We're helping philanthropists achieve results.
The HUEA SG Philanthropy Advisory Fellowship is a program run by the Harvard University Effective Altruism Student Group to provide research and advice to philanthropists on how they can best improve the world with their charitable giving.
Philanthropy Advisory Fellows are accomplished, bright, and knowledgeable Harvard graduate students who are highly motivated to make the world a better place. We place Fellows on well-rounded cross-disciplinary team from across the Harvard graduate schools. Some Fellows work on projects advising our clients (large Foundations), while others work on important areas of research for the broader Effective Altruism community, which helps guide our future projects.
The program seeks to advise foundations and high-net-worth individuals who have a strong desire to maximize the impact of their philanthropic dollars. We only have capacity to take on 3-4 projects per semester, so not all donors are accepted. We are looking for donors who are open to a wide variety of causes and/or locations to support. To demonstrate commitment to the project, we ask all donors to either A) commit >$150,000 to our team's recommendations, or B) pay a $3,000 fee to cover the costs of our project and stipends.
Career Advancement Program
Part of our mission is to prepare our Fellows for high-impact careers in the philanthropy sector. The top-performing Fellows in the program can expect introductions to our Career Advancement Program partners for career guidance, networking, and informational interview. The following organizations are our Career Advancement Program partners:
Faculty Advisory Board
Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University
Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The Atlantic, and is the author of ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and most recently, The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
I. Glenn Cohen
Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics at Harvard Law School
Prof. Cohen is one of the world's leading experts on the intersection of bioethics (sometimes also called "medical ethics") and the law, as well as health law. He also teaches civil procedure. From Seoul to Krakow to Vancouver, Professor Cohen has spoken at legal, medical, and industry conferences around the world and his work has appeared in or been covered on PBS, NPR, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Mother Jones, the New York Times, the New Republic, the Boston Globe, and several other media venues.
Associate Professor of Global Health and Population
at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Dr. Eyal was the Harold T. Shapiro Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioethics at the Center for Human Values of Princeton University, and previously, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Clinical Bioethics of the National Institutes of Health. He holds a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University. Dr. Eyal writes on a broad range of topics in population-level and clinical bioethics. Eyal is an associate editor for two journals and co-editor of the Oxford University Press series Population-Level Bioethics. He chairs the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Philosophy and Medicine.
Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
The Grad laboratory studies how pathogens evolve and spread through populations with the motivation of improving clinical and public health strategies for decreasing the burden of disease. To date, their efforts have focused on several pathogens, including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, respiratory syncytial virus, and E. coli. They aim to use a variety of methods, including genomics, epidemiological tools, and microbiology to define the dynamics of spread and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic diversity of the pathogens.
Max H. Bazerman
Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School & Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Max Bazerman's research focuses on decision making, negotiation, and ethics. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of twenty books, including The Power of Noticing and Blind Spots (with Ann Tenbrunsel), as well as over 200 research articles and chapters. He is a member of the editorial boards of the American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Management and Governance, Mind and Society, Negotiations and Conflict Management Research, Psychological and Personality Science, and The Journal of Behavioral Finance.
The Fellowship teams meet with their donor over Skype or in-person early in the semester (October/February) to understand the donor’s personal goals and interests, and to propose avenues of research. The Fellows then begin their search for high opportunity causes and effective charities through a combination of team brainstorming meetings, internet searches, library research, consultations with Harvard professors and independent experts, qualitative and quantitative impact estimation techniques, and discussions with individual non-profits. The Fellows are expected to work 4 hours per week on the project, but that varies throughout the semester depending on classwork and project deliverables. Each team is assigned a Team Leader, usually someone who has previously participated in PAF, who takes charge of assigning responsibilities within the team and ensuring accountability. The team delivers a midterm project update presentation to their donor one month into the project (November/March), which covers the work they've accomplished so far, their assessment of the cause areas they’ve looked into, and a list of potential charities to recommend. The donor’s feedback on this report guides the rest of the team’s work on the project. The team submits their complete 10-page research report (with executive summary, exhibits/charts, and bibliography) or Powerpoint presentation by January/June. They then schedule a time with their donor to present and discuss their recommendations. The schedule differs slightly for each project.
Examples of Previous Projects
Effective Altruism is a philosophical framework and movement that promotes the idea of doing the most one possibly can to improve the world with the resources, skills, and time that one has. We use careful, rational analysis to avoid emotional and cognitive biases in decision-making. We share a desire to help people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and nationality. We seek to address issues of great impact for society, prioritizing those which are tractable and have cost-effective interventions. For more information, see the Centre for Effective Altruism at Oxford.