Research Scientist, ConsensusLab


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 — humanity's most important technology — as we explore new advances at the intersection of many exciting fields (web3, cryptography, 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 research group in Protocol Labs Research that focuses on consensus and related distributed computing problems that lie at the heart of decentralized systems. We explore fundamental problems of coordination, consistency, and scalability, and help engineering teams by addressing key bottlenecks in operational systems and networks (such as Filecoin, IPFS and libp2p).We collaborate with academia and the wider open-source community to deliver world-class research in understanding how decentralized systems scale and interconnect.

We are hiring a Research Scientist who wants to help ConsensusLab realize our shared vision. The scientist will be able to influence research directions and participate in the conception, design, and evaluation of new solutions, as well as identify limitations in existing production systems, publishing research papers, and working with research engineers to turn designs into reality.

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 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 production implementations
  • Quantify performance, security, and other properties of existing and proposed systems
  • Write up, publish, and present your findings at community events
  • 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
  • 4+ years of experience as a researcher in academia, industry, or government
  • Experience with fault-tolerant consensus protocols and/or formal verification
  • Prototyping experience in one or more of Go, Rust, C, C++, Haskell, OCaml
  • Experience evaluating the performance of large-scale distributed systems
  • A history of publishing peer-reviewed papers in relevant fields
  • The ability to move fast and switch contexts in a research-to-deployment environment
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, and communication skills
  • Pragmatic get-it-done attitude and the ability to provide and receive feedback

Bonus Points

  • Post-PhD experience in research environments (academia or industry)
  • Experience in formal verification of distributed systems
  • Solid background in security and networking
  • Experience with one or more of distributed data structures, CRDTs, distributed execution, distributed file systems, distributed databases
  • Demonstrated ability to design and execute on your own research agenda
  • Experience setting up or managing research collaborations or contractors
  • Having designed a protocol that is in production and serving a real-world need


What’s it like to work at Protocol Labs?
Protocol Labs' mission is to improve humanity’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 you’re passionate about the future of computing and a more democratized internet, we want to talk to you.


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