Use your research to improve the world – starting with your thesis

Our free coaching can help you identify an impactful research question and connect you with further resources



If you’ve already explored our key ideas and recommended research directions and you have found at least one direction you’re interested in, the next step may be to apply for our coaching.

If you’re writing a thesis or dissertation in the next six months and you want to do as much good as possible with your research, we can help you with our coaching service.

Apply for free coaching sessions and your coach will help you identify how you can begin a career in research that is particularly likely to have a big positive effect on the world, and connect you with resources and experienced researchers who can further support your development.  

Learn more about our coaching service

Frequently asked questions

Our coaches can help in a number of ways. They can help you think through open questions you have about your studies and future career, suggest tools and resources that would be a good fit for you, connect you with researchers to support your further, and offer you advice on things like finding a PhD supervisor and applying for funding.

After you’ve written your thesis or dissertation, we can also help you get your research noticed, including by publishing it on our site.

We generally work with students who will be writing a thesis or dissertation (at undergraduate, masters or PhD level) or submitting PhD applications in the next six months, however if you don’t quite fit this criteria we still encourage you to reach out.

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. We typically reach out to accepted applicants within 1 to 2 weeks of their applications. If you have a deadline that means you need to hear back sooner, please make a note of this in your application.

If you want your research to do as much good as possible – either directly by contributing to solving a pressing problem or by building skills so you can have a bigger impact later – we encourage you to apply for coaching. 

We primarily coach students who are considering research careers, but if you plan to pursue a different career we still encourage you to apply.

We’ll assess your application on the basis of your interest in having a positive impact and our belief that we can offer you support. If for any reason we can’t offer you coaching, we will still offer you helpful resources.

A coaching session lasts 30 minutes. Your coach will start by understanding your goals and any open questions you have. They may then help you consider how you could increase the likely impact of your research, offer you further resources, connect you with other researchers or organisations, or advise you on topics such as applying for funding, finding a supervisor or choosing a research question that is a good fit for you. 

After the first coaching session you’re likely to have  lots of ideas and ways to get further support. However, many students appreciate meeting their coach for more sessions. Our coaches also stay in touch to provide ongoing guidance via email.

Yes – we still encourage you to apply. We recognise that your skills, qualifications and interests may mean that a different direction is a better fit for you, and the list of directions we feature on our site is not intended to be exhaustive.

However, we might not be able to help you as much as we could if you chose a research direction we recommend, as for these directions we have already found mentors, potential supervisors, research agendas and other useful resources to get you started.

We’re a nonprofit aiming to help students begin research careers that address pressing global problems. This means we particularly appreciate feedback about how we have helped you, to help inform our future applications for funding.

You can see all the services we offer on the homepage. As well as  individual coaching, we provide help with finding supervisors and PhD funding, recommendations of research directions that are particularly likely to have a big positive impact, a newsletter of curated opportunities for early career researchers, and advice for beginning a successful research career.

Our Coaches

Apply for our coaching and the coach who is the best fit for you will support you in your journey towards an impactful research career.

Vorathep (Dev) Sachdev

Head of Coaching

Dev leads the management of the coaching services at Effective Thesis. He aims to ensure that the coaching services are helpful, nurturing and constructive for all students. Dev 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. They also run a small startup providing coaching for undergraduate and graduate university applications and careers coaching (edDEVCoach) and spend their 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.

Carmen Medina


Carmen has always had a deep passion for the art of interpersonal connections, as well as for creating a positive impact on the world. Being a coach at Effective Thesis allows her to combine exactly those two missions. She is excited to bring her best tools to her coaching, drawn from her education as a licensed psychomotor therapist and her work experience as a workshop facilitator, community builder, and volunteer researcher (in global mental health). In her free time, you might find her wrapped in aerial silks, writing dance reviews, or reading half-obscure contemporary novels.

Ruben Dieleman

Coach and Community Manager

Ruben Dieleman (NL/Swe) is an EA enthusiast with a background in political sciences. He loves to employ his knowledge and experience for good, helping students determine their professional and academic paths as a coach. He is also a community manager on the Effective Thesis community platform.

Silvana Hultsch

Advisor and Community Manager

Silvana led and developed the coaching services at Effective Thesis in the past and now supports the team in an advisory role as well as being a community manager on the ET community platform. 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.

Our Expert Network

We’ll connect you to researchers from our network of over 100 experts, who can help you find the most important open questions in your field.

Philip Trammel

Philip Trammel is a research affiliate at the Global Priorities Institute at Oxford University. He advises students on applications of economic theory to global priorities research.

Cassidy Nelson

Cassidy Nelson is Co-Lead of the Biosecurity Research Group at the Future of Humanity Institute. She advises students on health security, biosecurity and pandemic prevention.

Vanessa Kosoy

Vanessa is a research associate at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. She advises students in mathematics, computer science and other quantitative degrees interested in human aligned artificial intelligence research.

David Denkenberger

David Denkenberger co-founded and directs the Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters (ALLFED). He has 65 peer-reviewed publications and is the third most prolific author in the field of existential and global catastrophic risk.

Maxime Stauffer

Maxime is a co-founder and chief executive officer of the Simon Institute for Longterm Governance. Max advises students in political science, behavioural sciences, mathematics and physics interested in improving political decision making.

Parendi Birdie

Parendi Birdie is the R&D Project Manager at Mission Barns. She advises students who are interested in both technical and non-technical areas of the field of cellular agriculture.

David Moss

David is the Principal Research Manager at Rethink Priorities and a research fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University. David advises students interested in moral psychology and empirical social science.

All others

There are many other researchers and collaborators for whose support we are very grateful.