Academic Research Grants

The Stellar Development Foundation is soliciting proposals for basic technical, economic, and legal research advancing the foundation’s goals of financial inclusion, fast and inexpensive cross-border payments, efficient decentralized markets, and other beneficial applications of distributed ledger technology.

Research Topics

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Decentralized global consensus without mining, including improvements to or analysis of the Stellar Consensus Protocol
  • Incentive design for improving financial responsibility, civic engagement, or other behaviors promoting financial security and democracy
  • Byzantine fault tolerant, Sybil-resistant, open peer-to-peer multicast, particularly solutions leveraging quorum slices
  • Adaptations of traditional market mechanisms (such as short selling and derivatives) to Stellar or other distributed ledgers
  • Scalability improvements, including techniques for deterministically parallelizing transactions on order books or extending on-chain order books to work with off-chain payment channels
  • 2-way pegged side chains across ledgers employing quorum slices
  • Privacy, including improvements to both efficiency and regulatory compliance of private payments
  • Empirical studies of the Stellar network or lumen distribution Programs
  • Legal theories and implications surrounding usage of distributed ledgers or decentralized exchanges for physical property and securities
  • Studies on governance of distributed systems
  • Smart contracts languages that enable safe development of fin-tech applications. Safety by construction, amenability to static analysis, and runtime performance on large ledgers are of particular interest.

The foundation hopes to see results incorporated into open-source financial technology, and thus wants to avoid supporting research that leads to patented technologies.

Research Grant

Awards will be provided as unrestricted gifts intended to an individual with PI status at an academic institution. The funds are intended to support the cost of one graduate student or one post-doc for 12 months, plus reasonable expenses such as conference travel.

Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly cadence. This year's deadlines are: 

  • September 30, 2023
  • December 31, 2023
Apply here

Proposals should be no longer than 3 pages in at least 11-point type, and should use the following outline:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • One paragraph biography of principal investigator, highlighting relevant research results and/or former students
  • Technical proposal body
  • Budget not to exceed $150,000.
  • When known, please name the student or post-doc interested in participating in the research.
  • Statement of intent not to patent the results, including a brief description of the principal investigator’s track record in patenting or not patenting research
  • References

If you have any questions, please e-mail

Funded Papers