2022 Summer Research Fellowship

The Happier Lives Institute conducts research into the most cost-effective, evidence-based ways to increase happiness. We then share what we’ve found with donors and decision-makers so they can take action. 

Fellowship details

Fellows will be paid $500 a week ($3,500 in total) for the seven-week fellowship period.

The fellowship is fully remote and you can choose your own work hours (outside of scheduled calls).  There are no geographic or work visa limitations.

Fellows will spend most of their time working independently but will be supported with:

  • weekly calls with a supervising member of HLI’s research team
  • weekly 1-1s with other fellows
  • access to the HLI Slack community

What you’ll do for the fellowship:

  • A virtual presentation and Q&A with the HLI team and other fellows
  • Produce a final report including your data, any calculations, final conclusions, and recommendations for next steps.

The best reports may be published on our website (for example, see Matthew Coleman’s report on affective forecasting).

Special requests

We can be flexible about the start and end dates of the fellowship and/or the number of hours to be worked each week if you have other commitments that will prevent you from participating fully. However, you will need to commit to 200+ hours of work within a 12-week period. While we will do our best to accommodate special requests, this is not guaranteed.

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for people who are studying for an undergraduate, masters, or doctoral degree in a relevant discipline such as economics, philosophy, or psychology. Recent graduates and early-career professionals are also welcome to apply. We welcome applications from people outside academia too, particularly those who are looking to test their fit in a research role. We especially encourage people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

You can read more about our 2021 fellows here.

Choosing a project

We strongly encourage you to work on one of the suggested topics listed below as we believe that making progress on these questions will be particularly impactful. We provide more detail on each topic here.

Empirical topics

  • Linearity, neutrality, and comparability in survey responses to subjective wellbeing questions
  • What can individuals and the state each do to improve people’s wellbeing, and how do these inform our global prioritisation?
  • How promising are psychedelic-assisted mental health treatments?

Theoretical topics

  • Using subjective wellbeing to inform longtermism
  • How do we do worldview diversification?

You can also submit your own project proposal as long as it fits within the scope of our research agenda and matches your interests and experience. We’re particularly keen to hear from people who have expertise in a relevant area and/or a promising angle we haven’t considered yet.  ​

How to apply

Applications for the 2022 Fellowship are now closed.

​The strongest candidates will be asked to complete a short work task related to their chosen project. The authors of the best submissions will be invited to a short interview and final offers will be made before the end of April.

If you have any additional questions that are not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at hello@happierlivesinstitute.org.

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