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Research agendas

What are we looking for?


At Flourish, we're looking for change-driven work that considers the route to positive impact in every step of the research process, from selecting a research question to writing concluding remarks. This research is challenging, so we’ve compiled some resources to serve as inspiration for research questions.

We think that the most impactful research addresses questions within the most pressing problems/cause areas. Choosing which cause area to focus on will likely significantly influence how impactful your paper will be, and we broadly agree with the Effective Altruist approach of using an evidence-based framework to work out which are the most pressing problems to work on. Whilst the resources listed on this page recommend focusing on certain problems, we also welcome submissions that argue for priorities outside these research areas and challenge our assumptions about existing problems.

Recommended Research Agendas

See below for a collection of research agendas of organisations and researchers from or adjacent to effective altruism. For a quick introduction to why these causes are particularly important from an effective altruist perspective, see this TED video or read this article. We'd like to thank Effective Thesis for their work in putting this collection together.

Collections covering multiple cause areas

Prioritisation research

Global Development

Mental Welfare

Animal Welfare

Improving Institutional Decision-Making

Charitable donations decision-making research

Technical AI safety

AI Governance

Other Risks

Students Sitting on Staircase

Tips on writing an impact-focused paper

For guidance and suggestions on impact-oriented research, we like this article by Karolina Sarek. Aimed at professional researchers, it highlights the importance of reaching an accurate, action-relevant and formulated conclusion. Her three main guidelines are to: 

  • Reach conclusions through your research

  • Compare alternatives with equal rigour.

  • Design research questions to affect decision-making.

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