Rapid grants for BlueDot projects

By Adam Jones (Published on April 26, 2024)

After the learning phases of our courses that follow a set curriculum, participants do an independent project of their choosing.

We want participants to complete excellent projects, and we try to remove barriers where we can to enable this. A common barrier is not having the resources you need to do the project, such as compute for AI alignment projects.

Today we're launching a rapid small grants program for participants and facilitators on our courses. It's targeted at people who, without funding, would not be able to reasonably afford the resources they need for their chosen project.

Grant process

At all times, you should only assume that we will pay for costs that we have confirmed in writing for your specific project. If you are at any point unsure, contact us before spending the money you expect us to reimburse.

  1. Submit a grant proposal here (takes <15 minutes for most grants)
  2. We’ll try to get back to you within 2 working days. The outcomes are:
    • Acceptance: We’ll explain what spending we’ve approved.
    • Clarification: We’ll ask for more information necessary to evaluate the grant.
    • Rejection: We don’t think this meets the criteria or bar for our grants, or for some other reason are unable to approve the grant.
  3. You’ll carry out your project, confident you can spend on what we’ve approved.
  4. You’ll claim reimbursement here. We pay most claims within 5 working days.
    • If you didn’t spend the money, this is fine! Just don’t make a claim.

If you’re in doubt about applying, we recommend that you apply.

Examples of things we’d fund

We expect most grants to be between £50 and £2000.

These are some examples of things we’d think we’d be likely to fund (this is illustrative only and all grant decisions will be at our discretion):

  • Renting compute necessary for a technical AI safety project.
  • Getting access to paywalled articles, research papers or textbooks.
  • Moderate travel expenses and tickets to relevant conferences or events.
  • Software tools that save you a significant amount of project time.
  • Equipment that is directly related to the project, for example a good microphone if your project plan was to create YouTube videos for AI safety outreach.
  • Recruiting subjects for empirical experiments.
  • Hosting your application somewhere.

We would usually not fund:

  • Reimbursing you for your time spent on the project.
  • Purchasing a new laptop, phone or similar types of core equipment which we would reasonably expect participants to already have.
  • Personal expenses, even if these enable you to be more productive. For example, meals, drinks or childcare.
  • High-cost travel expenses or tickets to relevant conferences or events.
  • Anything where there is not a clear link to why it is useful for your project.

(other funds may be able to cover these kinds of expenses if needed: for AI safety see our resources page for a list of other funding opportunities)

Terms

Terms:

  • You must submit your claim by:
    • 4 July 2024 for AI alignment projects
    • 25 July 2024 for AI governance projects
    • 12 August 2024 for Biosecurity projects
  • You must be a participant or facilitator currently on a course run by BlueDot Impact.
  • We will reimburse you via bank transfer (Wise) or PayPal transfer (PayPal UK), so are unable to send payments to sanctioned countries.

If you have any questions or feedback about this scheme, contact us.

Apply

You can submit a grant proposal here (takes <15 minutes for most grants), and we'll try to get back to you within 2 working days.

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