Summer and Winter Fellowships

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. We are looking for candidates who are strongly considering using their careers to study or shape the long-term implications of AI.

The applications for the 2023 Winter Fellowship are now closed.

About the Team

GovAI’s mission is to help humanity navigate the transition to a world with advanced AI. Our world-class research has helped shape the nascent field of AI governance. Our team and affiliate community possess expertise in a wide variety of domains, including US-China relations, arms race dynamics, EU policy, and AI progress forecasting.

We are looking for early-career individuals to join our team for three months and learn about the field of AI governance while making connections with other researchers and practitioners. This opportunity will be a particularly good fit for individuals who are excited to use their careers to shape the long-term implications of AI,

About the Fellowship

Summer and Winter Fellows join GovAI to conduct independent research on a topic of their choice, with mentorship from leading experts in the field of AI governance. Fellows will also join a series of Q&A sessions with AI governance experts, research seminars, and researcher work-in-progress meetings. Each Fellow will be paired with a primary mentor from the GovAI team and a secondary mentor from our affiliate and alumni network, with relevant interests and expertise.

Our current cohort of Summer Fellows are working on topics including: 

  • The evolution of industry-led governance ecosystems for safety-critical technologies
  • Windows of opportunity for influencing the future of compute governance
  • Mapping possible institution designs for evaluating truthful AIs
  • Value erosion as a source of existential risk
  • Lessons from state involvement in developing GPTs for military use
  • How the UK should approach automated surveillance technologies
  • State Bargaining over transformative technologies
  • The short- and long-run effects of a semiconductor supply-side shock on AI progress

Past Fellows have gone on to work on AI governance full-time at organisations including GovAI, OpenAI, the AI Now Institute, and Open Philanthropy. Others have gone on to build relevant expertise at leading universities such as MIT, Stanford University, University College London, and the University of Oxford.

2022 Summer Fellowship Cohort

As a Fellow, you will spend the first few weeks of the fellowship exploring the research space, before settling on a research proposal with input from your mentors and Ben, GovAI’s Director. You can read our research agenda for a non-comprehensive overview of relevant research areas and project ideas.

Emma, GovAI’s Research Manager, will support you in deciding what project and output will be most valuable for you to work towards, for example, publishing a report, journal article, or blog post. You will also take time to explore the wider AI governance space and discuss follow on career opportunities in the field of AI governance with Sam, GovAI’s Head of Strategy. 

Qualifications and Selection Criteria

We strongly encourage you to apply if you have an interest in our work and are considering using your career to study or shape the long-term implications of advanced AI.

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. There are no specific educational requirements for the role, although we expect that the most promising candidates will typically have relevant graduate study or research experience in related areas.

When assessing applications we will consider the following criteria:

Relevant expertise: Skills or knowledge that are likely to be helpful for work on AI governance. We think that relevant expertise can take many different forms and will 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. We are particularly excited about strong reasoning ability and clear and concise writing.

Judgement: The ability to prioritize between different research directions, and good intuitions about the feasibility of different research directions.

Team Fit: Openness to feedback, commitment to intellectual honesty and rigour, comfort in expressing uncertainty, and a serious interest in using your career to contribute to AI governance.

Salary, duration, and location

Summer and Winter Fellowships are for three months, and Fellows will receive a £10,000 stipend. This is intended to be a full-time and in-person role, based in Oxford, UK. However, we will also consider exceptional candidates who are only able to join for a shorter length of time or engage in part-time or remote work. We are able to sponsor Skilled Worker Visas.

Winter Fellows will join for three months, between January and April. Summer Fellows will join for three months, between June and September. In exceptional cases, fellows may join us off-season. Please feel free to reach out if you would not be able to join during a standard visiting period.

How to apply and what to expect

The applications for the 2023 Winter Fellowship are now closed.

The application process consists of a written submission in the first round, a remote work test in the second round, and an interview in the final round. The first page of the application form contains a description of the materials required for the first round. We expect to reach out to Winter Fellowship candidates for paid work tests and interviews in August and expect to communicate final decisions to candidates by mid-September 2022. Please feel free to reach out if you would need a decision communicated earlier than the standard timeline, or have questions about the application process.

Summer Fellowship applications are currently closed however applications will open later this year and the application deadline for the Summer Fellowship 2023 will be in January 2023. We expect to reach out to Summer Fellowship candidates for work tests and interviews in January and expect to communicate final decisions to candidates by mid-February 2023.  To receive a notification when Summer Fellowship applications open, sign up to our mailing list.

We accept applications from anywhere in the world. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion, and we encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. We especially encourage applications from women, gender minorities, and people of colour who are excited about contributing to our mission. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Further reading