Individual Grants Program

BERI’s Individual Grants program focuses on making grants to individuals or teams of individuals, rather than to organizations. There are several types of individual grants programs that BERI expects to run, such as:

  • Individual Project Grants are awarded to individuals to carry out projects directly in service of BERI’s mission.
  • Individual Level-Up Grants are awarded to individuals to carry out projects or investigations to improve the skills and knowledge of the grantee, with hopes that they will carry out valuable work for BERI’s mission in the future. (Expected Q4 2018)

What is the process for obtaining an individual grant from BERI?

Typically, BERI will host “rounds” for its various individual grants programs. Details about how to apply will be in the announcement of the round. A list of all Individual Grants program rounds BERI has run or is running is below:

If you would like to be notified when BERI is running one of the above grants rounds, please send an email to individual-grants@existence.org noting which type of grant round you are interested in.

Who decides on the individual grants BERI makes?

For each round, BERI coordinates an anonymous grants committee to evaluate applications. (Sometimes, a committee might unanimously agree to be non-anonymous.) We allow our committees to remain anonymous (except to BERI’s Board and governing bodies) to protect our committee members from falling under public scrutiny or attack for freely providing their positive and negative judgements about potential grantees. We want our decision processes to stay focused on what’s really most valuable for reducing x-risk, not on fears from committee members that someone will be angry at them for not recommending a grant.

There will always be at least one member on every grants committee who is external to BERI. We have additional experience requirements for the members of our grants committees, depending on which type of individual grant program round we are running. The formula for aggregating committee member opinions will vary with the grant round, but we favor procedures that allow members to:

  • recuse themselves from evaluating particular candidates, and
  • indicate a weight or level of confidence in each evaluation they provide.

If the funding for a grant round comes from BERI’s First Grants Fund, we may ask the First Grants Fund Committee to make a final call on the grants to be awarded, usually by approving a total amount of funding to distribute, or the the number of top-scoring grants to be awarded grants. See our Organization Grants page for more detail on the First Grants Fund Committee.

How long will it take to receive an individual grant from BERI?

We expect that the process will typically take 2 - 4 months from the application close date, although the timing will depend on the details of the specific round the individual is applying in.

Questions

Please email individual-grants@existence.org with any questions.