Startup Operator - Public Goods Funding
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).
The Network Research team at Protocol Labs is looking for builders who will develop new ways of incentivizing and supporting breakthrough research. This includes contributing to the design and deployment of mechanisms to create prototypes from research design sketches and guiding research projects through the transition to commercial or nonprofit projects with sustainable funding models.
Network Research at Protocol Labs
Protocol Labs is a research, development, and deployment organization that builds tools to move science forward faster. From our experience researching and building core protocols for the decentralized web, we’ve learned that breakthrough research is an important public good, and we’ve created the Network Research lab to identify, guide, and support high-impact research across a broad spectrum of domains.
As part of our Network Research team, you’ll be contributing directly to our mission of developing and guiding high-impact initiatives to build research public goods, with a particular focus on supporting research advancing decentralized knowledge production and dissemination, the development of Web3 technologies, and new incentive systems for open science and Web3 systems.
Our team is granted both the freedom to develop knowledge by working on novel applications and a responsibility to contribute those skills toward advancing the mission of Protocol Labs. You’ll feel at home working with us if your knowledge and optimism enable you to craft creative solutions working around evolving needs.
As startup operator at Protocol Labs you will…
- Design, host, and guide research intensive workshops, hackathons, conferences, and other high-impact research events
- Experiment with new tools for decentralized knowledge production and new mechanisms for incentivizing high-impact research
- Build relationships with members of the academic and decentralized science communities, learning about their projects and connecting them with resources and potential collaborators
- Conduct internal and external research to understand best practices in research, research management, and research funding organizations, and synthesize this information into actionable recommendations
- Drive and track the execution of research initiatives, and develop metrics to evaluate the success of research initiatives against their stated objectives
- Identify opportunities for process improvements in research and research management practices
- Proactively identify and clear roadblocks impeding the success of research projects, such as engineering or developer support or other resource requirements
- Help research teams assess their next best move, including developing business and sustainability models, and locate available resources
- Assist in onboarding academic researchers to the Web3 research & development ecosystem
You may be a fit for this role if you have…
- Experience creating, running, and iterating on efficient, data-driven processes
- Experience supporting the transition of research projects into development and deployment and awareness of opportunities for improvement in this pipeline
- Experience planning research meetings and/or research/research-development work packages
- Strong analytical, problem solving, and interpersonal skills
- Deep flexibility and creativity with the ability to adapt to fast-changing needs and priorities
- A bachelor’s degree in a scientific, mathematical, or engineering discipline
Bonus points if you have…
- Prior research or development experience in the Web3 ecosystem, prior experience in running your own startup, or experience as an active contributor to an open-source project
- Engineering background or strong familiarity with Web3 technologies
- Experience in a research spinout or accelerator/incubator program
- Research experience in a scientific, mathematical, or engineering field
About Network Goods
The Network Goods teams (Network Research, Network Funding, and Research Acceleration) works largely asynchronously and remotely via Discord, Slack, Notion, github, and video conference, although we take advantage of regular opportunities to meet in person for work sprints, colloquia, and conferences. Attendance and participation in relevant research meetings, hackathons, workshops, and conferences is also encouraged. - We strive to document our decision-making processes in text and default to open and transparent communication and record-keeping wherever possible. We currently use a very flexible github-based Agile process to organize and share our work-in-progress, priorities, and roadmaps. We think in public on the Protocol Labs Research blog and host a lively Research Seminar, Research Saloon, Discord server, and Journal Club, as well as occasional larger research events. We believe intentional development of technology can lead to a better, more empowering world for all of humanity.
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.