Cambridge Existential Risks Initiative

What is an existential risk?

We think of 'existential risks' as events that could permanently and drastically curtail humanity’s potential. These are mostly low probability but high-impact risks.

Examples of existential risks include extreme runaway climate change, environmental degradation, a nuclear war, a deadly global pandemic, or even accidents from future advances in Artificial Intelligence.


Cambridge Existential Risks Initiative (CERI) is a network of academics and students at the University of Cambridge and beyond, working to mitigate existential risks.

We provide knowledge and networking opportunities for students pursuing existential risk reduction through our research fellowships, speaker events, and discussion groups.

We aim to reduce existential risk by raising awareness about relevant cause areas, promoting research into existential risk mitigation, and improving the pathways to  research careers.

Join the CERI community

For more information about our upcoming talks, workshops and fellowships, sign up to our mailing list here!

our events


Follow our Facebook page to see all our upcoming events.


New Research Directions for Nuclear Risk Reduction (27/07/21) - Joan Rohlfing, the President of the Nuclear Threat Initiative spoke about all the threats facing nuclear security and offered some wisdom to all those wishing to go into the field. A recording can be found here.

Launch Event (05/07/21) - The initiative launched with its first ten fellows. A recording can be found here with the slides here.

our research fellowships

Every summer, we run a fellowship where anyone can contribute to research on the potential perils of nuclear war, transformative artificial intelligence, the climate crises and much more!

Our fellows embark on an eight-week, full-time research programme, with weekly hour-long check-ins with a mentor whose research interests align with the fellow's research proposal.

Programme objectives

Learn: Help the fellows deepen their understanding of existential risks mitigation and improve their skills in research and communication.

Collaborate: Form lasting relationships within a community of people who care deeply about humanity’s future and work to improve it. 

Motivate: Encourage constructive participation in events and sharing of knowledge to ensure everyone makes the most of the 8 weeks!

We host cause-area subgroups, speaker events, discussion groups, one-on-ones, and social events throughout the programme to facilitate a broader understanding of existential risks and foster an environment where ideas can be freely shared between academics and junior researchers alike.

We are always looking for the most able and ambitious candidates. If you are interested in being a summer research fellow, or mentor one of our fellows, please do reach out to us at [email protected]


Below we have compiled a set of resources for all those interested in existential risks:


We held our inaugural CERI Research Symposium on 27th August, featuring a talk from Lord Martin Rees on the cosmic significance of existential risks and showcasing the research conducted by our cohort of summer research fellows.


You may wish to view the event agenda and the fellows’ research abstracts.

Contact us

You can contact us through our social media platforms below or by emailing us at [email protected].