Effective Altruism Fellowship

Hosted by EA Helsinki, Spring 2021

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About the fellowship:

How can we do the most good? The Fellowship is an intensive and rewarding 8-week programme for university students and other people interested in improving the world. The fellowship is an introduction to the principles of effective altruism. The weekly readings are followed by a group discussion. They make an excellent opportunity to deeply engage with ideas & strategies for effectively improving the world with the resources and meet with like-minded people.

Fellows will combine the head and the heart, as they apply rigor & rationality to questions regarding morality & altruism. We are looking for students who will not be content with doing some good, and instead have the ambition and drive to do the most good they can.

Link to the application form on the top of the page ↑


The curriculum is developed by the Centre for Effective Altruism and has been trialed with multiple groups.

The Effectiveness Mindset

Week 1

This week we’ll investigate what opportunities to do good we have available to us, come to terms with the tradeoffs we face in our altruistic efforts and explore tools that can help us find unusually high impact opportunities.

Differences in Impact

Week 2

We focus on giving you tools to quantify and evaluate how much good an intervention can achieve; introduce expected value reasoning; and investigate differences in expected cost-effectiveness between interventions.

Expanding Our Compassion

Week 3

This week focuses on your own values and the practical implications that these views have. During Week 3 we explore who our moral consideration should expand to, with a particular focus on farmed animals as a case example.


Week 4

This week we’ll explore a different approach to finding high-impact interventions - ‘longtermism’ - which attempts to find interventions that beneficially influence the long-run course of humanity.

Existential Risk

Week 5

This week we’ll cover the definition of an existential risk; examine why existential risks might be a moral priority; and explore why existential risks are so neglected by society.

Emerging Technologies

Week 6

During this week, we’ll explore a few technological trends which might have relevance for existential risk. We aim to cover two key emerging technologies that might be less well known - transformative artificial intelligence and advances in biotechnology.

Increasing the Accuracy of our Judgements

Week 7

This week focuses on a range of different tools that we might be able to use to increase our good judgment and ability to forecast well

Putting it into Practice

Week 8

One of the main ways in which we can affect the world for the better is through our careers. This week we help you apply the principles of effective altruism to your own life and also critically reflect back on the rest of the fellowship.


Who is this fellowship for?

We especially encourage students at the University of Helsinki and Aalto University to apply to be a fellow, but people with other backgrounds are also welcome. 


In order to get the most out of this program, Effective Altruism Fellows will be:

- Willing and able to commit ~3-4 hours per week during the whole 8-week fellowship
- Passionate about helping others
- Driven to do as much good as they can
- Open-minded and flexible, eager to update their beliefs in response to persuasive evidence


We are committed to building a diverse cohort of Fellows. There is some evidence suggesting that underprivileged individuals tend to underestimate their abilities. We do not want the application process to dissuade potential candidates and we strongly encourage interested students to apply regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, etc. We also encourage both undergraduate, graduate and professional students, as well as individuals from all intellectual backgrounds and majors to apply. 

The application process

Round 1: Fill out the application form. We will let you know, whether you will proceed to Round 2.


Round 2: Complete a short reading, and attend an interview with a member of our leadership team in which you will discuss your thoughts on the assigned reading.


The interviews will take place on Feb 25-28. We will let you know by March 3 whether you have been accepted to the Fellowship program. 
Accepted fellows will meet for the first time during the week starting March 12 .

Don t forget to apply on time! We look forward to reading your application!

What is Effective Altruism?

Effective altruism is about finding out how we can use our resources to help others the most.


Effective Altruism Helsinki is a welcoming local community dedicated to inspiring and supporting one another to achieve altruistic goals. We organize monthly meetups, as well as occasional workshops and discussion groups. 


Visit https://www.effectivealtruism.org/ to learn more. 

What does the fellowship consist of?

Every week you will have reading to do and a 90 min discussion session. Outside of that, we will organise (virtual) social events where you can get to know other people. We also encourage you to have 1-1 with a facilitator where you can discuss any questions that you might have. 

How good English skills do I need?

All the readings are in English, so it’s good if you are used to reading in English. However, you don’t need to be a native English speaker, neither are we. Most of our facilitators are students who also speak Finnish, so there is the possibility to run Finnish (or even Swedish) discussion groups too. Anyway, we encourage you to have an open mindset. This could also be a good opportunity to improve your English skills, as you learn and talk with others about interesting topics!


The application period ends: 21 Feb 2021

Extended application period until 24 Feb

Interviews: 25-28 Feb

The fellowship starts on 12 March and lasts 8 weeks. 
(The weekly meetups for each discussion group will be decided later)

Contact us

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to  helsinki@altruismi.fi