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’s policy team aims to develop concrete recommendations for what influential public and private actors (e.g. regulatory agencies and private labs) should do today to put the world in a better position to engage with future risks and benefits from advanced AI systems. In addition to research, the team engages in advising and public communication. The team works collaboratively and has a current focus on frontier AI regulation, compute governance, external scrutiny of frontier models, and corporate governance for AI labs.
About the Role
Research Scholar (Policy Track) is a one-year visiting position for policy-focused researchers and policymakers who hope to positively influence the lasting impact of artificial intelligence.
As a Research Scholar, you will conduct research into the actions that influential decision makers – both in government and industry – might take to prepare for a world with advanced AI. You will deepen your understanding of the field and connect and collaborate with a network of experts within an institutional home that offers both flexibility and support for your research. You may also have the opportunity to advise external stakeholders and communicate publicly.
Our expectation is that the majority of your research time will be dedicated to policy development and advising. You will also have the freedom to spend time learning or participating in other relevant projects.
You will receive supervision from Markus Anderljung, GovAI's Head of Policy; Jonas Schuett, who leads our corporate governance work; and/or Lennart Heim, who leads our compute governance work. You will have weekly check-in meetings with your supervisor and with the rest of the policy team, be in frequent contact about collaborative projects, and receive further support from Emma Bluemke, GovAI's Research Manager. You’ll also engage with the rest of GovAI during retreats and work-in-progress sessions, for example. You can learn about GovAI’s team here and browse our research here.
We are also hiring for a General Track version of the role, which might be of interest to applicants who have a stronger interest in exploration, self-directed work, or research with more indirect policy relevance. Please note that the round-one application form for both tracks is the same, and applicants can choose to be considered for either or both tracks within the form.
Qualifications and Selection Criteria
We are open to hiring candidates with a wide range of research interests and intellectual backgrounds. We have previously hired or hosted researchers with backgrounds in political science, computer science, public policy, economics, history, philosophy, and law. We are particularly interested in hosting more researchers with strong technical backgrounds.
You might be a particularly good fit if you have:
- A strong interest in using your career to positively influence the lasting impact of artificial intelligence, in line with our organisation’s mission
- Demonstrated ability or potential to produce excellent research (ability might be demonstrated by academic publications or by non-academic work such as blog posts)
- A commitment to intellectual honesty and rigour
- Excellent communication and collaboration skills
- Self-direction, proactivity, and a desire to have a positive social impact
- Receptiveness to feedback and commitment to self-improvement
- Some familiarity with the field of AI governance
- Some expertise in a domain that is relevant to AI policy
There are no educational requirements for the role. However, we expect that the most promising candidates will typically have policy experience or relevant graduate study.
Salary, Location, and Duration
Contracts will be for a fixed 12-month term. Although renewal is not an option for these roles, Research Scholars may apply for Research Fellow positions once their contract ends.
Research Scholars on the policy track are encouraged to work from either our office in Oxford or from San Francisco, where our Head of Policy is based. However, we are happy to accept applications from candidates who are only able to work remotely. We are able to sponsor visas in the UK and the US.
Depending on their experience, we expect that successful candidates’ annual compensation will typically fall between £55,000 and £65,000 if based in Oxford, UK. If a Research Scholar resides predominantly in a city with a higher cost of living, their salary will be adjusted to account for the difference. As reference points, a Research Scholar with three years of relevant postgraduate experience would receive about £58,000 if based in Oxford and about $86,000 if based in San Francisco. In rare cases where salary considerations would prevent a candidate from accepting an offer, there may also be some flexibility in compensation.
Benefits associated with the role include health, dental, and vision insurance, a £5,000 annual wellbeing budget, a £1,500 annual commuting budget, flexible work hours, extended parental leave, ergonomic equipment, a competitive pension contribution, and 25 days of paid vacation in addition to public holidays.
Please inquire with firstname.lastname@example.org if questions or concerns regarding compensation or benefits might affect your decision to apply.
How to Apply and What to Expect
The application process consists of a written submission in the first round, a paid remote work test in the second round, and a final interview round. The interview round usually consists of one interview but might involve additional interviews in some cases. The application form contains a description of the materials required for the first round.
Please feel free to reach out to email@example.com if you would need a decision communicated by a particular date or if you have questions about the application process. If you have questions about the role, the policy team, or whether you should apply, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Fellow positions right now as well. These are non-visiting positions, intended for AI governance researchers who are interested in designing and executing a research agenda over two or more years. If you think that the Research Fellow position would be a better fit for you, see here for more information.