Join the zkSync Fellowship: Call for Proposals

The vision for Matter Labs has always been to incubate, launch, and decentralize the zkSync protocol and ZK Stack. Bringing in talented individuals and teams to contribute to the protocol is the next step on zkSync’s path toward decentralization.

Introducing the ZK Fellowship: a 4-6 month, paid virtual program designed to advance the vision for zkSync, ZK Stack, and the ZK Credo through technical contributions from individuals and teams outside of Matter Labs.

Applications to join the ZK Fellowship are open through October 15th. Keep reading for program details and how you can apply to join the first ZK Fellowship cohort.

Who should apply?

Participants with strong technical backgrounds are encouraged to submit proposals relevant to zkSync and the ZK space.

We welcome all types of technical contributors—whether you’re a student, developer, researcher, or academic, we want to hear from you!

Suggested topics

Below is a non-exhaustive list of recommended topics for your application (in alphabetical order). While we encourage the candidates to work on the following themes, we’ll also consider topics outside of this list.

  • Cross-L2 gas fee mechanisms

  • Distributed operation and parallelization of ZK provers

  • Fuzz testing of zkSync components

  • How to avoid the fragmentation of consensus stake in a multi-rollup ecosystem

  • MEV in rollups

  • Memory models for ZKP with relation to trace extension/recursion/folding

  • Privacy support and privacy primitives for rollups

  • Prover and sequencer market dynamics

  • Rollup data exploration that goes beyond L2BEAT

  • Scalable cross-rollup censorship resistance

  • Self-sovereign TX verification helpers that can properly parse ABI-encoded data and provide visualization of fields and values

  • Trace extension techniques/continuations

  • Zero-knowledge DeFi primitives, including but not limited to transaction matching, risk management, settlement, custody, and attestations

  • Zero-knowledge proof aggregation and verification schemes

  • Zero-knowledge proof production

  • Zero-knowledge virtual machine models

  • web3js/ethers.js/ generalization that separates interaction intention from ABI encoding, tx encoding, signature creation, etc.

Submission criteria & process

By October 15th, submit a two-page PDF proposal to that clearly captures the following:

  • Name and background of applicants

  • Social handles and Github profiles (if relevant)

  • What you propose to be done and the problem motivation

  • A brief overview of the state-of-the-art relating to the selected problem

  • Research and development plan containing month-by-month milestones

If your proposal is accepted, you’ll hear back from Matter Labs by November 1st with information on next steps.

Successful applicants will be supported with a stipend of $3,500 per month for the duration of the fellowship. This is grant-based funding, not a contracted position. You own your work product, though we expect your output to be open-source, well-documented, and accessible to others.

Gain access to world-class teams

ZK Fellowship participants will have monthly check-ins with senior Matter Labs team members and fellowship recipients. These meetings will serve as a valuable opportunity for feedback, knowledge sharing, and exploring potential directions.

Participants will also enjoy direct access to our vibrant community of core developers and may have the chance to engage closely with affiliated partners of Matter Labs.

Post-fellowship opportunities

The most accomplished participants will have the opportunity to 1) secure an extended fellowship, potentially leading to a position at Matter Labs or 2) join Matter Labs’ incubation program and collaborate closely with the Matter Labs Investments team to refine and bring innovative ideas to market.

We look forward to reviewing your proposals to advance the capabilities of the ZK Stack and ZK tech more broadly. For questions about the ZK Fellowship program, reach out to Matter Labs’ VP of Research, Ben Livshits. If you’re already working on an early-stage project and would like to learn about potential incubation opportunities, send a message to Matter Labs’ Head of Investments, Omar Yehia.

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