Research Scientist, Networking @Protocollabs

Protocol Labs

San Francisco, CA, USA Remote

Full time


Jan 4

This job is no longer accepting applications.

Seeking an experienced networking researcher to help us design and implement systems that rethink and improve various levels of the modern networking stack.

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 their 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. We built libp2p because we thought IPFS should include a better way of sending data between peers. Now we’re improving our libraries and expanding the scope. As Filecoin launches and grows, we seek a specialist who can help make the networking stack that it relies on as efficient, robust, and secure as possible.

As Research Scientist at Protocol Labs you will…

  • Participate in cutting-edge research in computer networking.
  • 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, Electrical Engineering, or related field, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Ability to analyze, criticize, and improve the design of complex computer network systems
  • 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 networking with a proven publication record or project history. Potentially including but not limited to network optimization and graph traversals,, interdependent networks and robustness, and dynamic network analysis. 
  • You’re comfortable digging through new academic literature on graph theory or IETF RFPs for inspiration while problem-solving.
  • 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 sent “SYN” as a text message to that friend who’s notoriously bad at getting back to you.

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.

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