotely. We are able to sponsor visas in the UK and the US.

Research Fellows will be compensated in line with our salary principles. Depending on their experience, we expect that successful candidates’ annual compensation will typically fall between £60,000 and £80,000 if based in Oxford, UK. In cases where a Research Fellow resides predominantly in a city with a higher cost of living, this salary will be adjusted to account for the difference. In exceptional cases, there may be some flexibility in compensation. 

Benefits associated with the role include a £5,000 annual wellbeing budget; a £1,500 annual commuting budget; a budget for any necessary purchases of books or work equipment; private health, dental, and vision insurance; a 10% employer pension contribution; and 25 days of paid vacation in addition to public holidays.

Please inquire through contact@governance.ai if questions or concerns regarding compensation or benefits might affect your decision to apply.

How to Apply and What to Expect

The first stage of the process involves filling in an application form. (The front page of the form lists the required material, which includes a 2–5-page explanation of what you might work on as a Research Fellow.) The second round involves completing a paid remote work test. Candidates who pass through the second round should expect to participate in a set of interviews and may also be asked to produce additional written material. Please feel free to reach out to contact@governance.ai if you would need a decision communicated by a particular date or if you have questions about the application process.

We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion, and we encourage individuals with underrepresented perspectives and backgrounds to apply. We especially encourage applications from women, gender minorities, people of colour, and people from regions other than North America and Western Europe who are excited about contributing to our mission. We are an equal opportunity employer.

We would also like to highlight that we are inviting applications to Research Scholar positions (general track or policy track) right now. These are one-year visiting positions intended to support the career development of researchers who hope to positively influence the lasting impact of artificial intelligence.

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