Research Scientist, ConsensusLab

  • Protocol Labs
  • Remote
  • Oct 28, 2021
Full time Engineering Information Technology Project Management QA-Quality Control Research

Job Description

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 Scientist who wants to get in on the ground floor and help ConsensusLab realise 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 identifying limitations in existing production systems, publishing research papers, and working with research engineers to turn designs into reality.

Research at Protocol LabsOur 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 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 “get it done” attitude and the ability  to provide and receive constructive feedback.

Bonus Points If...

    • 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.

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.