Research Scientist, ConsensusLab

Protocol Labs

About Protocol Labs

Protocol Labs drives breakthroughs in computing to push humanity forward. Protocol Labs is a product-development lab, but behind the protocols and tools we build, behind the research and implementations, are passionate people, teammates, and community members. Most teams in the Protocol Labs Network are fully distributed and work remotely around the world. Engineers, researchers, and operators work in the open to improve the internet โ€” humanity's most important technology โ€” as we explore new advances at the intersection of many exciting fields (crypto, networks, distributed systems) and cultures (startups, research, open-source, distributed work).

We are seeking an experienced and self-motivated distributed systems researcher to join us in understanding how to globally scale decentralized systems.


ConsensusLab is a newly formed group in Protocol Labs Research that focuses on consensus and related distributed computing problems that lie at the heart of decentralized systems. We help engineering teams by addressing key bottlenecks in operational systems and networks (such as Filecoin, IPFS and libp2p) and collaborate with academia and the wider open-source community to deliver world-class research in understanding how decentralized systems scale and interconnect.

Consensus Research at Protocol Labs has delivered significant impact to our operational systems. Our work powers the largest Decentralized File Storage Network in the world. With the launch of ConsensusLab, we will be greatly expanding our research on the topic, with foci on consensus protocols, sharding, and parallel execution. Learn more about our future plans in the ConsensusLab launch announcement.

We are hiring a Research Engineer that wants to get in on the ground floor and help ConsensusLab realise our shared vision. The engineer will participate in the designing of new protocols, and the subsequent prototyping and evaluation. The work will also extend into the adjacent, including testing and identifying problems with existing production systems, surveying academic literature, contributing to written publications, and delivering production-ready modules to project teams.

Research at Protocol Labs

Our research scientists and engineers are granted both the freedom to develop their knowledge by working on novel applications, and a responsibility to contribute those skills toward advancing the flagship projects of Protocol Labs.

We believe in an Open Source and Open Collaboration approach to creation. We keep our egos checked at the door and work as a team to tackle the many hard research and engineering challenges required to make systems resilient.

As a Research Scientist at ConsensusLab, you will...

  • Participate in cutting-edge research in distributed systems.
  • Develop novel consensus mechanisms and protocols.
  • Validate proposals through prototypes and proofs of concept.
  • Work with research engineers to turn the research into implementations.
  • Quantify performance, security, and other properties of existing and proposed systems.
  • Collaborate with academia and the broader community in exploring new and out-of-the-box approaches to designing and implementing next-generation decentralized systems.
  • Work in a fully asynchronous and remote team.

You may be a fit for this role if you have....

  • PhD degree in Computer Science or related field, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Programming experience and proficiency in one or more of the following: Go, Rust, JavaScript, C, C++, Haskell, OCaml, Python, Clojure.
  • Experience in deploying and evaluating the performance of (large-scale) distributed systems.
  • Experience contributing to research communities and/or efforts, including publishing papers at top conferences.
  • Solid background in security and networking.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Pragmatic โ€œget it doneโ€ attitude and the ability to provide and receive constructive feedback.

Bonus Points

  • Post-PhD experience in research environments.
  • Experience with one or more of: distributed data structures, CRDTs, (Byzantine) fault-tolerant consensus protocols, peer-to-peer connectivity, distributed execution, distributed file systems, distributed databases, novel network architectures or protocols, formal verification, and systems based on specialized hardware.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and execute on a research agenda.
  • Experience in developing reproducible experiments and simulations.
  • Experience setting up or managing research collaborations or contractors.
  • You have designed a protocol that is in production and serving a real-world need.



Whatโ€™s it like to work at Protocol Labs?
Protocol Labs' mission is to improve humanityโ€™s most important technology, the Internet. We build protocols, systems, and tools to improve how it works. Today, we are focused on how we store, locate, and move information. Our projects include IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, and more.
As a distributed team, we hire anywhere in the world, and at various levels of experience (entry, senior, staff). We look for people with unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds.
We have a great benefits package, including parental leave, contributions to your retirement, competitive pay, and unlimited time off. For U.S.-based employees, we also provide platinum-level health, dental, and vision coverage for you and your family.

If youโ€™re passionate about the future of computing and a more democratized internet, we want to talk to you.

GDPR for Job Applicants and Candidates

When you apply to a job on this site, the personal data contained in your application will be collected by Protocol Labs, Inc. (โ€œProtocol Labsโ€), which is located at 427 N Tatnall St #51207, Wilmington, Delaware 19801 and can be contacted by emailing legalrequests[at] Protocol Labsโ€™ data protection team can be contacted via legalrequests[at] Your personal data will be processed for the purposes of managing Protocol Labsโ€™ recruitment related activities, which include setting up and conducting interviews and tests for applicants, evaluating and assessing the results thereto, and as is otherwise needed in the recruitment and hiring processes. Such processing is legally permissible under Art. 6(1)(f) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation) as necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by Protocol Labs, which are the solicitation, evaluation, and selection of applicants for employment.

Your personal data will be shared with Greenhouse Software, Inc., a cloud services provider located in the United States of America and engaged by Protocol Labs to help manage its recruitment and hiring process on Protocol Labsโ€™ behalf. Accordingly, if you are located outside of the United States, your personal data will be transferred to the United States once you submit it through this site. Because the European Union Commission has determined that United States data privacy laws do not ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data collected from EU data subjects, the transfer will be subject to appropriate additional safeguards.

Your personal data will be retained by Protocol Labs as long as Protocol Labs determines it is necessary to evaluate your application for employment or to assist in the hiring process. Under the GDPR, you have the right to request access to your personal data, to request that your personal data be rectified or erased, and to request that processing of your personal data be restricted. You also have the right to data portability. In addition, you may lodge a complaint with an EU supervisory authority.

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