Research Program Manager – Network Research

Protocol Labs


Key Summary

The Network Research team is looking for an entrepreneurial research program developer and manager to identify, incentivize, develop, and launch high-impact initiatives to build research public goods. This includes evaluating research opportunities across several scientific domains, planning and building a research investment portfolio, and designing and executing experiments aligning researchers and research funders.

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 find leverage points in scientific incentive systems and accelerate 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 research directions 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 a Research Program Manager at Protocol Labs you will 

  • Develop, lead, and assume responsibility for end-to-end project planning and delivery of high-impact initiatives to build research public goods for the Web3 ecosystem and beyond
  • Create and implement innovative research funding programs and research coordination mechanisms, and coordinate public goods research efforts and experiments with the Network Funding team
  • Collaborate with academia and mission-aligned partners in exploring new ways to align researchers and research funders
  • Build relationships and collaborations with researchers and research institutions to identify and support breakthrough research
  • Support researchers in developing and deploying their work as technologies 
  • Design, plan and implement metaresearch and research funding experiments, and disseminate their results
  • Remain curious, flexible, and open to updates about the state of the art in domains relevant to your research project portfolio
  • Engage in intellectual outreach activities (conference presentations, workshops, whitepapers, blogposts, etc.) relevant to your research interests and portfolio
  • Work in a fully asynchronous and remote team

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

  • MA/MS/MSc degree in a scientific,  quantitative, or computational discipline
  • 2 years experience as a researcher in academia, industry, or government
  • Deep interest in scientific research and metaresearch, and a familiarity with current research incentive systems and opportunities for improvement
  • Experience coordinating and aligning groups to work toward a common goal
  • Strong analytical, problem solving, and communication skills
  • An ability to think across disciplines and research-development timescales

Highly-valued bonus points

  • PhD degree in a science or technology field
  • Engineering background or strong familiarity with Web3 technologies
  • Experience managing research consortia and knowledge of how research labs are run and funded
  • Experience in incentive or mechanism design, game theory, or behavioral economics

About Network Goods

The Network Goods teams (Network Research, Network Funding, and Research Acceleration) work 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.