Curated vacancies
Biosecurity & pandemic preparedness

Plagues throughout history suggest the potential for biology to cause global catastrophe. This potential increases in step with the march of biotechnological progress. Global Catastrophic Biological Risks (GCBRs) may compose a significant share of all global catastrophic risk, and, if so, a credible threat to humankind.

Despite extensive existing efforts addressed to nearby fields like biodefense and public health, GCBRs remain a large challenge that is plausibly both neglected and tractable. The existing portfolio of work often overlooks risks of this magnitude, and largely does not focus on the mechanisms by which such disasters are most likely to arise.

Much remains unclear: the contours of the risk landscape, the best avenues for impact, and how people can best contribute. Despite these uncertainties, GCBRs are plausibly one of the most important challenges facing humankind, and work to reduce these risks is highly valuable.

To learn more about this area, see our problem profile and our podcast archive.

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If you have a good shot at getting any of these positions, we’d be keen to discuss your next career decision in-person. We’re in touch with most of the employers on this list, so we can sometimes provide introductions or information about roles that have not yet been advertised.

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You are viewing our curated list of the most promising publicly advertised vacancies we’re aware of. They’re all high-impact opportunities at organisations that are working on some of the world’s most pressing problems. These positions are demanding, but if you’re a good fit for one of them, it could be your best opportunity for impact.

These positions focus on the global problems where we expect additional work to have the biggest impact. This list is particularly focussed on opportunities to positively influence the long-term future, especially by reducing existential risks.

Work on other pressing problems

These positions focus on global problems that we consider to be among the most pressing. We expect additional work in these areas to be highly valuable, but it seems less likely to reduce existential risks or influence the long-term future.

Organisations we recommend

We think getting a job at one of these organisations is a promising route to working on some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Our top priority areas:

AI labs in industry that have technical safety teams, or are focused entirely on safety:

Conceptual AI safety labs:

AI safety in academia:

  • AI Impacts works on forecasting progress in machine intelligence and predicting its likely impacts. See current vacancies.
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science offers Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, which provide hands-on opportunities to apply scientific knowledge and technical skills to important societal challenges. Fellows are assigned for one year to a selected area of the United States federal government, where they participate in policy development and implementation.
  • The Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University produces data-driven research at the intersection of security and technology (including AI, advanced computing, and biotechnology) and provides nonpartisan analysis to the policy community. See current vacancies.
  • The Centre for the Governance of AI is focused on building a global research community that’s dedicated to helping humanity navigate the transition to a world with advanced AI. See current vacancies.
  • The Centre for Long-Term Resilience facilitates access to the expertise of leading academics who work on long-term global challenges, such as AI, biosecurity, and risk management policy. It helps convert cutting-edge research into actionable recommendations that are grounded in the UK context.
  • DeepMind is probably the largest research group developing general machine intelligence in the Western world. We’re only confident about recommending DeepMind roles working specifically on safety, ethics, policy, and security issues. See current vacancies.
  • Epoch is a team of researchers investigating and forecasting the future development of advanced AI. See current vacancies.
  • The Future of Humanity Institute is a multidisciplinary research institute at the University of Oxford. Academics at FHI bring the tools of mathematics, philosophy, and social sciences to bear on big-picture questions about humanity and its prospects.
  • The Legal Priorities Project is an independent, global research project founded by researchers from Harvard University. It conducts legal research that tackles the world’s most pressing problems, influenced by the principles of effective altruism and longtermism. See current vacancies.
  • OpenAI is an established AI lab attempting to build safe artificial general intelligence. We’re only confident in recommending opportunities in their policy, safety, and security teams. See current vacancies.
  • United States Congress (for example, as a congressional staffer).
  • The United States Office of Science and Technology Policy works to maximise the benefits of science and technology to advance health, prosperity, security, environmental quality, and justice for all Americans.
  • The Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative provides free services and support to university research groups working to reduce existential risk. See current vacancies. 80,000 Hours has received funding from the Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative.
  • The Center on Long-term Risk addresses worst-case risks from the development and deployment of advanced AI systems. It is currently focused on conflict scenarios as well as technical and philosophical aspects of cooperation. Their work includes conducting interdisciplinary research, making and recommending grants, and building a community of professionals and other researchers around these priorities. See current vacancies.
  • The Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research aims to promote academic work that addresses the question of how to use our scarce resources to improve the world as much as possible, with a particular focus on influencing the very long-run future. See current vacancies.
  • Founders Pledge encourages entrepreneurs to make a legally binding commitment to donate at least 2% of their personal proceeds to charity when they sell their business. See current vacancies.
  • Future Fund is a foundation supporting ambitious projects to improve humanity’s long-term prospects. 80,000 Hours has received donations from Future Fund’s largest funder Sam Bankman-Fried.
  • The Gates Foundation is a nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. See current vacancies.
  • Giving What We Can is a community of effective givers. It provides the support, community, and information that donors need to do the most good with their charitable giving. See current vacancies.
  • Longview Philanthropy designs and executes custom giving strategies for major donors, with a focus on using evidence and reason to find the highest-impact opportunities to protect future generations. See current vacancies.
  • Open Philanthropy uses an approach inspired by effective altruism to identify high-impact giving opportunities across a wide range of problem areas, shares this research freely online, and uses it to advise top philanthropists on where to give. See current vacancies. Open Philanthropy is 80,000 Hours’ largest funder.
  • Rethink Priorities is a research organisation that conducts critical research to inform policymakers and major foundations about how to best help people and nonhuman animals in both the present and the long-term future — spanning everything from animal welfare to the threat of nuclear war. See current vacancies.

Wikipedia has a list of the wealthiest charitable foundations.

Other project ideas:

  • The Forethought Foundation for Global Priorities Research aims to promote academic work that addresses the question of how to use our scarce resources to improve the world as much as possible, with a particular focus on influencing the very long-run future. See current vacancies.
  • The Global Priorities Institute is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Oxford. It conducts foundational research that informs the decision-making of individuals and institutions seeking to do as much good as possible, using the tools of multiple academic disciplines (especially philosophy and economics) to explore the issues at stake. See current vacancies, or submit a general expression of interest.
  • Longview Philanthropy designs and executes custom giving strategies for major donors, with a focus on using evidence and reason to find the highest-impact opportunities to protect future generations. See current vacancies.
  • Open Philanthropy uses an approach inspired by effective altruism to identify high-impact giving opportunities across a wide range of problem areas, shares this research freely online, and uses it to advise top philanthropists on where to give. See current vacancies. Open Philanthropy is 80,000 Hours’ largest funder.
  • Rethink Priorities is a research organisation that conducts critical research to inform policymakers and major foundations about how to best help people and nonhuman animals in both the present and the long-term future — spanning everything from animal welfare to the threat of nuclear war. See current vacancies.
  • Alvea is a lab researching vaccines.
  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science offers Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, which provide hands-on opportunities to apply scientific knowledge and technical skills to important societal challenges. Fellows are assigned for one year to a selected area of the United States federal government, where they participate in policy development and implementation.
  • The Center for International Security and Cooperation is Stanford University’s hub for researchers tackling some of the world’s most pressing security and international cooperation issues. See current vacancies.
  • The Council on Strategic Risks is dedicated to anticipating, analysing, and addressing this century’s core systemic risks to security, with special examination of the ways in which these risks intersect and exacerbate one another.
  • The Future of Humanity Institute is a multidisciplinary research institute at the University of Oxford. Academics at FHI bring the tools of mathematics, philosophy, and social sciences to bear on big-picture questions about humanity and its prospects.
  • The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security explores how new policy approaches, scientific advances, and technological innovations can strengthen health security and save lives. See current vacancies.
  • The Nucleic Acid Observatory project aims to pioneer widespread, pathogen-agnostic, untargeted metagenomic sequencing of our environment to provide reliable early warning of all biological threats – including those we have never seen before. It is a project of Kevin Esvelt’s group at the MIT Media Lab (see below).
  • The Sabeti Lab at Harvard University uses computational methods and genomics to understand mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation in humans and pathogens. See current vacancies.
  • Kevin Esvelt’s Sculpting Evolution Group at the MIT Media Lab is a group of biotechnologists working to cultivate wisdom and guard against catastrophe via evolutionary and ecological engineering. Projects span from robotics and machine learning, to preventing catastrophic misuse of biotechnology, to working with wild populations and ecosystems.
  • The Secure DNA project is a global team of academic life scientists, cryptographers, and policy analysts working to develop an automated DNA screening system capable of secure and universal DNA synthesis, which will be freely available everywhere. See current vacancies.
  • The Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University produces data-driven research at the intersection of security and technology (including AI, advanced computing, and biotechnology) and provides nonpartisan analysis to the policy community. See current vacancies.
  • Concordia Consulting is currently focused on promoting the safe and responsible development of artificial intelligence. To do this, it advises and connects leaders from industry and academia in China, the United States, and Europe, drawing upon its deep cross-cultural expertise and an extensive network of advisers and collaborators.
  • The Council on Foreign Relations is an independent and nonpartisan membership organisation, think tank, and publisher dedicated to helping stakeholders and interested citizens better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. See current vacancies.
  • The Schwarzman Scholars programme is a one-year, fully-funded master’s programme at Tsinghua University in Beijing, designed to build a global community of future leaders who will deepen understanding between China and the rest of the world.
  • The Yenching Scholars programme at Peking University aims to build bridges between China and the rest of the world through an interdisciplinary master’s programme in China Studies.
  • The Decision Lab is a socially conscious applied research firm that is dedicated to empowering the world to make better decisions. See current vacancies.
  • Good Judgment was cofounded by Professor Philip Tetlock. This for-profit company maintains a global network of elite ‘superforecasters’ who collaborate to tackle clients’ forecasting questions with unparalleled accuracy.
  • Metaculus is a community dedicated to generating accurate predictions about future real-world events by aggregating the collective wisdom, insight, and intelligence of its participants. See current vacancies.
  • Open Philanthropy uses an approach inspired by effective altruism to identify high-impact giving opportunities across a wide range of problem areas, shares this research freely online, and uses it to advise top philanthropists on where to give. See current vacancies. Open Philanthropy is 80,000 Hours’ largest funder.
  • The Quantified Uncertainty Research Institute aims to advance forecasting and epistemics to improve the long-term future of humanity, which it does by conducting research and making software.

Other promising areas:

Advocacy for animals on factory farms:

Development of meat substitutes:

  • The Good Food Institute seeks out entrepreneurs and scientists to join or form start-ups focused on producing plant-based and cultured meat, and provides advice and lobbying to help them succeed. See current vacancies.
  • There are many organisations developing alternative proteins and meat substitutes such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. There are now so many roles in these organisations that we do not list them on this job board.

GiveWell’s top charities:

User guide & FAQ

80,000 Hours is a nonprofit that helps people pursue careers that effectively tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Our job board provides a curated list of the most promising publicly advertised vacancies we know about. We post roles that we believe are opportunities to either (and often both):

  1. Contribute to solving key global problems.
  2. Help people develop the career capital — skills, experience, knowledge, connections and credentials — to solve these problems in the future.

If you would like to talk to someone about how to prioritise these two factors when deciding on various career or role options, you can apply to speak with our team for free one-on-one.

We think that social impact is a bit like other areas such as business, finance, or the arts: to have an unusually large impact, you probably need to innovate in some way. This might mean coming up with a novel approach to a widely recognised problem, or it might mean deciding to work on problems that are currently neglected by society in general.

The question of which problems most warrant more attention right now partly depends on your moral philosophy. One idea that we take seriously is the moral significance of the way our actions affect future generations. Barring catastrophe, the vast majority of people who will ever live have yet to be born. This means that the value of passing on a better world — one that gives future generations a greater chance to lead flourishing lives — could be enormous.

This is part of the reason we are very concerned about the risk of existential catastrophes in this century. Such risks threaten the survival of humanity, and our ability to realise the potential of future generations.

Another key consideration is how society is currently allocating resources. If an important problem is already widely recognised, then it is likely that a lot of people are already trying to solve it. If that’s the case, then it will usually be harder for a few extra people working on the issue to have a very large impact. All else equal, you can likely do far more good in an area that is not getting the attention it deserves.

To learn more, see our key ideas page and our profiles of the world’s most pressing problems.

We include roles based on whether they have the potential to help someone contribute to solving one of our identified key problems and/or help people develop the career capital to work on these problems in the future.

We have a curation process where we:

  1. Source roles: We have a list of organisations whose vacancy pages we regularly check, and we also learn about roles from experts, the 80,000 Hours team, and external submissions.
  2. Review roles: We select roles based on our criteria outlined above:
    • For organisations and role types that we are familiar with, we will look at the details of the individual role for normally less than a minute.
    • For organisations we are less familiar with or a role we are unsure of, we will often take a longer look (and sometimes consult with outside experts or 80,000 Hours staff familiar with the area to help us decide whether we should include it).
  3. Publish roles: We add the roles that make it through the above process to the job board.

We try to list the best roles for our users that we can find, but evaluating organisations and roles is difficult and there are limits to the amount of time we can spend reviewing roles and/or the expertise we can draw on in an area.

See also: How should I think about roles that are listed or not listed on the board?

80,000 Hours’ career advice is based on 10 years of research alongside academics at Oxford. It is all available for free on our website. Some specific pieces we think may be helpful for people using the job board:

If you want to talk one-on-one with someone on the 80,000 Hours team about how you might have more impact with your career, you can apply here.

Some other places you might find useful to check include:

We’re working on updating this list with more options in the near future

A few types of impactful roles may be underrepresented on the job board. These are likely to be roles:

  • Working in problem areas where 80,000 Hours has less expertise
  • At new organisations we haven’t heard of yet.
  • At larger organisations where there are too many roles to review to pick out the most impactful ones.
  • That are based outside the US or UK. We list a fair amount of global remote roles but we are less able to source and vet non-English language vacancies.

The total number of roles we list in a given problem area fluctuates, and is not a sign of how important we think the cause area is.
If you think we are missing impactful areas or roles (especially within our identified problem areas), please let us know at [email protected].

The job board aims to bring promising opportunities to your attention. If a vacancy is listed on the job board, it means that we think it may be among the best opportunities for some of our readers to have a positive impact. If you are excited about a role you find on the board, we encourage you to investigate it and seriously consider applying.

That said, there is a good chance that your best option is actually a role that is not featured on the board. There are many reasons for this, some of which we described above about our limited capacity to source and vet all impactful opportunities at a given time. If you find a role that seems promising but is not listed on our job board, you should not infer that it is less promising than the roles that we do feature.

In short: if a vacancy is featured on the board, take this as a positive signal that it may be worth your consideration. If a vacancy is not featured on the board, you should take this as a neutral signal.

Sometimes we list roles more for their career capital — skills, experience, knowledge, connections and credentials — than for their direct impact. This includes many entry-level roles at large organisations.

Also it is often the case that promising smaller organisations first need to build a strong team in order to have a potentially large impact in the future.

Including a role on the job board doesn’t mean that we think the organisation or the role is necessarily having a positive impact in the world. In some cases, we may list roles because a great candidate could have a strong positive impact in the role or organisation.

Most powerful organisations cause some harm or are at least somewhat controversial. For example, few people agree with everything that Amazon, Facebook, or the US military have done. But large organisations like these have large influence on several of our recommended problem areas, so if you want to have a big impact, your best option might be to work at such an organisation — either to build career capital so you can have an impact later, or to have a direct impact by helping improve them from the inside.

Regrettably, some media and political narratives sometimes encourage us to categorise organisations as ‘good’ or ‘evil.’ In reality, people at large organisations like these are doing a huge range of things — some good, some bad, and some neutral.

It’s important to consider what you’ll be doing within the specific job you might take, and how you might be able to shape that role in a more positive direction. In general, you’ll probably have more impact by contributing to organisations whose track records have been positive overall (we list some reasons for this in our article on harmful jobs). But this may not always be the case, so you should not automatically rule out taking jobs at controversial or unpopular organisations.

More broadly, all actions — including all career decisions — involve a risk of harm, so you need to do your best to weigh the upsides and downsides of your different options. This is one reason why career decisions are morally and practically difficult. Our general advice is to avoid taking jobs you expect to cause serious harm, even if you think they could do a greater amount of good. It’s also important to think carefully about how to reduce the risk of accidentally causing harm.

If you think we are mistakenly promoting roles that are foreseeably causing serious harm, please tell us here.

We only list roles that we think are among the best opportunities according to our listing criteria. However, we realise that there will be some great opportunities out there that we are not aware of.

If there is a role you think we should be listing on the job board, please send the link (and supporting information if needed) to [email protected], and we will consider it for listing.

Yes. Our team of advisors are keen to speak to people who want to have an impactful career. If you are excited about roles on our job board, you may be a good fit to talk to an advisor (for free!).

We can’t speak to everyone who applies, but if you’re not sure about whether to apply for advising, we recommend that you do. It doesn’t take long and just filling out the form might help you think through your career. And if we’re not able to talk to you right now, you can always apply again in the future.

Learn more about speaking with the team at 80,000 Hours.

You can leave anonymous feedback here (though feel free to leave your contact email if you wish).

We are constantly looking to improve our listings and services for our users, and would love to hear what you have to say.