Careers

Longevity

The Astera Institute is recruiting exceptional researchers, engineers, and creative thinkers to fuel scientific and technological research with the highest potential for dramatic transformational change to human civilization. Current areas of focus include longevityartificial general intelligencemetascience, and frontier engineering.

Open positions

Investing

Astera is building a venture capital team to manage $250M of our endowment. We’re looking for a Managing Partner to design our investing strategy, identify new investments and execute those deals. Astera is dedicated to finding and developing high leverage technologies that can lead to massive returns for humanity. The Managing Partner will use this part of our endowment to invest in companies doing a similar thing. This is an opportunity to fund cutting edge science and exciting engineering companies with the potential for large impact.

You will

  • Make investments. In partnership with other members of our venture capital team, invest in deep tech companies that represent our values – drive high returns for Astera and for humanity.
  • Find the best leads. Spend time turning over stones, talking to grad students, hanging out on Twitter. Source the best possible ideas and operators.
  • Evaluate and manage potential investments. Talk to teams, research, complete due diligence, and decide what is a good investment. From there, lead the investment process from our side from term sheet to closing.
  • Ask for advice. We hope to invest in a wide array of scientific and technical areas –  big gains for Astera and humanity might be in energy, robotics, biotech, materials and many other areas. Develop a network of advisors who can provide technical expertise while evaluating potential investments.
  • Help out. Work with portfolio companies, make connections, steer them towards product market fit and future fundraising rounds, serve on company boards, if needed.
  • Build our network. Develop and maintain relationships with others in the ecosystem including VCs, scientists, startup-founders and potential talent for startups.

You are

  • Excited about how science and technology contribute to human potential. Your positive attitude drives your motivation to work with your teammates, the larger organization and our portfolio companies. You use your good instincts and curiosity to make good investing decisions and offer good advice.
  • An experienced investor. You’ve made good entrepreneurial investments and they’ve paid off.
  • A scientist or engineer. We plan to invest in research and development in a variety of fields. Your technical knowledge and familiarity with the space will pay dividends.
  • A team player. You have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work cross-functionally across a diverse group of partners and operations team members. Be able to quickly build trust with other team members as well as entrepreneurs and broader strategic networks.

Compensation

Base salary plus carry.

About Astera Ventures

Astera Ventures has been allocated part of the Astera endowment to invest in early stage breakthrough technology that aligns with the mission and purpose of the organization. The fund is taking a bet on a radical future.

About Astera

Astera Institute was established by Jed McCaleb. It is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to developing high leverage technologies that can lead to massive returns for humanity. Astera’s high-impact potential derives from housing moonshots and novel scientific research that have no other natural home in today’s research and development landscape. Astera focuses on longevity, AGI, metascience, and frontier technology.

If interested please send your resume to: [email protected]

Engineering

We are seeking a talented and experienced developer to help build our new AGI lab.

In this role you will

  • Work with the research team to develop and refine our roadmap
  • Have a great deal of responsibility for the outcome of this endeavor
  • Help architect and design the systems we build
  • Implement complex and interesting systems with a focus on scalability, maintainability, correctness and performance
    • Examples of the types of systems that we are building include; complex models of neural architecture, training environments for our agents, a distributed framework for evolving our model, and scaling up our model
  • Contribute to the technical and cultural foundations of our high caliber engineering team

This describes you

  • Self motivated
  • 5+ years real-world experience developing software
  • Excited about the potential of AGI
  • Some familiarity with the state of the field but super deep knowledge isn’t required
  • Entrepreneurial minded. Have scaled unique technology or products and thrive in a high paced environment
  • Strong computer science fundamentals: data structures, algorithms, distributed systems, and information retrieval
  • Stellar communication skills with the ability to lead technical discussions
  • Experience building components that are reusable, extensible, and modular
  • Enthusiasm for working on a small, growing team in a startup environment
  • Familiarity with Go a plus

Logistics and other Details

  • Please read the description of the project
  • The lab is based in Berkeley.
  • In person team. We believe with this kind of work that benefits highly from collaboration and serendipity it is much better to work in person.
  • The team will grow to around 20 exceptional people, mostly engineers.
  • Everything is open source until there are safety concerns.
  • The code is mostly in Go.
  • Publishing
    • The lab may occasionally publish but that certainly isn’t the goal. The work will be driven by the goal and not fitting things into publishable form or for particular journals. But in the cases when it makes sense we will publish. That said we are supportive of the idea of our work being open except in the cases where there are AGI safety concerns.
    • We will periodically generate arXiv level documents summarizing progress, in a succinct, accessible format.

If interested please send your resume to: [email protected]

Research

Astera Institute is looking for one or more junior or senior researchers to help us understand the current landscape in certain technical and scientific domains. We need someone to help find interesting technologies, companies, and people looking for donations, investments or other collaborations. We are interested in a wide range of areas that have the potential to greatly increase the wellbeing of humanity including things such as space, climate change, longevity, and meta-science. Most likely we will start by hiring either a junior researcher or a senior researcher, but might hire both.

Responsibilities will include

  • Scouring the internet
  • Talking to scientists and technologists
  • Reading papers
  • Making recommendations about the feasibility of various projects and companies
  • Making their findings digestible and accessible to the rest of the organization
  • Helping us decide our ultimate involvement in certain areas or with specific projects

Requirements

  • Science or engineering background
  • Curious and Creative
  • Self motivated
  • Clear writer

Objectives

  • To understand high-value interventions that can improve the world. Clearly and succinctly explain these interventions to the Executive Director.
  • To prioritize interventions. This will involve searching through a lot of interesting ideas that seem potentially high value but turn out to be of low value, and spending time with the Executive Director focusing on understanding the highest value interventions.

Onboarding process:

  • The role will start with a 1-3 month trial period, after which we can discuss opportunities for a longer commitment depending on your experience, performance, and career ambitions.

Scope of commitment for the Junior role

  • We seek a time commitment of 18-24 months for this role after the trial.  After 2 years, we’d consider promotion to a more senior role with more responsibility.  We fully expect that junior researchers learn quickly and sometimes ‘outgrow’ their roles after a 1-2 year period, and will be supportive helping the researcher transition into a new role after 2 years if they are looking to move elsewhere for career growth.  We’d also consider promotion to a senior role.Supervision: Meetings every other day with the Executive Director.  Will start by asking high level questions, (see below). Will be asked to read and talk to people about the interventions to understand them better and assess their feasibility. Eventually you should generate your own questions and your research will be more self directed.

Scope of commitment for the Senior role

  • For a senior researcher, we’d similarly seek a 2-year commitment (after the trial phase), but would take more seriously the possibility of a longer-term engagement.  If we end up highly value-aligned and intellectually compatible, this role could end up being a career-length engagement that steers how Astera uses its resources.Supervision: Meetings once or twice a week.

Example Initial Questions for Investigation:

  • What is the most feasible approach to slow or reverse global warming?
  • Catalog and assess all of the asteroid mining schemes you can find.
  • What is the most promising anti-aging research being done now?
  • What technologies or research have the highest EV for civilization per dollar invested in them?

Compensation:

  • Negotiable, depending on experience/accomplishment, $90k/year minimum.

If interested please send your resume to: [email protected]