Post-intro fellowship: guide to running and planning

Post-intro fellowship: guide to running and planning

Last updated: 4th October, 2023. We plan to update this page further in the coming months.

1. Aims of this page

This page aims to highlight some key considerations for when you’re considering what to run after an intro-fellowship with those members that want to continue learning and growing their understanding of EA concepts. Given that this can sometimes be a tricky decision to make, we highly recommend you reading the other pages mentioned below; they give important context which will help you make an informed decision!

2. Theory of change for post-intro fellowship development

We recommend that you firstly read the how do EA groups produce impact page before going on to read the rest of this. Once you have read this, we recommend reading the entirety of this page before following any further links.

To briefly reiterate, we think that the majority of the impact that comes from groups comes from talented, altruistic and truth-seeking individuals going into careers that have the potential to have a large positive impact in the world. When deciding how to run your group post-intro fellowship, we recommend keeping this in mind! A key question to consider is whether the activity you’re running is going to increase your members’ motivation or ability to go into one of these careers. See our post-intro fellowship: syllabi and programs for some ideas of things you could run in a formalised way once you’ve read this page.

Another important factor to consider is that much of the development of your members might occur by you putting them in touch with individuals and opportunities that can help them, as opposed to you directly assisting. Once they have completed an introductory fellowship, some great ways to continue their development are through EAG’s and EAGx’s as well as recurring internships and fellowships to look out for. Make sure you are up-to-date with relevant goings-on in the EA community too; this ensures you can share relevant new opportunities with your members. Go to things we recommend you sign up to for this!

3. Ensuring that you and other organisers are still developing

A mistake we see lots of organisers make in running their groups is only developing their members and completely forgetting about their own development. As we stated in the how do EA groups produce impact page, we think that a large amount of the good that comes from groups is from the organisers themselves. We recommend you spend at least 20% of your ‘organising’ time learning about EA cause areas.

One way to do this is to ensure that whatever you decide to run post-intro fellowship also helps you develop. For example, if you have been wanting to learn more about biosecurity and GCBR’s, completing BlueDot Impact’s Biosecurity Fundamentals with your group could be appropriate if you also have members wanting to do it. We also recommend you applying to do these courses yourself when organisations like BlueDot Impact are running facilitated sessions.

For further reading on this topic, we recommend looking at this forum post by Emma Williamson. It talks about the dangers of *community building only to make more community builders*. In other words, there can be a trap of trying to get lots of people to have a very basic understanding of EA, when actually it could be more impactful to focus on a slightly smaller group, and help them develop lots. See our how do EA groups produce impact page for more information on this.

4. Buildings friendships while building skills

It is definitely important to make sure that whatever you’re running post-intro fellowship helps your group members develop their skills and knowledge, but we also think it’s important to create a friendly and fun social setting where people feel comfortable sharing personal ideas or questions. Healthy EA communities are important for nearly everything we care about, and are particularly good at creating fun and motivating ways to engage with high-impact work.

5. What program is right for you?

The best program to run for your members after they have completed an intro fellowship will depend on lots of different factors, and will be different for different university groups. On the post-intro fellowship: syllabi and programs page you can see pros and cons of each program and decide if it’s appropriate for you. Some key considerations:

  • Is the program something that your members are interested in and excited to take part in? Ensuring that there is high motivation is key to attendance and serious engagement.
  • Is the program something that your organiser has experience/knowledge in? If it isn’t, this may be okay, but remember that in discussions it’s often useful to have a facilitator that can provide context and perspective.

If you were in the ‘Big-Picture Strategy’ section, see below for your previous and next pages:

If you were in the ‘Fellowships/Programs You Can Run’ section, see below for your previous and next pages: