Protocol Labs Research
2021-10-08 / News
A retrospective on the ARPM program

Now that summer has turned to fall, we’d like to share some of the things we’ve learned and accomplished during this past summer with our Associate Research Program managers (ARPMs): Dwarkesh, Max, and Sam.

The ARPM program was a 10 week summer experience that brought young researchers into PL Research to support our current program initiatives and help to develop new ideas. It was also an experiment: we wanted to discover whether we could design a viable program to train undergraduates and recent graduates in metaresearch-informed research program management.

We were pleased to discover that we did not have to engage in any p-hacking to get a significant positive result. The ARPMs brought fresh perspectives and lots of exciting ideas to our research meetings, discussion sessions, and journal clubs, and provided fantastic support to the regular activities of PL Research program management. Over the summer, our ARPMs helped us to:

  • kick off our roadmapping initiative with a workshop on the Open Metaverse, featuring a keynote by Jamie Burke of Outlier Ventures
  • scout 25 new potential collaborators and research seminar speakers
  • develop a credence calibration tool to aid in our estimation and portfolio evaluation processes
  • build a tool to directly observe and visualize the inner workings of IPFS & libp2p
  • author a proposal for a novel grantmaking structure and scout potential grant recipients
  • and identify factors to inform decision-making about when to conduct research projects internally and when to leverage external research collaborations.

The ARPM Program also gave us the opportunity to broaden our connections with the metaresearch community, and it introduced our researchers to exciting new techniques for understanding and investigating the integrity of scientific results, new approaches to understanding the economic incentives of science and incentivizing risky research, new systems for collaborative knowledge sharing, new institutional forms for accelerating innovation, and new ways of thinking about the complexity of scientific research, among other topics.

We’re excited to continue building on the work of this summer as we put these ideas into practice. In the meantime, we’ll be redesigning and scaling the program for its next iteration, tentatively planned for the summer of 2023.