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Head of Research at Web 3 Foundation

Zug | Research | Full-time | Updated: April 30, 2019, 8:02 p.m.

Job Description

Looking for scientists with a deep understanding of decentralised technologies and an ambition to lead a high performance research team.


The Web3 Foundation nurtures and stewards technologies and applications for a privacy preserving and decentralised web. We work on a range of cryptographic and consensus protocols that have emerged as crucial building blocks of decentralized systems in general, and the Web3 ecosystem in particular. We are the opposite of a big data company.

Our core project at the moment is Polkadot, a protocol designed to connect blockchains and allow them to interoperate, share security, and more. In addition to that, we support the development of a number of technologies that form the Web 3.0 tech stack such as privacy technologies, decentralized messaging, and distributed storage or secret management.

We conduct cutting-edge research that is both theoretically exciting and expected to have a dramatic real world impact by helping to replace centralised infrastructure. To help realise this goal we work closely with academics and development teams to design and then deploy world-class components of large-scale distributed systems.

We explore a remarkable array of research topics within our mandate to steward distributed technologies, including:

Cryptographic protocols

Consensus algorithms

Game theory and mechanism design


Censorship resistance

Privacy technologies

Our diverse cryptographic research topics include:

Advanced signature schemes

Distributed random number generation

Zero-knowledge proofs and their optimisations

Multiparty computation


Set the research agenda in alignment with development collaborators

Ensure alignment and productivity of the research team members

Keep an overview of research topics and participate in research when needed

Initiate and manage research collaborations

Manage composition of the research team including identifying hiring needs

Coordinate efforts to deliver high quality research papers along with good internal documentation

Represent the Web3 Foundation at conferences and share technical information with the community


Postdoc or professor level experience in Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science, or a related field, or equivalent background

Experience contributing to research communities that require mathematical rigor, preferably including proofs of security and correctness

Experience designing cryptographic protocols or distributed algorithms

Excellent written and verbal communication skills


Demonstrated innovation in cryptography or distributed algorithms

Experience with blockchain technology

Experience mentoring, creating technical documentation or blog posts

Experience and proficiency in programming, especially in Rust or related languages, e.g. C, C++, OCaml, Haskell, or JavaScript

Demonstrated ability to set and execute a research agenda

Experience developing research collaborations and managing contractors


Competitive compensation and travel opportunities

Regular research retreats at unique locations around Europe

Opportunity to work on a diverse team of varied professional backgrounds (i.e. computer science, algorithm design, events, communications, legal, financial products, management consulting, marketing & advertising, etc.)

To apply to this position, we ask you to complete the application form, and to submit your CV with a cover letter telling us a bit about yourself and your motivation to join us.


Web3 Foundation website: https://web3.foundation/

Web3 links: https://github.com/w3f/Web3-wiki

Polkadot website: https://polkadot.network/

Polkadot research: http://research.web3.foundation/en/latest/polkadot/

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