Protocol Labs Research
2023-01-18 / Blog
Pausing PL Research Open Research Grants

Over the 2022 calendar year, Protocol Labs Research received a tremendous amount of participation and submissions for our Open Research Grants program. Having awarded more than $1 million USD for researchers around the globe, we could not be more proud of the success of this program and the quality of our award recepients. However, in light of recent changes to our funding roadmap, PL Research is announcing the immediate pause of our Open Research Grants program for 2023.

We recognize the difficulty of the current funding environment and apologize for the unfortunate timing. This change to our grant offerings is the result of a temporary internal shift towards targeting support for clearly scoped research projects critical to our work at Protocol Labs. To that end, we are happy to report that Protocol Labs still has two open Requests for Proposals (RFPs), RFP-013: Cryptonet network grant and RFP-014: Private retrieval of data, in addition to RFP-X.

Given our continuous interest in understanding the scientific process and how we can leverage our resources and expertise towards improving the research landscape, we will take this opportunity to reflect on how we can increase our impact and broaden our reach before reopening our offerings at a future date.


The PL Research grants program launched in April 2018 when PL Research was first announced as an established team within Protocol Labs. While the team has since grown and changed as various Labs have nucleated, PL Research still oversees the current grant offerings. Open Research Grants were added to grants offering in August 2021, and this past year-and-a-half of receiving your proposals has allowed our labs to partner and collaborate with researchers in countries spanning five continents.


In addition to funding various research proposals we, under Protocol Labs, were a founding sponsor of the Stanford Center for Blockchain Research(CBR). CBR focuses on research closely aligned with some of our research labs and Open Problems. We encourage you to check out CBR’s seminars, conferences, and call for papers here.

Current offerings

While we are scaling back in the total number of awards offered, we are thrilled to see what collaborations and research proposals come our way.

  • RFP-X will continue to be open for research projects not otherwise covered by open RFPs. The success rate for RFP-X applications is significantly lower and advised to be the path of last resort.
  • RFP-013: Cryptonet network grant is accepting applications until 23:59 UTC on July 30, 2023, or earlier if allocated funding is exhausted. Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Additional information about Cryptonet grants can be found here. We encourage you to visit #lobby in the Cryptonet Discord if you are considering applying or have any questions.
  • RFP-014: Private retrieval of data reviews applications on a monthly basis and is awarded in phases. Phase 1 will be open until 23:59 UTC on March 1, 2023 or earlier if allocated funding is exhausted. We encourage you to visit #private-retrieval in the Lodestar Discord if you’re considering applying or have any questions.

Looking forward

We are grateful to have the opportunity to continue supporting talented researchers through our ongoing RFPs. If you are interested in applying for funding, please submit your proposal using our application management system at and reach out to with any questions.