Standalone project: Impactful Research Scoping (temp. pause)

Nov. 2023 update: We have paused this process focus to emphasize our field specialist positions. We hope to come back to hiring researchers to implement these projects soon.

Proposed projects

We are planning to hire 3–7 researchers for a one-off paid project.

There are two opportunities: Contracted Research (CR) and Independent Projects (IP).

Project Outline

  • What specific research themes in economics, policy, and social science are most important for global priorities?

  • What projects and papers are most in need of further in-depth public evaluation, attention, and scrutiny?

  • Where does "Unjournal-style evaluation" have the potential to be one of the most impactful uses of time and money? By impactful, we mean in terms of some global conception of value (e.g., the well-being of living things, the survival of human values, etc.).

This is an initiative that aims to identify, summarize, and conduct an in-depth evaluation of the most impactful themes in economics, policy, and social science to answer the above questions. Through a systematic review of selected papers and potential follow-up with authors and evaluators, this project will enhance the visibility, understanding, and scrutiny of high-value research, fostering both rigorous and impactful scholarship.

Contracted Research (CR) This is the main opportunity, a unique chance to contribute to the identification and in-depth evaluation of impactful research themes in economics, policy, and social science. We’re looking for researchers and research users who can commit a (once-off) 15–20 hours. CR candidates will:

  • Summarize a research area or theme, its status, and why it may be relevant to global priorities (~4 hours).

    • We are looking for fairly narrow themes. Examples might include:

      • The impact of mental health therapy on well-being in low-income countries.

      • The impact of cage-free egg regulation on animal welfare.

      • Public attitudes towards AI safety regulation.

  • Identify a selection of papers in this area that might be high-value for UJ evaluation (~3 hours).

    • Choose at least four of these from among NBER/"top-10 working paper" series (or from work submitted to the UJ – we can share – or from work where the author has expressed interest to you).

  • For a single paper, or a small set of these papers (or projects) (~6 hours)

    • Read the paper fairly carefully and summarize it, explaining why it is particularly relevant.

    • Discuss one or more aspects of the paper that need further scrutiny or evaluation.

    • Identify 3 possible evaluators, and explain why they might be particularly relevant to evaluate this work. (Give a few sentences we could use in an email to these evaluators).

    • Possible follow-up task: email and correspond with the authors and evaluators (~3 hours).

We will compensate you for your time at a rate reflecting your experience and skills ($25–$65/hour). This work also has the potential to serve as a “work sample” for future roles at The Unjournal, as it is highly representative of what our #field-specialists-fs andEvaluators are commissioned to do.

We are likely to follow up on your evaluation suggestions. We also may incorporate your writing into our web page and public posts; you can choose whether you want to be publicly acknowledged or remain anonymous.

Independent Projects (IP)

We are also inviting applications to do similar work as an “Independent Project” (IP), a parallel opportunity designed for those eager to engage but not interested in working under a contract, or not meeting some of the specific criteria for the Contracted Research role. This involves similar work to above.

If you are accepted to do an IP, we will offer some mentoring and feedback. We will also offer prize rewards/bounties for particularly strong IP work. We will also consider working with professors and academic supervisors on these IP projects, as part of university assignments and dissertations.

You can apply to the CR and IP positions together; we will automatically consider you for each.

Get Involved!

If you are interested in involvement in either the CR or IP side of this project, please let us know through our survey form here.

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