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I'm optimistic about this and think it's potentially a good idea.
EA is potentially unusual (unique?) in having a network of smart people distributed across good universities with the goodwill to help each other. I think EA is sufficiently new and lacking lots of professionals - compared to say, law - that there's probably low hanging fruit to research and talk about. I mean, Oxford has the Prioritisation Project and that's largely undergrads. I don't mean that to demean them; quite the opposite, I think they're doing valuable work and it indicates how much there is to be done which can also be done credibly.
FWIW, I think 'awards from EA clubs' will look strange to non-EA employers who won't understand it, and not obviously meaningful/credible to EA employers. But I'm prepared to be proved wrong and would like to see the idea fleshed out more.
I also think having EAs do research and gives talk to each other is valuable even if it doesn't go on anyone's CV.
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