About Us

The Effective Thesis project aims to assist students in their thesis topic choice and direct their attention to areas that have the potential to greatly improve the world. Choosing a final thesis topic is an important step that can influence the rest of a researcher's career, yet there doesn’t seem to be much assistance provided through standard channels. Moreover, consideration of how much progress on a given question could improve the world often receives little attention. We try to spark students' inspiration by suggesting research paths which are important yet neglected from this perspective and which could thus provide opportunities for higher impact via research. We also provide feedback on topic ideas, connect students with researchers who are already working in the same area and connect them with other students working on similar issues.

Our project is based on the principles of Effective Altruism, specifically with regard to how to use one’s resources to do the most good. It is also informed by the advice of 80000 Hours on how to use one’s career to significantly improve the world. See our key ideas to find out more about our thinking or explore our coaching and other services.

Our Team


David Janků

Founder and Project Manager
[email protected]
David founded and manages Effective Thesis. He has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Masaryk University, MSc in Organizational Psychology from the University of Leeds and works toward PhD in Sociology of Science at Charles University in Prague. He also works in the Czech Science Foundation in the development and analyses team, collaborated on a couple of academic research projects and helps organising international research symposium on academic inequalities and epistemic gaps in science funding.

Isobel Phillips

Project Manager

Isobel is a project manager for Effective Thesis working to ensure the continued success and growth of the project. She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Management from Oxford University. Previously she has worked in migration policy analysis and for NGOs working with refugees which furthered her passion for maximising altruistic impact. Her particular interests include global priorities research, global health and development, and economic inequality.

Sophie Kirkham

Content Manager

Sophie is the content manager for Effective Thesis. They have a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Oxford and are currently studying a master’s in psychotherapy. Previously they worked in operations for an education startup and as a freelance editor.

Koen Schoenmakers


Koen is a generalist at Effective Thesis. Having previous experience founding and running his own foundation, he pitches in with multiple projects of Effective Thesis. Outside of ET he is a visiting research intern at Stanford's University's Centre for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). He holds a Bphil in Philosophy, an MPhil in Psychology of Behavioural Change and lesser degrees in Journalism and Public Administration. He is interested in anything related to social impact maximisation, and teaches extracurricular and elective courses about that topic at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.


Daniel Hnyk

Web Developer

Daniel is in charge of developing and maintaining the Effective Thesis website. He graduated in Mathematical Informatics at the Faculty of Nuclear and Physical Engineering of Czech Technical University in Prague. His research mainly focuses on data science and machine learning, in which he also runs his business. Daniel is the founder of the Czech branch of the LessWrong rationalist community, and he is also involved in founding our Czech Association for Effective Altruism, where he now serves as a strategic coordinator.

Coaching Team


Vorathep (Dev) Sachdev

Head of Coaching Management

Dev leads the management of coaching services at Effective Thesis. He aims to ensure that the coaching services are helpful, nurturing and constructive for all students. He is currently a PhD Candidate (One Health Models of Disease) at the University of Edinburgh and is interested in global health and poverty, especially with a focus towards the global south. He also runs a small startup coaching students on their career choices for undergraduate and graduate university applications (edDEVCoach) and spends his free time as a football/soccer coach.

Luisa Teixeira


Luisa Teixeira is supporting the coaching services at Effective Thesis, mostly by having interesting conversations with students! She identifies deeply with doing research for good and is eager to share knowledge and skillset on research, as well as her expertise and professional experience on environment, conservation, and technology.

Florian Jehn


Florian Jehn has a background in environmental science, climate change and hydrology. He likes to share his research experience and knowledge to support students in finding an impactful topic that suits them. Apart from his background he is also quite interested in existential risks, feminism, history and food security.

Ruben Dieleman


Ruben Dieleman (NL/Swe) is an EA enthusiast with a background in political sciences who loves to employ his knowledge and experience for good, and help early stage students out with determining their professional and academic paths.

Silvana Hultsch

Coaching Advisor

Silvana lead and developed the coaching services at Effective Thesis in the past and now supports the team in an advisory role. She has a background in Philosophy, Economics and Management and currently studies a master's in Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University, with a focus on Global Priorities Research."

Opportunity Search Team


Adéla Novotná

Adéla helps with sharing relevant job opportunities to Effective Thesis student’s community. She has a background in Psychology and focuses mainly on Research in Social Psychology. She was one of the first students coached by Effective Thesis and wrote her Bachelor's thesis on the Influence of animal advocacy movies on meat consumption.

Theo Knopfer

Theo has a background in English Studies (history, literature and linguistics of the English world) and wrote his Master’s thesis on Anglo-European defence integration during the Cold War. His current research focus is on European policy in biodefence and military AI. He is also a volunteer at EA France and is currently managing its newsletter and organising introductory lectures on military AI.

Other supporters and collaborators

Martin Račák - significant help with web development

Vojtěch Veselý - significant help with web development

Jakub Zárybnický - significant help with web development

Caleb Huffman - help with running our Facebook community

And a big thank you also goes to all our coaches, funders and other supporters.

Ask us anything!

If you're a student looking for guidance on choosing a research topic, please apply for our coaching.