Published 25th September 2019, updated 3rd July 2020
Image: Harvard Arete Fellowship
EA fellowships usually meet multiple times to teach a small group of admitted fellows about some aspect of effective altruism.
Introductory EA Fellowships involve a group of fellows (usually undergraduate students) attending a weekly series of structured group discussions and other activities, allowing newcomers to get a high-fidelity introduction to EA. These have proved to be excellent recruitment tools for university groups, and some uni groups have chosen to launch their group with an intro fellowship before later introducing other club activities.
Fellowships can have more consistent attendance than regular clubs, but they typically need a strong initial advertisement period to reach a suitably large applicant pool.
A fellowship might be a good fit for your group if your group organisers:
- Are confident at public speaking and facilitating discussions
- Have plenty of time to plan and execute the fellowship
- Have good organisational skills
- Are very familiar with EA
Fellowships are usually advertised as prestigious and selective. They often expect a high level of commitment from participants, which participants will expect to be reflected in the effort put in by organisers. Therefore, it is important that you only commit to running a fellowship if you are confident you can organise it reliably well throughout its duration.
Introductory EA Fellowship
Different groups use different formats. Here are three options. * Approximately 15 people are invited from a pool of applicants to attend weekly discussions. Each fellow is also invited to have a one-on-one meeting with the facilitator. Yale EA is using this model. * Many applicants are accepted, and the group is broken into small groups of 5-6 fellows with each group assigned to a facilitator. EA Brown is using this model. * The fellowship is run through a series of regular one-on-one meetings (or one-on-two meetings). This requires more time from the facilitators, but groups using this model report that the 1-1 dynamic can feel more supportive and warm than a large group discussion, and the program can be tailored to the individuals involved. EA St Andrews and Stanford EA use this model.
The most popular EA fellowship is the Arete Fellowship, which was first designed by Harvard EA and later replicated in a number of other universities. This fellowship aims to provide a complete education in EA concepts for newcomers.
This Google Drive folder maintained by Harvard EA includes all necessary materials to run an Arete Fellowship. Start with the Arete Fellowship Guide, which explains how the fellowship works and gives advice on how to make it successful. If you organise a similar fellowship, you can make copies of Harvard’s resources and modify them to suit your own group.
This post on the EA Forum describes the experience Harvard EA has had with running the fellowship.
Stephen Casper (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Harvard EA can give you advice if you are interested in running a similar fellowship.
Yale EA Fellowship
Yale runs a similar fellowship to Arete, but with a larger global health and poverty component.
This post on the EA Forum is a detailed guide describing how Yale ran their 2018 fellowship, including links to all relevant resources. They have since updated their reading list for 2020. Jessica McCurdy (email@example.com) from Yale EA can give you advice if you are interested in running a similar fellowship.
EA Brown Fellowship
EA Brown based their Summer fellowship off EA Oxford’s introductory fellowship.
Other Types of Fellowships
Some uni groups also run fellowships focussing on effective career paths. Some groups run advanced fellowships to level up the understanding of people who are already familiar with EA principles.
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