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Research Scientist, Distributed Systems

Protocol Labs, Remote

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Seeking an experienced distributed systems researcher to help us in our attempts to smoothly distribute systems that no one has distributed before.

Research at Protocol Labs
This isn't an ordinary Research Scientist position.  Your expertise is mostly driven by both a hunger to learn and a need to work toward solving important problems.  Our research scientists are granted both the freedom to develop your knowledge by working on novel applications, and a responsibility to contribute those skills toward advancing the flagship projects of Protocol Labs.  You’ll feel at home working with us if your knowledge and optimism enables you to name a few unusual possible approaches when you’re first presented with a problem that people often consider intractable.


We understand that networks are more than the sum of their parts.  Your interest in distributed systems is likely matched by a conviction that some systems should be decentralized, in spite of inherent difficulties in doing so.  Maybe you agree that the internet is as important as it is fragile and novel improvements in robustness, fault tolerance, consensus, security, performance, and availability, are required to protect and improve it.  We seek distributed systems researchers who can discover, conceive of, incorporate, and implement novel distributed and decentralized systems.

As Research Scientist at Protocol Labs you will…

  • Participate in cutting-edge research in distributed systems.
  • Develop novel systems and protocols; study and learn from existing ones.
  • Study potential improvements or new parts of systems like IPFS, libp2p, and Filecoin.
  • Work with the development team on turning the research into implementations.
  • Quantify performance, security, and other properties of existing and proposed systems; suggest improvements based on the data.

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

  • MS or 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 contributing to research communities and/or efforts, including publishing papers at conferences.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Bonus Points

  • You have a record of demonstrating state-of-the-art innovation in distributed systems with a proven publication record or project history. Potentially including but not limited to distributed data structures, consensus protocols, peer-to-peer connectivity, distributed execution, distributed file systems, novel network architectures or protocols
  • You believe that if you can’t explain something to a six-year-old, then you don’t understand it yourself, and your experience mentoring or writing technical explainers or blog posts demonstrates that you enjoy testing your understanding against this metric. 
  • You’ve demonstrated the ability to design and execute on research agenda.
  • You have experience setting up or managing research collaborations or contractors.
  • You’ve attempted to apply principles from Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus protocols to games like The Resistance, Werewolf, or Mafia.



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.

About Protocol Labs

Company Protocol Labs is a research, development, and deployment lab for network protocols. Protocol Labs leads groundbreaking internet projects, such as IPFS, the decentralized web protocol; Filecoin, a cryptocurrency incentivized storage network; and libp2p, a modular network stack for peer-to-peer apps and systems. Protocol Labs works openly, and is focused on the creation of value at a massive scale. Open Source Protocol Labs works on a growing number of Open Source projects. The major technology stacks we produce are developed entirely Open Source, from initial research, through implementation development, and into wide deployment. The communities we lead are open, welcoming, and inclusive. We invite you to get involved; join us on GitHub! History Protocol Labs was founded on May 2014, by Juan Benet, inventor of IPFS and Filecoin. That summer, we participated in the YCombinator program (S14). Protocol Labs released IPFS to the world in January 2015. Since then, IPFS has gained enormous traction in a variety of industries and organizations. By 2016, IPFS grew to be one of the most used and relied on technologies in the Blockchain industry, and hailed by thousands of developers as "The Future of the Web." That year, Protocol Labs also created libp2p, IPLD, multiformats, Orbit, and a number of other projects. Our most anticipated project is Filecoin, currently in development.

Protocol Labs

Want to learn more about Protocol Labs? Visit Protocol Labs's website.