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A year ago, at the beginning of a global pandemic, we started our first ever quarterly newsletter by noting that "the state of the world is currently and understandably marked by uncertainty, distress, anxiety, and grief." The year since has been one that we could never have imagined or fully anticipated. Sparing you the grand words and sweeping statements that we've all heard so many times over the past 13 months, we just want to say thank you for your continued support of and interest in what we do at Protocol Labs.  

See what's been happening at Protocol Labs Research...

The beginning of 2021 has been a time of major reorganization, and there are so many exciting things on our agenda for the rest of this year and beyond. We have formed multiple new labs that function at the intersection of research and development, similar to our Resilient Networks Lab, which launched in 2019, and you will find a number of open positions below, as we continue to seek the world's top talent in consensus, cryptography, cryptoeconomics, distributed systems, and networks. 

We will also be rolling out a major overhaul to our grants program this quarter, supplementing our current RFP program with continual open calls for early investigator awards, PhD and postdoctoral fellowships, and more.

You can read about this and more, below. A reminder that if you want to receive our blog posts to your inbox, you can update your preferences and specify "blog posts" as one of your subscription choices. 

New Research Labs!
Protocol Labs has spent much of 2021 building four new research labs to expand the cutting edge work our researchers do at the intersections of use-inspired basic research, pure applied research, and development. 

Protocol Labs is excited to continue the work of ResNetLab, expand CryptoLab into the discretely focused CryptoNet and CryptoCompute labs, and launch both a ConsensusLab (link forthcoming) and a CryptoEconLab

Research at Protocol Labs continue to also focus on additional far-reaching endeavors relevant to the future of humanity, pursued through our AbstractionLab (previously known simply as "Independent Research") and collaboration-building focused on knowledge sharing, roadmapping, and metaresearch. 
Team Updates
Left to right:
Anca Nitulescu joins Protocol Labs as a Research Scientist in Cryptography, working in CryptoNetLab.

Barath Raghavan has taken on an advisory role with Protocol Labs, bringing his many years of experience in both academia and industry. 

Petar Maymounkov and Adrian Lanzafame have joined ResNetLab from our IPFS and Filecoin teams, respectively. This move will great expand the capacity of ResNetLab to tackle key problems in the field of resilient peer-to-peer networks and distributed systems.

Additionally, we are bringing a ConsensusLab lead on board to build the next Research-Development Lab at PL, and we are excited to have hired an additional Research Administrator, who will start at the end of April.
New Funding Opportunities
PL Research is rolling out a new grant structure with open calls that will be reviewed twice a year. Our current grant application platform will be updated over the next two months to reflect these changes, which will include PhD and postdoctoral fellowships, investigator awards, and more. The first phase of reviews will be conducted in September 2021. Take a look at this summary of our forthcoming new grant opportunities.
Decentralized Data Delivery Markets
Protocol Labs is tackling an exciting new research domain: Decentralised Data Delivery Markets (3DMs)

At the beginning of 2021, our researchers gathered virtually to investigate how we can build decentralized delivery networks (aka decentralized CDNs) to complement decentralized storage markets and networks, such as Filecoin. The proceedings of this meeting resulted in a comprehensive open problem description and fourteen architecture and protocol design proposals. If you're working in this field, or are looking to get involved, please email us to explore possible collaborations!
Get Involved!
There are a number of ways to participate in what Protocol Labs Research and Research-Development are doing. Here are just a few:
 
ResNetLab on Tour tutorials go on-demand
We are super excited to announce that we have published five 25-min videos of our researchers explaining the details of the IPFS architecture (with many more videos to follow). Come learn everything about IPFS’s content addressing and content routing subsystems, its content exchange strategies, and how IPFS deals with dynamic, mutable content. ResNetLab on Tour modules are available now.
 
Head over to the project's page, where you will also find all the presentation materials, which you are free to download and re-use for your own event or lecture. Get involved and follow the discussions at ResNetLab's GitHub discussion forum. For more background on the roots of this project, check out our recent blog post.


IFIP 2021
Decentralising the Internet with IPFS and Filecoin (DI2F) workshop at IFIP Networking 2021 
Working alongside a number of researchers in academia and industry around the world, we’re happy to announce that on June 21 we’ll be co-hosting a workshop on decentralizing the Internet, with a focus on IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, and IPLD.

Visit the IFIP Conference website for more info, and stay tuned for an exciting program that will feature multiple demos, paper presentations, talks from PL researchers, as well as a competition that will run after the workshop and will award prizes to the best projects!
 


Reading Sessions

ResNetLab has started bi-weekly reading sessions. designed to gather knowledge of as many papers as possible by sharing insights in a sync session. 4 or 5 members take turns reading and presenting paper summaries to the larger group (~10mins each), followed by ~2-3 minutes of questions per paper. The goal is to expedite learning through collaborative knowledge sharing.

Reading Sessions are scheduled every other Friday at 4pm UTC, the next of which will be April 16. If you are interested in participating, please email resnetlab@protocol.ai



Research Talks
As most of you know, we have regular (average one per week) talks from a variety of researchers on topics of interest to Protocol Labs and the larger community. If you are not getting monthly emails announcing upcoming talks and would like to, please email research@protocol.ai or update your preferences to include talks. Check out upcoming talks here (including our next talk on Tuesday, April 13 on AI Alignment from Dr. Rohin Shah). Talks are posted to YouTube.
We are HIRING!!!

We continue to leverage our awesome in-house recruiting team to find the best talent from around the world. We are a fully remote, globally distributed company. Below are some of our top research and research-development job opportunities. You can check out the entire PL job board here. We accept applications for multiple job opportunities, but we encourage you to only apply for positions in which you are genuinely interested. 

Research Administrator
Research Program Manager
Technical Program Manager, Research Development

Data Scientist, CryptoEconLab

Protocol Engineer, CryptoEconLab
Research Engineer, CryptoCompute Lab
Research Engineer, Resilient Networks Lab

Research Scientist, CryptoEconLab
Research Scientist, Cryptography
Research Scientist, Distributed Systems
Research Scientist, Networking
Q1 Publications and Selected Blog Posts

Publications:
 
Blog Posts (visit research.protocol.ai/blog for more):
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