Protocol Labs Research Grants and RFPs


The Protocol Labs Research Grant Program aims to both support collaborative work on problems defined by the broader research community and drive progress on clearly scoped research projects critical to our work at Protocol Labs. We encourage proposals aligned with PL's mission to drive breakthroughs in computing to push humanity forward, and we welcome unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds.

Grant types

Protocol Labs Research has two broad categories of grants:

  1. Open researcher-centric grants intended to support researchers pursuing topics of interest to Protocol Labs. These include:
    • Nucleation grants
    • PhD Fellowships
    • Postdoctoral Fellowships
    • Investigator Awards
    • Faculty Summer Research Grants
    • Faculty Research Sabbatical Awards
    • Implementation Grants
  2. Topic-specific Requests for Proposals (RFPs) designed to fund goal-driven research in response to specific open problems defined by Protocol Labs. RFPs are posted intermittently based on need and readiness of our research labs to support these collaborations. You can view previous RFPs here.

You will also find an open Request for Proposal, RFP-000, which is an open call to fund research proposed by the applicant where funding from one of our other grant structures does not readily apply.

Recipients of open grants may also apply for RFPs, and vice versa.


Grant applications can be submitted at any time. RFP proposals will be evaluated according to the timelines outlined in specific calls. Open grants, with the exceptions noted below, are evaluated in two rounds: one for applications received on or before the second Thursday of April and a second for applications received on or before the second Thursday of September.

Deadline exceptions:

  • Faculty Summer Research Grants are evaluated starting on January 15. Applications continue to be accepted through March 15, though priority is given to early applicants. Applications submitted after March 15 can be considered for the summer of the following year.
  • Faculty Research Sabbatical Awards are evaluated on a rolling basis. You will need to notify us of any relevant deadlines internal to your institution.
  • Implementation Grants are evaluated on a rolling basis.

Decisions will normally be made and communicated to applicants within four weeks of these submission deadlines. Research Sabbatical Award decisions may take up to eight weeks, to allow enough time to discuss any and all relevant logistics with the applicant.

Terms and Conditions

Protocol Labs Research Grants are structured as unrestricted gifts. Our goal is to minimize institutional overhead and indirect administrative costs. We provide unlimited funding for co-authored publications meeting open access requirements.

Applying for a grant is not a guarantee of funding, and we expect to receive more grant requests than we are able to fund. The decision as to whether or not to award funding is entirely at our discretion. Interested individuals or organizations should complete the application form to submit a proposal for consideration.

By submitting an application, an individual or organization agrees:

  1. To use any support provided solely for the project described in the funding request,
  2. To exercise control or coordination over the supported project,
  3. To be willing to disclose that Protocol Labs provided financial support,
  4. To meet with collaborators within Protocol Labs to participate in the research effort,
  5. To release the results as open-source under the Permissive License Stack (Dual License Apache-2 +MIT), unless strictly prohibited by the applicant's institutional affiliation,
  6. To disclose to Protocol Labs any institutional restrictions on open access/open source IP in advance of receiving funding.

We reserve the right to change the terms and conditions, including cancelling the program at any time without notice. Please note that you are responsible for complying with taxes and laws, and you agree to provide us with enough information, at our request, so that we can comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

To submit your application, please select the relevant program below. If you have any questions, you may email us at


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