Some examples of policy stuff RSPers have done:
Advising governments directly (including the Czech and UK governments on their COVID-19 response, the Mexican government on its national AI strategy)
Networking with relevant government individuals, think tanks etc
Attending relevant conferences, like the Biological Weapons Convention
Writing papers, written submissions and reports on various policy issues
Some examples of community building related stuff RSPers have done:
Co-running programmes like the European Summer Program in Rationality (ESPR), FHI’s Summer Research Fellowship, the Human-aligned AI Summer School, and the Epistea Summer Experiment
Various kinds of advising calls, including lots via EAG/EAGx
I think it can be a good fit for either of those groups. Currently most people are more in the academic work category, but we have a few RSPers who are working on more policy engagement style work, and having a fair bit of success.
It’s also worth pointing out that plenty of RSPers don’t fall neatly into either camp:
Policy people sometimes do academic style things and vice versa
Lots of RSPers are exploring and haven’t yet narrowed down to ‘I am definitely going to optimise for policy engagement/some other style of work’
There are other buckets of activities that RSPers do: software development, teaching and mentorship, community building
Impressiveness: good question, but feels hard to express without going into lots of detail, so I’m going to pass.
Acceptance rate: 9/~150, then 10 out of ~250. We’re planning to take 8 in this round. The summer fellowship was 27/~300.
Some support options, briefly:
Talking with Owen, the programme director
Talking with me or other future project managers on the programme
FHI provides opportunities for coaching and other external support
We have various structures that aim to help people with this, like 6-week project cycles, a major project in the second year, a quarterly review process and an advisory board...
For the project cycles and major projects scholars would by default have something like a project supervisor
Apologies for the brief response, writing in haste!
Thanks for this! I agree that a lot of the value of RSP won’t become obvious until after the programme (and also want to flag that as our first cohort is only finishing this autumn, it’s still quite uncertain how large this value will be).
At this stage, the best information we have on how things will shape up for scholars after the programme is what our first cohort have lined up to do immediately after the programme—see here.
Strong agree, thanks for pointing this out Ollie